The White Man’s Gonna Getcha The Colonial Challenge to the Crees of Quebec By Toby Morantz McGill-Queen’s University Press 2002 Wow, double wow! This book is cool, especially if you are a Cree or want to know more about the history of the eastern James Bay Cree. It is essentially a look into the Cree culture and the changes to it from contact onwards. It is dry at times — you expect that from an academic work — but the amount of information in it is astounding.
This is perhaps the closest Cree students will ever come to a real history in our generation.
Yes, it is written by a non-Native with cultural biases (though she does rise above them most of the time) but she is faithful to the truth and times and will even tell you when some parts are biased.
At the very least Crees today should read to see what the starvation years were all about and why they happened. I’ve heard the starvation stories but I never understood the causes before.
It also talks about the voluntary nature of Cree hunters and trappers listening to the game wardens. My grandfather Emmett MacLeod is mentioned in this book as one.
Many other names are mentioned and I think every Cree will be able to point to at least one relative talked about.
This book also talks about the influences of the HBC, the independent fur traders, the missionaries of both the Catholic and Anglican Churches, the military, the RCMP and the Indian Agents.
In short just about anybody who would have had contact with the Cree. It is a book that will proudly rest on my library shelf both as an outstanding piece of literature and as a resource/reference book. After reading this book I immediately phone McGill to request a copy to give away. This is how important I think this book is.
So if you would like a copy drop me a line me on either what types of books you read (native, sci-fi, mystery, spy, bio’s, romance, nonfiction, etc.) or suggestions for books to be reviewed. Send it attn: Dog’s Ear by fax to: 514-278-9914, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: the Nation Attn; Dog’s Ear 5505 St. Laurent Suite 3018 Montreal, Quebec H2T 1S6 Blue Gold by Maude Barlow & Tony Clarke Stoddard Press 2002 Good Lord, this book is so scary it makes Stephen King seem like Mr.
Dress-up on valium. The scariest part about it is that it all true and it concerns the coming water crisis and, yes, water wars in the near future.
Water or blue gold is 80 per cent of our bodies and it is deemed as a “necessity of life,” not “essential.”
What this difference in terminology means is that corporations can sell it at what the market will bear. We all see what that is these days. A litre of water costs more than a litre of gas.
Corporations are drooling at the profit potential as our planet’s clean drinkable water supply diminishes.
One of the reasons for this is that the supply of drinkable water is drying up or becoming too polluted to drink. The horror stories in this book will make you think and wonder how the hell we, as a species, could all be so stupid and shortsighted. It talks about the proof that northern Africa used to be a paradise of flora and fauna until the agricultural peoples came in and didn’t really look at what they were doing. The result is the Sahara desert. It seems we are now doing this all over the planet and it is just a matter of time for us and the planet. We can expect wars over water, the book tells us. And, just to make you feel safe, Canada holds 20 per cent of the world’s drinkable water supply. Only half of that water is renewable.
The example they use in the book is one that David Suzuki came up with. You have a pond and on the first day you have one lily pad on it. The second day you have two and the third you have four and so on until by day 60 the pond is covered with lily pads. When it is covered it will begin to die as no sun can get through to help algae and other plants oxegenate the water. The fish die and eventually so does the entire pond ecosystem.
You will never notice the problem because since the lily pads double each time by day 59 only half of the pond will be covered with lily pads.
The book tells us as far as water is concerned we are at day 59. Read and educate yourself on one of mankind’s greatest challenges in the next fifty years. The signs are already there for anyone to see.
For those of you interested in finding out more, check out Blue Planet Project on the internet.