Someone said at one of our meetings, “Let there be a Millennium Issue!” There was one and we saw that it could be good. That was a long long time ago.
Another meeting was scheduled. The second of many to come. It was decided we have the “best of The Nation.” Pieces you would recall reading before.
Somewhere in this issue read Will’s crazy award winning story of our visit as guests of Hydro-Quebec itself. We also have for your reading pleasure, again, Ella Saganash’s winning story, Overcoming the Adoush. Florrie Mark Stewart’s version of the legend of Chichibuyuuu. We also decided to throw in a Cree@large or four for old times sake but settled on two. To show how much we love you we have chosen old Nation letters with stamps intact.
We of course decided to put in the always popular advertisements.
We called another meeting over coffee and it was a good one. We decided to take the word millennium off the cover because everybody got really tired of hearing the word at countless meetings and discussions over coffee, on TV and at parties. We would try to fit in everything from our original story list but we had to cut some of the better pieces for the next millennium issue and to confuse competitors.
We had a giant section on Native heroes. The now mythic Crazy Horse, the only major native figure of the time never to be photographed and a man who’s graven image is now being carved out of a mountain on the land he fought for. I guess you could say the land is with him.
Sitting Bull, the war Chief and man of medicine who fought with Crazy Horse, is the man in the lead photo. Sitting Bull was the personification of bravery. During a seige, he threw the one opponent left his loaded rifle and attacked him with a coup stick. He lived to tell the story and do it one better.
Sequoyah, who developed written Cherokee, thereby giving birth to the first Native newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. We would have to leave so many of them out we’d feel bad about it. We have these and and others in our Cree Timeline. The Timeline covers Cree History from 2,000,000 BC to 2000. Impossible!
Pop trivia quiz! What month and year did work start on the dams? The year present day Waswanipi was built? Estimated number of caribou that drowned in Caniapiscau? The year Natives had the right to vote?
Is that your final answer? Okay, check your answers on page 22 on and no cheating, class.
We also had the transcript of the words of spirits. You heard right, the Flying People. What other magazine could claim that and mean it. Only the National Enquirer and some of those tree-hugging, hemp-growing, granola-eating, crystals-for-sale new age magazines, that’s who. The recording is of the last shaking tent ceremony held in Waskaganish in 1964. Then known as Rupert House, Fort Charles in the 1600’s. I call my home Mudville in the spring and after every rainfall. Others call it Ganiohgashee.
Later at another impromptu roundtable discussion, the layout artiste handed me a rough copy and it felt good, heavy and meaty, the way a good magazine should but it still wasn’t done. The only thing missing was a few photos and Rez Notes. As usual. The deadline and another meeting loomed .
Someone quipped, “I’d like to see it this millennium.” The jokes were starting to seem like we’d been working on it for a millennium. At the last minute we were still discussing the cover price. I suggested $3.50 greedily. “That was the best meeting we’ve had.” we agreed as we walked out of the cafe. Someone said, “I just want to get it out of here.”
So it will be here soon in all it’s glory. Take care of it. Share it with your friends. Read it in solitude daily for inspiration. Refer to it as often as possible in social situations and read of its passages aloud. Take it to yoga class with you. Or the movies. Frame it. Give it as a gift to the unfortunate, the needy and the meek. Send it out into the world. Don’t leave home without it. It’s yours.
I know it sounds like we did all the work and attended all those meetings but you helped out a bit. There were many writers left out so if one of them is you, write us a letter. And we’ll have a meeting.