I was actually getting used to the sound of Arnold on the air at seven and eight in the morning and even began to like his heavy Moose accent (because his dialect bothered everyone else, it gave me a strange sense of satisfaction knowing that I’m not the only one with the built-in talent for aggravating the masses) when suddenly, nothing in Cree on the air from Montreal, hallowed headquarters of the SRC/CBC.
What? No Arnold or Roderick or that silver-tongued sportscaster from Eastmain? Who’s going to remind me that the Habs and the Leafs might actually have a chance at the Cup? How am I to know whether to go for a picnic or go hunting when the weather is not told to me in advance?
Relax folks; it’s just another strike for the rights of workers, who happen to be locked out just because their rights were infringed. Who supports the strike? Well, for one, I do since no one else will. I’m a believer in rights and in fairness to women in the workplace. Where would we be without women? Who does the hardest work at home? Yo’ mama and yo’ sista, that’s who! Who made sure that the snot was wiped off your face when you were just a young un’? Yo’ mama, that’s who! Who made sure that Maamuitau and all those radio shows from CBC Northern Quebec Service ran for years and years without a hitch? Someone’s mama, that’s who! So, for those of you who don’t care about your mother or your sister or anything to do with Cree language radio broadcasting, sit back and relax.
But for those who do care, fill out the form in the last issue of the Nation and send it in to show your support. At least, don’t be like you know who, who purportedly doesn’t like Radio-Canada and reacts by making a political statement by saying nothing at il. Silence is golden, I guess.
I remember when Cree language radio was young and was the only radio program that would be listened to by our people. Today, 10 radio stations and numerous programs populate the digital satellite network and can even be picked up on those newfangled bush radios, but still, the audience tends to miss those broadcasts from Montreal. Perhaps the days of free speech will be replaced by speech sponsored by your local and regional government (if the words are said just right).
That is why communications can be a powerful tool for the people, when used by the people. Where can the voice of the people be heard, elsewhere? So, support the causes that enhance our language and support the causes that right the wrongs done to women through out the ages and send in your support to the staff of CBC Radio North.
I even miss Maamuitau and Ernie’s cool staid professionalism on Sundays. When television reached the masses, the Cree language become officially engraved on the mentality of the people. “We can do TV in our own language,” was the message, and only when it became taken for granted, was it taken away from us.
Not fair, I say. Where will the cultural balance come from to ease the dilution and erosion of our traditions through years of watching imported television programming? Will our children’s heroes come from someone else’s imagination as some cartoon character, or will our unsung heroes come in, live on your television, speaking Cree? Make your choice: action or inaction.