I remember years and years and years ago when I was about nine or 10 calculating how old I’d be when the year 2000 would finally come around. I remember thinking how far off it was and how old I’d be. In case you’ve only just finished your New Year’s celebrations, friends, that magical number is now only about 350 days away.
How will Cree life be different, say 50, even 100, years from now? Well, if things keep going the way they’ve been this past year, nearly every Cree now living will have been awarded an honorary doctorate for something or other by every university, including the University of Eastmain (or U of E as the hip students of Eastmain will undoubtedly call it).
Hydro-Quebec will be fighting to dam that creek behind your great-great-great-grandson’s cabin in the bush. Who knows, Cree fishermen in Nemaska might be using my invention: a lure equipped with a sensor, that’s attached to a device that will inflate when the fish bites, dragging the poor helpless fish to the surface. By then, miniaturization will have been perfected so a video lens will be an option. All the better to witness and have proof of those gigantic walleye and lake trout biting. No one will ever doubt those stories of the one that got away again.
The first Cree astronaut will be on a mission to the farthest reaches of the solar system to gather data on whether hunting, fishing or trapping is feasible.
The Grand Chief of the Cree of the Republic of Eeyou Estchee/lstchee (Iyiyuu/ Eenou Istchee/Estchee) (We still won’t be able to come to an understanding!), a Cree descendant of an obscure American President, William Jefferson Clinton, will be impeached for sexual improprieties. Only to be found innocent in the Cree Senate. The Grand Chief will threaten to annihilate the tiny Republic of Quebec in order to draw attention away from his troubles. The Nation, by now a sleazy tabloid, will devote several covers to the scandal. Around this time, the magazine will also publish, electronically of course, its 150th anniversary issue with the founders on the cover. Naked! Finally!
Millions of tourists flock to tropical Waskaganish to sample Cree hospitality. A popular attraction in the city will be the Creeurope Fur Trade Museum located in
downtown Waskaganish. Included in the package is an underwater tour of fur trade-era shipwrecks off the James Bay coast.
The Raid Des Cree, the largest snowmobile race in the world, will commence in the largest Cree city, Mistissini, and finish in Davis Inlet, one of Creeland’s colonies. The coveted Pimpichuu Cup, awarded every four years, will be made from Mistissini gold and inlaid with gems from the mines of Chasibi, as it will be then known.
The 200th annual Val d’Or Co-ed Hockey/Broomball tournament will be rocked by scandal when a member of the organizing committee is found accepting bribes in the form of a water bed and other household furnishings. The tournament then moves the following year to the bustling metropolis of Louvicourt. Gone will be the days when people who drank too much and missed their flights are left to fend for themselves away from home. They will be happily mass-teleported back to their families on Christmas eve.
Creeland, after years of bickering and debate on a common currency, launches the Creeo. On the strength of the Creeo, Crees travel the world and surrounding planets in large groups snapping vacation photos, taking over where Japanese tourists left off.
The Cree Republic Of EE/II/EA hosts the Olympic Games. The Crees take gold in bowling, ballroom dancing and snowshoeing. A Cree from Chisasibi takes gold in the exhibition sport being considered for the following games, Gajackheejanood, winning several thousand Creeos. The International Olympic Committee literature explains, “Gajackheejanood originated in Iyiyuu Istchee when trappers gambled for beaver tokens during the fur trade. The game is simple. A short rod is left standing on the ground; the competitors hurl coins to see whose will fall closest to the rod. ‘Leaners’ are sure winners, as are ‘touchers,’ unless they are knocked away from rod. Whoever throws the first coin calls ‘shaking’ or ‘taking.’ Shaking means whoever is closest to the rod shakes all the thrown coins, calling either heads or tails. If he or she calls heads, he wins all the coins that fall heads up. And so on and so forth.” Spectators world-wide are thrilled. The following Olympics are held in Kahnawake but get into trouble as Quebec separatists threaten to blockade the Joe Norton Memorial Bridge unless they are recognized as “distinct.”