It is my pleasure to announce in this issue of the Nation that we will be running another candidate in this year’s Grand Chief election. Surprised by the fact that Neil Diamond received 3% of the vote in the last election, I learned one thing: some people out there are looking for real change. I am that change.

When Quebec’s Native Affairs Minister Guy Chevrette announced the suspension of Memorandum of Understanding negotiations and funding, Cree people said that the failure of a policy of compliance by Quebec necessitated a change by or in the leadership of the Cree. What did the policy of compliance mean then? That’s very simple: you must try as far as possible to satisfy your adversary’s demands so as to make Quebec’s obligations to the Cree possible.

Quebec’s denial of these rights is an insult, a slap in the face, a vulgar farting in our general direction. It was unimportant whether or not there was any legal basis for Cree/Quebec negotiations and funding to be suspended. The insult has been delivered. Stand up for your rights and we’ll trample all over them.

No people, no nation has done more than the Cree Nation to fulfil their side of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. But the Cree People are required once again to make sacrifices, which could and would eventually would kill the future of the Cree Nation. To give in again would make us worse than the second class citizens we are.

So these requirements Quebec insists on must have a very definite purpose, an agenda which goes far beyond economics. Quebec does not want simple sacrifice; it wants the destruction of the Cree as a People, the fulfillment of an age-old dream; le Québec aux québécois, or simply put, a Quebec dominated by pur laine québécois. Not a situation in which I would trust the extent of Quebec’s “effective control of the territory.”

Suspensions of funding – obligated by dam construction in our territory – over a forestry court case is nothing but a “legal device” intended to bring a people to its knees with a facade of legality. To destroy the fabric of the Cree Nation and to replace one united Cree Nation with a conglomeration of small First Nations that would consume and destroy each other. I’m sure Quebec’s “dept, of planning and implementing backroom deals” is busy these days in an effort to destroy the united Cree front.

So the only way that the Cree Government could satisfy Quebec is by bringing about its own dissolution. Satisfying Quebec is not an economic but a political question. This is a problem for the Cree leadership. To satisfy Quebec they would have to destroy the Cree Nations rights; that they cannot do; and what they can do, will not satisfy Quebec…

But it is the fire in the hearts of Cree youth which will bring us ultimate victory. It will be they who will sustain the nation, which they will create for themselves, ourselves. New young warriors are coming forward in Eeyou Istchee, Youth who have already seen their future slipping away but know full well that unless they act now there will be no future at all. The Cree Nation can be saved only by the national will of the Cree People and their determination to take action.

People ask: is there someone fit to be our leader? Our task is not to search for that person. That person will naturally rise through the grace of the Creator, as in any situation a true natural leader always emerges. Our task is to shape and guide the tomahawk that that person will need when he or she arrives. Our task is to provide the leader with a nation, which is ready for him or her when he or she arises! My fellow Cree, awaken! The new day is dawning!

RS. This editorial is an April Fools Joke. I do not plan to run for Grand Chief and admire the stand the Grand Council of the Crees and all the chiefs are taking with Quebec’s dictatorial and impossible demands of the Cree Nation. The April Fools joke is that I am not running and unfortunately that is the only joke.

More April Fools stuff on pages 23 & 25.