Congratulations to the Eastmain Cree! Through the 750-km walk, local bingos and other activities they have achieved 10 per cent of their community’s goal of $ 1 million towards a new sports complex. Besides an arena, this new building will have a stage, a youth center and an area where Elders can gather and tell stories.
Even though the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement guarantees youth facilities to each Cree community, Eastmain has been unable to get the government to cough up the cash for the past nine years.
Finally, Chief Kenneth Gilpin said enough is enough. He lined up $1 million from the Board of Compensation and is asking for another $2 million each from Quebec and Ottawa. He is looking at Eastamin raising the remaining $1 million of the total $6-million cost.
To date Eastmain has raised $100,000, 10 per cent of that goal, and they haven’t even kicked off the major portion of the fundraising drive, according to Rusty Cheezo. Cheezo says Eastmain is asking for the remaining amounts of $2 million dollars each from Quebec and Ottawa because they are obligated under the Agreement.
“We are showing that we are more than willing to work toward fulfilling this dream and the Agreement. We will continue to show that resolution in the future,’’ said Cheezo.
Part of Eastmain’s fundraising is the creation of a charitable foundation, he added. The community hopes construction will start this June.