This is our walking out ceremony The Nation has been in existence for one year now.
I never knew The Nation would develop into anything like this, much less make it to a year.
I knew communication is an integral part of any society, but it really hit home when we were setting up at Mamweedow (the annual festival at Fort George). We were going to set up a mobile radio station. We were looking for keys to the building we were going to set up in. We went to a house where we thought the keys were. There weren’t there.
But an Elder was. Daniel Rupert. We shared tea. We were talking about the weather… He then asked what we were doing. We told him we were going to set up the tower for the station. He then asked, “Akuut-ha chawiikabuutaiyakw Uukshapchikin?” (Is that where you will set up the shaking tent?) I was stunned. For him to compare the technology of today with a ceremony of long ago really had me thinking. Especially with everything that goes with that ceremony.
I had felt there was a rejection of today’s modern technology. That it went against Cree values. But the rejection was the monologue of information which we have no control over and doesn’t begin to reflect our world. That day I felt proud to work in communications.
The flood of information in our communities was not our own. Dialogue started with our radio stations. But it has to go further. We have to take the caribou by the antlers and develop all aspects of communications to fit our world. It is for the people.
We started The Nation with the realization of the importance of being able to freely speak your mind and to exchange ideas with respect, fairness and accuracy. We can only hope The Nation is contributing to the overall development of communications in the Cree world. There are people who wish The Nation would just go away. Sorry, but there are too many things to discuss.
We here at The Nation do know the balancing act is sometimes tight. For people writing in, when does creative criticism and the statement of facts become libelous or dangerous, politically or financially? I guess that’s why we get so many letters from a “concerned Cree” or a “concerned youth,” “concerned resident” or what have you.
We enjoy everything we receive. We hope you will keep sending your ideas, thoughts and dialogue to The Nation so they can be shared. Shared with the people. We need your input so we can reflect your community. Our community. We also need “hard news.” It’s been one year and we are thankful. We want to acknowledge the Creator for showing us the beauty of life and the guidance provided.
There are so many people to thank for helping and guiding us to where we are today. The people on the photo up there are the main team. Many people believed in us. Many people worked hard and long, sometimes for no pay, to get us to where we are today. To those people we are eternally greatful.
We hopped on The Nation and started a journey into the unknown. And the river has .opened up a little bit at a time for us. With your help we can overcome the portages. So we can travel the voyage together.
PHOTO:The Nationites: (back, from left) Will Nicholls, Nell Diamond, Ernest Webb, Alex Roslin, (centre row) Linda Ludwick, Katerina Cizek, Brian Webb, Catherine Bainbridge, (front) Celya Lister