This letter was written to the Quebec commissions on sovereignty in Montreal and Quebec City, addressed to Monique Vezina, Marcel Masse and Jean-Paul L’Allier.
I am writing to you out of concern for my Homeland within Canada, or should I say Aboriginal Canada, Creebec, Creean-ada, La Belle Cree Province. In anyway you call it, we were here first, and we have a right to choose where and which way we want to live.
I am a Cree Canadian by birth, which just happens to be in the Province of Quebec. I do not necessarily call myself a Quebecer or a Canadian. I call myself Eeyou, the People of the Land. I know that my ancestors have inhabited this land for over 5,000 years and will continue to do so, as long as the Creator is taking care of us.
I do not want to tell people what to do or what to say on any given subject, i.e. the referendum, but I do want to be recognized as a distinct person, an Aboriginal person, who has the right to self-determination, like any Quebecois or Canadian. We were never a part of Quebec or Canada when we first made contact with the Whiteman. We were put in that position by outsiders who wanted to take over and run our lives. I do not blame anybody for all that has happened to my people up to now, but I do blame a people for stealing from my people, the land and the resources that were given to them by the Creator.
I am not saying that I do not want to share the resources, but stealing is a different thing, which is exactly what happened since the Whiteman has been in the so-called New World. We were brought up as humane, caring people, who cared for the human race, the four-leggeds, the fish and the birds, who all lived in harmony with all of Cod’s Creation. I do not want to be philosophical in this letter, but I do want to let you know that I care for my country Canada because I grew up being Canadian. I do not always agree with thegovernments on their policies, especially when it comes to land management or on development.
If Quebec is to separate from the rest of Canada, then I think, / know, that we as Aboriginal people of Quebec, Canada have that right also. I know that Canada is lobbying against such an official recognition at the United Nations, but even if you do not agree with me, many countries and authorities do. I just want to let you know that I am committed to my people, and if they decide to stay within Canada or if they decide to go with Quebec, I will stand with them whichever way.
But I will tell you now that I am a proud Cree Canadian and I stand by my country, even if I don’t agree with the politics all the time.
I would like to tell you, give you a good example of what can happen.
In the USSR and Czechoslovakia, the politicians said that people did not have a right to break away from the Mother Country, but look what happened. I know Northern Quebec will be the New Economic Power, the Natural Resource Centre of Quebec, and I know that the Quebecois want to develop this centre for their own. Please recognize that Northern Quebec is Cree, Inuit, Naskapi and Montagnais territory, just as Montreal is Mohawk territory, so please do not touch them if we decide to separate also. Wachiya!
– Christopher Herodier Snowbody, Chisasibi Eeyou