Crees are going to take the technological beast by the horns at an upcoming symposium on communications technology.

The symposium, organized by the James Bay Cree Communications Society, is intended to provide a forum for learning about new technologies and trends in communications.

The JBCCS says greater cooperation is needed at the regional level to lower telecommunications costs, reduce travel time and costs through video- and audio-conferencing, improve access to information for Crees, connect Crees to the information highway, improve communications for people in the bush, provide access to better health services in the communities and provide access to educational and training opportunities in the communities.

The symposium will be held in Montreal Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. It will include a panel discussion with Diane Reed, Lawrence Martin and other Cree intellectuals. The audience will be invited to participate.

The symposium will also provide basic information about what technologies could be useful to Crees. “We’re going to avoid techno-babble,” says George Oblin, one of the organizers.

George said he hopes a permanent committee will emerge from the symposium to coordinate Cree efforts to integrate the new technologies in the communities and at the regional level.