ARTICLES BY Amy German

Sexual Revolution: The CBHSSJB’s Chi kayeh program is geared at teaching healthy sexuality to high school students

Though it may not be apparent to them, high-school students within the Cree School Board are a few steps ahead of the rest of the province when it comes to getting comprehensive healthy sexuality education through the Chi kayeh program. Developed specifically to address the needs and cultural values of the ... read more ››

Monitoring sugar levels: As the number of Cree suffering from diabetes increases, so does the understanding of the disease

Did you know that there were 1,583 Cree living with diabetes as of July 1, 2007? Or that 100 Cree were diagnosed with diabetes over the past 12 months? That on average, one Cree is diagnosed with diabetes every 3.5 days or that 1 in 5 Cree adults has diabetes? Though ... read more ››

Vying to be the “biggest loser” in Chisasibi: Inspired by the reality show, Chisasibi’s recreation department is hosting its own weight-loss challenge

With diabetes on the rise in the Cree communities along with a whole host of other health complications relating to obesity, Chisasibi’s recreation technician Tommy Sam found inspiration from reality TV to help remedy the problem. For many seasons now, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” has chronicled the extreme weight loss of ... read more ››

No Resolution: Barriere Lake Algonquins still not fazed by SQ attack

Four arrests and one hospitalization later, the people of Barriere Lake still cannot believe the brutality they faced at the hands of the Surete du Quebec when their barricade on Highway 117 was violently dismantled October 6. “We are still going to be making noise,” said Michael Thusky, a Barriere Lake ... read more ››

Asking for government respect: Riot police used brute force to dismantle an Algonquin roadblock at Barriere Lake despite the presence of children and Elders

Feeling as though they had no other recourse, at around 6am on October 6, community members from the Barriere Lake reserve blockaded Highway 117 in a last-ditch effort to get their message heard to implement an already-signed trilateral agreement. The agreement, a 1991 deal between the federal and provincial governments and ... read more ››

Developing economic development: Furthering the advancement of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers converged on Montreal for its annual conference

Since 1990, Canada’s Aboriginal economic developers have been meeting almost annually to swap strategies on how best to develop economic growth in their communities, support and advise their communities and organizations. Eighteen years later, Quebec had the opportunity once again to play host province for the 15th annual conference and related ... read more ››

Haunted Hallowe’en Happiness: What to be, what to dress your kids up as, what to trick out your home with and how to generally have a good time with Halloween (if you can’t figure it out for yourself)

While there are some folks out there who just live for Halloween and all its shrieking bells and twisted whistles, not everyone is Jack the Pumpkin King or Michael Myers at heart… thank god! (Imagine what that would look like?) If you haven’t managed to plan your Halloween fun yet, then ... read more ››

The George River is saved: Quebec turns another 1.07 per cent of its land into an environmentally protected area bringing the provincial total to 7.07 per cent

Forestry, mining and hydroelectric developments will be now prohibited in a new 9,200-km2 protected zone between the George River Valley and the Monts Pyramides mountains. Monts Pyramides itself will become a park. The announcement was made by Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Environment Minister Line Beauchamp in a press conference on ... read more ››

Lighting the way for those not here: While the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada rises, 40 communities across the country remember their spirits

Though the main event occurred earlier during the day in Ottawa, as night fell on October 4, thousands of candles were lit across the country at various Sisters in Spirit vigils to remember the lost souls of Canada’s missing and/or murdered women. Sisters in Spirit, a division of the Native ... read more ››

Party Roundup! As the federal election draws closer, party promises become juicier as new promises abound in an attempt to win over voters

As October 14 draws nearer, the race for votes grows tighter with every political party having put its best foot forward with fully unveiled campaign platforms. With overlap on issues between the parties and endless campaign promises that could be too good to be true, when it comes to selecting ... read more ››

More moving woes: As the October 17 deadline to move to Mistissini looms, Cree Health Board workers continue to file grievances with their union

While it’s hard to find an employee at the Public Health Department of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay who actually disagrees with the board’s move in theory, very few of them have anything positive to say about how the board went about the move. “Right ... read more ››

Islands and Youth: Offshore islands and the Cree School Board problems were the hot topics: at the Council Board meetings as Cree leadership congregated in downtown Montreal last month

Both youth and land and their respective futures were on the table for discussion at Council Board meetings where local chiefs, Cree governance, members of various boards and other concerned individuals came together September 23 and 24 at Montreal’s Delta Hotel to contemplate what to do. September 23 was devoted entirely ... read more ››

Where’s the money?: Though INAC ordered the rebuilding of flood-damaged Kashechewan, the ministry is now withholding the remaining $2.5 million owed to the Mushkegowuk Council

After a 2005 flood in Kashechewan resulted in a complete evacuation of the reserve and severe damages to many of the residences, amidst public pressure, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada began to roll out the bucks to rebuild 60 homes. As Kashechewan itself was unable to administer the large-scale project with ... read more ››

Blade Story: Though the crooked knife is as common to Crees as geese and snow, the knife’s history extends back to the Stone Age

The crooked knife, also known as the drawknife or muuhkutaakan in Cree, was revolutionized by the European introduction of iron. However, prior to that its origins reach as far back as the Stone Age. According to author Russell Jalbert, who – along with his son Ned – wrote Mocotaugan: The Story ... read more ››

Move over Indian Act: Marking the first-year anniversary of the United Nations adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, hundreds took to the Montreal streets to make their voices heard

On Saturday, September 13, people came from all over Quebec, Ontario, Hawaii, Ecuador, Chile and the States to walk alongside Montrealers as hundreds took to the streets in protest of the Canadian government’s refusal to adopt the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. At 2pm the crowds descended on ... read more ››

Moving on up!: As the Public Health Department of the Cree Health Board prepares to move their Montreal offices to Mistissini, a dream is realized but at the cost of many of the board’s employees

According to the Health Board’s Chairperson, Dianne Reid, when the board repatriated the public health department from the Montreal General Hospital, it did so with the vision in mind that the board itself would one day be a facility run from one of the communities. Along the way the decision to ... read more ››

The Prongs of Fighting Oppression: Robert Lovelace believes First Nations need to “look beyond the blockades” and work on strengthening quality of life for their people

Having served 103 days in jail for defying a court order for staging protests at a potential uranium mining site near Sharbot Lake, Ontario, college professor and retired Ardoch Algonquin Chief Robert Lovelace has no regrets about serving time but questions what his sentence has done for freedom of speech. Last ... read more ››

The Worth of a Modern Treaty: Though the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement was the first of its kind as a modern Aboriginal land claim agreement, a new study questions its effectiveness

The Institute for Research on Public Policy has just released a study, “Aboriginal Quality of Life under a Modern Treaty: Lessons from the Experience of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee and the Inuit of Nunavik‚” suggesting that though life may have improved dramatically over the last 30 years for ... read more ››

Grubbing for Aboriginal votes: It’s election season again and with it comes an endless stream of promises for better lives for Aboriginals

It’s always funny how what seems most out of reach from the federal government prior to an election period can suddenly be dangled before the eyes of voters like a carrot on a string. Though most of the major parties have not unveiled their full election platforms as of yet, ... read more ››

Summer of Swarms: According to Police Commissioner Ashley Iserholf, youth violence isn’t just about the kids, it’s also about parents

Though the Cree Nation, like any other community, is not immune to violence, the nature of the violence, particularly that involving youth, has taken on a new face as youth-gang activity is on the rise and with it has come a rash of swarming attacks. In the dead of the summer, ... read more ››

Canada’s Lost Girls: Though new information is slowly becoming available on the domestic sex trafficking of aboriginal girls, the world is without an appetite for it

While it has become increasingly known across Canada that there are over 500 missing and/or murdered Aboriginal women who are still unaccounted for, when it comes to Aboriginal girls dropping off the map at the hands of traffickers, the issue is yet to make a headline, much less receive a ... read more ››

A Failing Grade: The results of the Cree School Board’s Educational Review are finally in and, according to them, things are not looking great

Following the Mianscum report that came out in the late 1990s, the Cree School Board decided that it was time once again to look into the kind of education that was being delivered to its people. In that the Mianscum report detailed how what the CSB was offering to students was ... read more ››

Just what the doctor ordered: Chibougamau’s Cegep de St-Felicien offers a solution for all those looking for a nursing program adapted to the needs of the Cree Nation

This past August, 30 new students from the Cree communities embarked on a four-year-long journey to become Chibougamau’s Cegep de St-Felicien first class of anglophone nurses in a program that is specifically geared towards graduating Cree students. “One of the advantages is that because we are so close to the communities, ... read more ››

Phelps of the North: Swimmer Gabriel Rabbitskin returns home with five medals he won at the Indigenous Games

Returning to Quebec with five new medals from the 2008 North American Indigenous Games in Cowichan, B.C., swimmer Gabriel Rabbitskin is proud of his wins for Mistissini and hopes there are many more to come. Despite winning four gold medals at this year’s NAIG, Rabbitskin’s silver win was the one he ... read more ››

“This never should have happened!”: In the wake of the murder of a Whapmagoostui woman and her two children, questions are being asked whether justice services for victims of conjugal violence are sufficient in the North

On the morning of August 22, Whapmagoostui police were called to 30 Whapmac Street to investigate the possibility of a domestic-violence dispute. After a forced entry into the home, police discovered a woman and child who were not breathing, a severely injured second child and a man who had also ... read more ››

And the Beat Goes On…: Hot off of the heels of their second annual Native Women’s Summit, NWAC’s Beverly Jacobs rehashes what went down but more so what still needs to happen

Violence against Canada’s Indigenous women, the overrepresentation of Aboriginal women in the judicial system, Kelowna, the trafficking and prostitution of Aboriginal girls and the general population’s belligerent indifference to all of it. These were just a handful of topics that were discussed when 150 First Nations women congregated in Yellowknife ... read more ››