The Nation magazine has been around for 12 strong years. Next year we’ll be teenagers and already looking forward to when we’re considered mature young adults.

We’ve come a long way as the Cree Nation’s first (and only) pan-Eeyou Istchee news mag.

We have been called many things over the years but one thing remained constant – we accepted the good and the bad and never got too high or too low. We remained, or at least we’d like to think we have, humble.

As we were rummaging through the old issues, some of them caught our eye and brought back memories.

The first of which had then-Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come on the cover. It was a strong start as we utilized an exceptional Cree leader to announce the birth of the Nation.

Since then, our covers have seen Pope John Paul II (twice), Patrick Roy, various Cree leaders and… the wrong plane.

The story goes like this: Air Creebec was celebrating its 20th anniversary and we did a nice piece on them congratulating their persistence. It turned out, however, that the cover photo featured an aircraft in the distance that was owned by Air Inuit. Oops. Man, did we get an earful for that.

Other memorable covers included the September 21, 2001, issue. I had been working in New York City as an ironworker and sent the photos into the Nation to illustrate the death and destruction the people of New York were going through. How surprised I was to see myself on the cover a week later.

An interesting and very important story was featured on the cover of our February 13, 1998, issue.

Brian Webb announced he was homosexual to a stunned Cree Nation. I wasn’t here at the time but the courage it must have took to let everyone know he was gay is, to this day, one of the bravest things I’ve heard of as a journalist.

Another that comes to mind is our 10th anniversary issue. Ten years for a magazine that some said was doomed to fail from the beginning, was an exclamation point on what has been an amazing success story. We reached the 10-year mark with style and pizzazz and there was no denying our impact on every aspect of Cree life.

One of the more touching and sad stories I’ve had to tell the Cree Nation about was a little boy who brought a tear to everyone’s eye.

Khayden Otter-Rupert and his sad story of abuse at the hands of his stepfather touched many hearts and minds and the Cree Nation became a little less safe after that.

As we work towards another 12 years and more, we’d like to take this time to applaud the people who have made it all possible. We hear your voices and tell your stories to others and for entrusting us with them, we thank you.