In the first session of the 35st Legislature, Bill 1 was introduced called an “Act Respecting the Future of Quebec.” On October 30 the polls will open and Cree destiny may change. The referendum hits Quebec’s population yet again. Though the wording skirts around the subject, it is still the get-out-of-Canada question. Will they or won’t they and how often will they try again with no win? And what about the Native Peoples? Native rights and their territories are up in the air. The PQ have resource sharing, possibly taxation according to a Quebec official (see page 5) and of course self-government for Natives. The feds’ Minister of Indian Affairs offered Quebec Native Peoples and their territories the option to stay with whatever is left of Canada. Surely the relationship will go on as long as the grass is green, the skies are blue etc., etc…

Good dealing all around. I can feel the Native leadership licking their chops at the opportunities. Let’s be honest and open about this. There could be Fed deals, Quebec deals, all kinds of deals. Everyone’s promising something. Everyone’s shopping for the best deal. Of course both the feds and the PQists could play hardball because if the Agreement and other such treaties are null and void as the two other signing parties have died, as it would be, Natives could go for broke. A race to see which one could be the first sovereign Native nation admitted to the UN.

This could thwart Bill 1 ‘s claim that the heartbeat of this country is French. I can understand pride but there are significant numbers of other immigrants as well. I also understand Coon Come’s anger (see page 5.) What surprises me is that the Superior Court of Quebec decided that seperation is illegal under the Canadian Constitution and the PQ government hasn’t dealt with that yet Are we allowed to arrest them for attempting to bypass the Canadian Constitution? Isn’t that in the Great Canadian rulebook someplace? How about impeaching the Prime Minister? He’s allowing Quebec to have an illegal referendum. An accomplice after the fact or has he secretly declared martial law and suspended the Constitution? But no, of course the feds are on top of things. Federal minister Lucienne Robillard recently hinted that the feds may take that legality pathway but would prefer to win the referendum.

The Inuit plan to hold their own referendum on October 26 beating out Quebec by five whole days.

The GCCQ promised a Cree referendum before Quebec’s but may defer to the wishes of the special assembly happening in Chisasibi in the middle of October.

The Mohawks are refusing to even allow polling booths let alone the enumerators on their land.

So as the rabbit said, “What’s up Doc?” It is just that this is a critical time in history for Canada, Quebec and the Crees and I’m sure you, like me, are barraged with a constant flow of information and reasons to vote yes, no or even to not vote at all. In the midst of it all, I just want to remind you that the choice in the end is yours and no one elses. Unlike the Mohawks the Crees have no formal stand on the issue of “To vote or not to vote.” Follow your heart and mind on the referendum trail.

Because whether or not it is illegal, won’t win or will win means nothing without your participation in whatever form you want it to be. Don’t be swayed by anyone but yourself. To allow someone to make those decisions for you means that you give up control of your future and destiny. Don’t allow this to happen. Don’t sit at home.