ARTICLES BY Alex Roslin

Miigwech!

Nshtuuten. It’s time to move on. What can I say after seven years at The Nation? It’s been an explosion of good times and memories. The Nation family and the Cree family welcomed me with open hearts and a blanket of warmth and love. I got a front-row seat for ... read more ››

Hydro-Quebec Slashes Dam Inspections

Hydro-Quebec has slashed its dam inspection budget, cut the number of dam inspections and reduced staff in its dam inspection and maintenance division, according to utility documents. Union officials at Hydro-Quebec warn years of cutbacks have led to overwork and burnout among employees charged with the important task of keeping the ... read more ››

A Helping Hand in the Big City

If you’re a Native woman in Montreal and you’re having trouble coping with life in the big city, you’ve got a friend in Nakuset. Working out of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, Nakuset, SO, is probably the city’s first Native outreach worker. Her job is to help Native women who earn ... read more ››

Summit Diary – I Got Gas!

It was a beautiful day for a riot. There wasn’t a cloud in the baby-blue sky above Quebec City. It was a warm, sunny Friday afternoon and a strong south wind was blowing to keep us cool and send the tear gas back toward police lines. My buddy Lyle and I ... read more ››

Crees Might Intervene in Trade Brawl

The Grand Council of the Crees is considering intervening in the high-stakes Canada-U.S. trade war over softwood lumber. Crees are considering filing an application for intervenor status in support of the U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports. The coalition, which represents major U.S. timber companies, is accusing Canada of wiping out its ... read more ››

Inquiry Sought into Oka Spying Charges

A Mohawk grand chief is calling for an inquiry into a report that Canada targeted Mohawk communities with a spying operation during the Oka Crisis of 1990. The Nation reported in February that a secretive Canadian government intelligence agency spied on the Mohawks from an Oka-area hotel, according to a former ... read more ››

Housing Crisis Causes Health Emergency

In a quiet voice, Chisasibi Elder Marion Sam Cox gave dramatic testimony about the impacts of the Cree housing crisis before MPs in Ottawa last week. “I couldn’t go to work a lot of times because I had severe headaches and asthma attacks all the time,” Cox said in Cree through ... read more ››

Crees to go to Court over Skidoo Trails

Cree trappers in the Chapais-Chibougamau area are facing hundreds of dollars in fines if they use snowmobile trails that cut across their traplines. A Waswanipi trapper got a $500 fine recently while going to his trapline. If he doesn’t pay, he can lose his driver’s license and the fine could go ... read more ››

Looking for Answers in the Forest

Can forestry co-exist in harmony with the Cree hunting, trapping and fishing way of life? That’s the question they’re busy trying to answer at the Waswanipi Cree Model Forest. The project, created in 1997, is the only Aboriginal model forest in the Canadawide model forest program. It gets $500,000 in funds each ... read more ››

One Native-One Vote — The Debate Starts

A big debate is getting under way about the future of the Assembly of First Nations. The result may spark a revolution in Aboriginal government and even reshape Canada’s system of federalism. The debate is about how to elect the National Chief of the AFN. At present, he is elected by about ... read more ››

Mill Closing Prompts Financial Worries

Thirty Waswanipi residents are drawing Employment Insurance after the Nabakatuk sawmill temporarily shut its doors last month. The closing has renewed alarm in the community about the cost of keeping the four-year-old sawmill open. “(The employees) took it pretty well. They understand we had no choice but to close,” said Peter Gull, ... read more ››

Class Action Brewing on Rez Schools

A group of Crees in Waswanipi is hoping to spearhead the first class-action lawsuit in Quebec on Native residential schools. And they have the support of the Grand Council of the Crees, which is offering to coordinate any Cree residential-school suit. That would make it the first residential-school court action in Canada ... read more ››

British Ran Murder Squads in North Ireland

Britain is embroiled in a scandal over a top-secret army unit that directed murder squads in Northern Ireland in the 1980s. Strong evidence has emerged that British army officers directed and gave intelligence to Protestant gang leaders who killed Catholic civilians. Many of those killed had nothing to do with the underground ... read more ››

Oil Behind Plan Colombia

The Vietnam-like U.S. intervention in Colombia is all about oil, not drugs, reports the Resource Center of the Americas. The U.S. is committing $1.3 billion to “Plan Colombia,” assistance package to Colombia’s notoriously abusive military. The plan was supposedly to fight Colombia’s drug barons. Less-known is that Colombia’s petroleum production today rivals Kuwait’s ... read more ››

Arrest Warrant Out for Awasis Prez

For more than a year, Jennifer Russell has been president of the board of directors of Montreal’s Native daycare centre. She is also wanted by Toronto police. Russell, 32, has an outstanding bench warrant for her arrest after failing to appear in court to face an assault charge, according to Toronto police ... read more ››

Crees Outmanoeuvre Quebec in Europe

Romeo Saganash was in a happy mood after he got off the plane from Europe. “It went pretty well. We have a lot of support out there,” he said. “We know there is support in the European Parliament for our right to self-determination in the event of Quebec separation. “It was important to ... read more ››

Parents Turn School Around

Parents and kids in Whapmagoostui are feeling better about the community’s school. Last fall, they had complained about badly maintained and dangerous facilities, a lack of teachers and other problems. Parents took matters into their own hands, reviving a community-wide school committee and asking for intervention of the Cree School Board. A school ... read more ››

Nunavut Focuses on Education

The Nunavut government is doubling school spending and making education its top priority. Nunavut plans a territorial library, workforce training programs and new schools. More than a third of the $70 million set aside for infrastructure is planned for schools and educational facilities. That’s almost double last year’s budget.

Quebec Forestry Deal Trashed

Quebec’s proposed forestry agreement provoked frustration and defiance from Crees during community meetings this month. The meetings were held in five communities affected by forestry to discuss the province’s final offer to Crees, which was made just before the holidays. “The overall message Cree delegates heard is that lyiyuuschii is not for ... read more ››

Great Whale Dead in the Water Again

Like some monster in a bad horror movie, the Great Whale project has been killed for the third time. The Grand Council of the Crees issued a press release on Jan. 22 rejecting the latest proposal to revive the hard-to-kill hydro-electric project. This time. Crees were promised that they would eventually be ... read more ››

U.S. Senators Attack Canada’s Forestry Policy

Canada’s forestry policy came under heavy fire during U.S. Senate hearings last month. The criticisms came during confirmation hearings for the new U.S. trade representative. He will lead negotiations with Canada on the highly disputed export of Canadian lumber to the U.S. Almost two-thirds of Canadian lumber gets exported to the U.S., ... read more ››

Clinton Out, Peltier Still In

Leonard Peltier’s hopes for a presidential pardon were dashed when Bill Clinton freed more than 150 people from jail, but not him. The outgoing president waited until his last day in office to decide that Peltier wouldn’t be among those pardoned. Pardons went to a slew of jailed businesspeople, former politicians and ... read more ››

Health Board Issues Cold Medicine Warning

Crees are being advised to stay away from dozens of cold medicines that contain something called PPA – short for phenylpropanolamine. This PPA is used for stuffy noses and is present in many cough, cold, sinus and allergy medications. The warning comes from the Cree Health Board and Health Canada after a ... read more ››

Algonquin Faces Prison Over Logging Protest

An Algonquin man is going on trial in Val d’Or in March for blocking logging trucks in the La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve. He faces a possible prison term. Jacob Wawatie, of Barrière Lake, was charged with public mischief last August when police raided a checkpoint he had helped erect on a ... read more ››

Air Creebec May Have to Leave Dorval

Air Creebec passengers might be touching down at St. Hubert Airport one day soon instead of Dorval. Air Creebec’s hangar on the west side of the airport is slated for demolition as Dorval goes through a $180-million expansion. The structure is one of five large hangars used by Air Canada, Royal Airlines, ... read more ››

Canada Illegally Spied on Mohawks at Oka: Ex-spy

An ultra-secret Canadian spy agency broke the law by spying on barricaded Mohawks during the Oka Crisis of 1990, according to a former Canadian intelligence officer. The allegations come from Fred Stock, who worked for the secretive Communications Security Establishment between 1987 and 1991. The agency, known as The Farm to employees, ... read more ››