One must wonder at times if the viligance of our leaders is sometimes relaxed in allowing the unthinkable to happen. Just because we can’t imagine it happening.
What do I mean?
I mean that having a Hydro-Quebec representive on many of the boards of Cree organizations, such as the Eeyou, Opimiscow or Sakami Eeyou boards, is unthinkable.
When Hydro-Quebec compensates a municipality or farmers co-op are they on this non-native organization board. In one word NO!
This leads me to think that there is the possibility that we, as Crees, have exchanged being wards of the department of Indian Affairs to being wards of Hydro-Quebec. It is unreal that we allowed HQ to sit in and influence Cree decisions, making sure we spend the money “right.” This is the reasoning HQ used to secure a position for itself on these boards.
It recalls the days when the attitude was that the Great White Father must make sure his incompetent red children were taken care of. It was my understanding that there would be no paternalism by the governments or the utility. Have our leaders allowed that hard-earned right to be negotiated away?
By the Great Spirit, what unbelievable arrogance. What an intelligence-gathering move.
Just think of it: the GCCQ goes to the Eeyou board to get some money for a new court case. HQ is forewarned; the GCCQ needs money. HQ knows and can take advantage of that fact. On three boards they get a very good idea of our strengths, and more importantly, our weaknesses as a people.
They get an idea of how much money the communities are asking for each year and their needs. In short, they know more about the inner workings of the Crees than most Crees do.
This gives Hydro-Quebec an in to the innermost circles of power within the Cree economic and power structure. Not even Indian Affairs had this much.
It makes me think that the urban/rural myths (rumours) of some HQ employees drunkenly bragging at a party that they know everything that goes on in the Cree Nation may not be such a difficult myth to swallow.
After all, someone gave the fox the keys to the henhouse. I would like to know who and why. I’ll even give you this editorial space to explain why having HQ on these boards is right and true to the Cree Nation as a whole.