Well, it’s the 10th issue of The Nation. I must admit that each issue has a special meaning for me.
Cree political, social and business structures have undergone drastic changes in the last 20 years. In some cases these structures didn’t even exist then. To me that means we have a lot work to do in terms of catching up and understanding them as they are today.
Most of the information I had at a community level was through rumour and the Band Council meetings. The rumours in a lot of cases were distorted, exaggerated and/or totally off the mark.
A lot of it made me feel helpless to change things I felt were wrong, and sometimes I acted on wrong information, which led to problems.
Band Council meetings in some cases have a hard time getting a quorum because of a lack of knowledge, feelings of a lack of true participation or apathy. Many people comment on this outside of the meetings without realizing it is in their power to question or affect the changes they wish.
I know the Band Councils are trying to alleviate this problem and hopefully when one comes up with some successful solutions, you’ll read about it in The Nation. In this way we can share in the benefits.
I hope that The Nation is informative and entertaining. It is still being defined both by us at the office and by you. Remember that The Nation is your newspaper; we have and continue to ask for your participation in that definition of what we will become.
I know some people are worried that the governments and Hydro-Quebec are reading The Nation and getting sensitive information about the Crees. Let me put your minds to rest. The governments and even Hydro-Quebec have a better idea of what’s happening in the Cree territory than the average Cree does.
This fear does not reflect the traditional openness of the Cree people. We must all have access to knowledge and information that will help us make the judgements, resolutions and to carry out the tasks necessary for the daily activities of a nation—and also to plan for the future of that nation.
Knowledge is power.
I wish to see that power shared by all members of the Cree Nation, not just a few. I think that we must use that power responsibly.