ARTICLES BY Ernest Webb

The Cree Arts Festival

Bertie Wapachee proudly surveyed the packed arena in Chisasibi at the start of the 2nd Annual Cree Arts Festival. Held from August 21-23, the festival is a showcase for singers and musicians from the Cree world. This year’s theme was to honour the residential school survivors. Wapachee said festival organizers knew ... read more ››

The spirit of the Island

Far out man! Those words were spoken by Khajeesit, a contestant in the 1970s costume contest at Mamoweedow Minshtuksh on Fort George Island. Those two words could perfectly describe the whole gathering. Mamoweedow Minshtuksh means “Let’s get together on the island” in Cree. It took place July 23-28, and for the ... read more ››

Riddu Riddu and the midnight sun

I knew we were in Norway when I saw the reindeer skins for sale at the Tromsø Airport gift shop. Tromsø is in the northern part of Norway and it was at the last leg of our journey. We just needed to drive two hours to our final destination in Kåfjord. ... read more ››

Book Review: Three Day Road

Three Day Road Joseph Boyden Penguin books ISBN 0670063622 What if the qualities of a good hunter were twisted so much that it made the man turn windigo? That is what happens in Joseph Boyden’s novel Three Day Road. A Windigo, or in our case, Ajaan, is someone who has a taste for human flesh. Once ... read more ››

Mukash and Iserhoff Sworn in

Everyone was milling about. The feast workers were busily setting the tables. Some young students came in with their teachers. The distinguished guests took to their designated seats and waited for the swearing in of the newly elected Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief. The banquet hall in Chisasibi’s community ... read more ››

A New Era

After a hard-won battle we now have Matthew Mukash as our new Grand Chief. Many things were said during the campaign. Many things were implied. Some were on the mark and some were way off. People were hurt. People were confused. The people finally made a choice. We now have ... read more ››

Telling Your Stories

I have to reply to the editorial and story about Rezolution Pictures from last issue. I want to thank Will for his kind words and his encouragement. I also want to say that I wasn’t expecting any of it. Neil Diamond and I were up in Mistissini shooting the latest ... read more ››

It’s a Prison – Charles Esau’s Time in Horden Hall

Charles Esau was a bewildered six-year-old boy standing in the auditorium. His parents had just taken him to Horden Hall in Moose Factory. It was 1962 and he was one among thousands who had gone through this bewildering welcome to a new world. Many in his group were expecting the parents ... read more ››

Home for the Holidays – Waskaganish Woman Battles Health Problems With Hope And Humour

She stayed so long in Montreal she joked she was losing her Cree. Elsie Georgekish Erless is being fitted for a prosthetic leg and hopes to be home by Christmas. Elsie who is 53, is staying at a rehabilitation centre for people who need artificial limbs. Her husband David comes in ... read more ››

Sun and Wind Powers Bush Pilot’s Operation

Dave Peace is taking what nature offers for free and turning it into electricity. Peace has a small solar and wind energy operation set up for his small air base. He is a bush pilot and has been working in the Cree territory for 30 years. The set up is in ... read more ››

Nuudmessanaan…”The Place Where We Fish”

Nuudmessanaan is a fishing spot upriver from Waskaganish. Rezolution Pictures International went to visit Johnny Weistche and his wife Clymie. We were there to film them fishing. They had been fishing since August and Johnny listed off almost all the other Cree communities he sent the fish to. Johnny would check ... read more ››

“Geas Keeld by ye Nateves”

Everybody loves a good goose story. How many times have you recounted the time when you shot the whole flock or made that amazing shot? Your story may not go down in the history books. But then you don’t have the store manager recording your results down in a log book. ... read more ››

Winter Journey

We met up with James Gunner and seven of his walkers on the Route due Nord heading towards Nemaska. It was April 4th and it was a nice warm day. We talked with James and he said that it was hard to walk without snow and that was why they ... read more ››

SNGA 2000

We all checked that we had the right credentials on us as we drove through the wet snow. Aaron, Neil, Will and I were on our way to the Olympic Stadium to check out the outdoors show dubbed Le Salon National du Grand Air held from the 15th to the ... read more ››

Montreal Super Snowcross

“Il est fou!” The lady behind us exclaimed. The crazy guy in question was Serge Audet. Serge was competing in the Montreal Super Snowcross which was held January 16 at the Molson Centre. Snow had been dumped into the rink area of the Centre. A snowmobile track had been laid ... read more ››

Moses and Mukash Voted in

Ted Moses once again steps in the familiar shoes of grand chief. Matthew Mukash Joins Moses as Deputy Grand Chief. The reports started filtering in from the communities as the polls closed. “So and so seems to be leading in such and such town.” Until the numbers came in, it was ... read more ››

25th Annual General Assembly

The ancient James Bay Cree tradition of passing an anti-Hydro Development resolution was broken at this year’s assembly in Whapmagoostui. Ironically, it was in this very same community that the resolution originated ten years earlier. The resolution, usually passed quickly and unanimously at every assembly, went through the test this time. ... read more ››

How quickly they forget

I would sure hate to be Lucien Bouchard right about now, especially if it was time for a check-up. “Please cough for me, Mr. Bouchard…” Not a good position to be in. Even in the best of times being a nurse is not an easy job to go into. The working ... read more ››

A BOY AND HIS FISHING CAN

I always admired the bigger and more daring kids. They were the ones perched atop the old pilings of the docks. A pop can in hand with a length of fishing line tied and wrapped around it. At the end of the line was a simple hook. Maybe there was ... read more ››

WHEN DOGS WERE STILL USED

On one of my hunting trips during the goose break, I was reminded of one of my earliest memories of my grandfather, George Bobbish. This spring we were on the river going by Goat Island on the north side. As we made our way downriver, I saw the area where ... read more ››

Lost forever

Interview with Josie Sam Jr. by ernest webb My family and I were guests in Josie Sam Jr.’s hunting area during goose break. On one of our trips on the reservoir Josie pointed out the spot where they had camped. Instead of pointing off in the distance, Josie pointed down. We ... read more ››

Forest fire threatens Chisasibi

As a hot south wind blew, vehicles lined the highway leading into Chisasibi. People lined the road to watch a forest fire threatening to approach Chisasibi. The fire had jumped a fire break that was cut in previous years during another dry summer. Chisasibi residents were on standby Sunday, May 16, ... read more ››

IN MEMORY Joseph Rupert 1915-1999

I heard the news that one of my grandfathers had passed on. Joseph Rupert was born near Waashtikan north of Fort George. His wife Mary died in 1975, they had two children and adopted one and have 14 grandchildren. Joseph, like a patient grandfather, always fulfilled the demands that I made ... read more ››

Welcome to Volume 6, #1

Welcome to Volume 6, #I. This is the beginning of our 6th year of publishing The Nation Magazine. Our first one was Volume I #I. Does it feel like five years has passed? It is hard to believe that it has. It feels like yesterday. I remember vividly our first ... read more ››

Laverne Gervais Conto is Taking responsibility…

I first met Laverne Gervais Contois at the Aboriginal Women of Montreal’s open house. As the president of the local chapter of the Quebec Native Women’s Association and a relapse prevention worker for Waseskun House, I knew I wanted to interview her when I met her. It was just a ... read more ››

Alien Technology?

It’s all about toys. Right? Right. Now that we have cleared that up, there were a heck of a lot of toys to choose from at the Super Salon de la Motoneige 1998 at Montreal’s Claude Robillard Centre. The star of the show (besides Yamaha Pimpichuu) was the Falcon produced by ... read more ››