Below is a chronological diary of Freddy’s attempts to right the wrongs he feels have been done:
May 1993—Freddy talks to his chief about R-21, Cree Construction and the need for compensation. Freddy is informed by Nemaska Chief George Wapachee that he is on Cree Construction’s board and will be sitting across the negotiating table from Freddy.
June 93—Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come is appointed by CreeCo to meet with the Jolly family. At this first meeting the Jolly family makes it clear they are determined to get compensation.
August 93—The Cree Trappers Association passes resolution #141/ 93 at its Annual General Assembly, which deals with development projects involving Cree entities (see page 12). It specifically mentions the Nemaska-Chibougamau Road project.
November 93—At the Grand Council/CRA Annual General Assembly in Waskaganish with the help of Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, Freddy attempts to get the CTA resolution endorsed by the Assembly. This fails even to be tabled and Freddy makes an emotional appeal breaking down in tears. The Chiefs gather around Freddy to comfort him, promising to help resolve the problem. Nothing happens. “I thought Mr Coon Come and all the Chiefs were supposed to protect us but they just wanted to get that $73 million,” says Freddy, a reference to the cost of the road. “They are blind, that’s what I said to my wife. They are blind, just thinking of that company Cree Construction, so that it could be so powerful. They don’t have time to think of R-21 trapline or the trappers.”
January 94—Freddy Jolly with little money hitchhikes to Val d’Or from Nemaska, and from there, takes a bus to Montreal during one of the coldest winters in years. To save money, he stays with some student friends. He and his lawyer meet and start negotiating with Steven Bearskin, the president of Cree Construction, and a Cree Construction lawyer. Cree Construction offers to relocate Freddy’s camps but refuses to pay for the damages to the trapline and family.
February 94—Steven Bearskin charters a plane and with Robbie Matthew, as an impartial observer, and with two Nemaska band councillors, Lawrence Jimikin and Matthew Wapachee, meet with the Jolly family on R-21. The family feels that inviting a respected elder such as Robbie Matthew would help bring some common sense to the meeting. But in spite of Robbie’s common sense, it doesn’t go well. Freddy is told the land doesn’t belong to him as it’s in the Category 3 area. Freddy counters that as far as the Jolly family is concerned it’s been Category 1 to them for the past few thousand years.
March 94—CreeCo tells Cree Construction to pull out of the negotiations on R-21 saying the dispute involves Cree rights and is not in Cree Construction’s mandate to resolve. Cree Construction says it will not pay for the damage done to the family and R-21 trapline.
May 94—One year later, three days before Freddy meets The Nation in Montreal, he takes his main camp down because of the dust and the noise from the road. “Until midnight or 1 a.m., transport trucks are passing through, and in the afternoons all you can see is the dust around my camp. Some places it’s just like fog.”