Romeo Saganash, the Deputy Chief of Waswanipi, has gone to work for the Parti Quebecois government.
Saganash was hired as a special advisor on Cree issues and northern development to Native Affairs and Natural Resources Minister Guy Chevrette.
“We are very, very, very happy,”said Pierre Chateauvert, a top bureaucrat working under Chevrette.
“He seemed to know the people. He has links with us, he was in the Grand Council of the Crees. He was a very good candidate.”
The announcement was part of a large package of initiatives by the government to open up Eeyou Astchee for development. Chevrette went to Chibougamau to make the announcements.
The Grand Council says it was not consulted on the initiatives, including Saganash’s appointment, which took most people in the know completely by surprise.
Quebec announced it is opening up northern development offices in Chibougamau and Kuujjuaq. The government has also decided Radisson is there to stay and is cooking up a plan to “revitalize” the work camp’s economy.
“The will is that Radisson remains there,” Chateauvert told The Nation. When asked whose will, he responded: “The government’s.”
Quebec will soon hold public hearings in the North on economic development. A commission made up of Natives and non-Natives will travel to various communities and invite your comments.
Quebec will also hold hearings into the impact of Hydro-Quebec in the North. Not social or environmental impacts, mind you. Economic development impacts and future possibilities.
Saganash did not return our phone call.