Things’ll be great in ought-eight

It’s time once again for the Nation to consult our tea leaves to give you, our faithful and discerning readers, a scientifically sound set of predictions for the year ahead, some serious, some less so. And boy oh boy is 2008 shaping up to be an exciting year! Politics Federal elections in ... read more ››


The community of Maeushteuiatsh played host last week to an unprecedented gathering of Quebec’s Aboriginal nations and the provincial and federal governments, as well as a number of opposition politicians and leaders in education, the labour movement, and industry. A number of key themes were discussed: culture, education, economy, employment, ... read more ››

Mistissini woman sentenced for manslaughter

Linda Shecapio will be out of prison in four years or less. The Mistissini resident was sentenced to eight years in prison October 23 for the killing of a teenager from Chisasibi in 2004. But because time served while awaiting trial is treated as double, the two years Shecapio has already ... read more ››

Conservatives urged to honour Kelowna

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin has not given up on the Kelowna Accord. Bolstered by strong support from the Bloc Québécois and Jack Layton’s NDP, Martin is hoping to compel the Conservative government to revisit the $5.1 billion agreement, signed to provide much-needed aid to Aboriginals for infrastructure, health and ... read more ››

Inuit win rights to offshore islands

The Inuit of Northern Quebec have signed a deal with the Canadian government that will see them take ownership of 80 per cent of all islands off the north coast of Quebec. The 15 Nunavik communities ratified the deal, called the Northern Quebec Inuit Land Claims Agreement, or NILCA. Support for ... read more ››

Winter Road on the James Bay West Coast

The Services Company is working with DeBeers to upgrade the Winter Road to meet the requirements of the communities and DeBeers. This will make travel on the road much safer for all users. These upgrades are important because the road continues to be used heavily by community members to visit ... read more ››

Women’s History Month Part 2 – profiles by Amy German

Eva Ottawa is first female Grand Chief of the Nitashkinan by Marie_Claude Simard Surrounded by the fall splendour of the Nitashkinan (“our nation” in the Atikamekw language) October 7, wearing a sky blue dress, Eva Ottawa became Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation and president of the Atikamekw Nation Council. Elected September ... read more ››

Native women to have more rights after divorce

Aboriginal women will have more rights to property if a marriage fails, Indian affairs Minister Jim Prentice proposed late last month. Prentice is looking to the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women’s Association of Canada for guidance on legislation he hopes will level the playing field for women in ... read more ››

Investigator condemns prison conditions for Aboriginals

The federal prison system has been discriminating against Aboriginals, according to the Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator, and something must be done about it. In his report released October 16, Canada’s Correctional Investigator, Howard Sapers, found that the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) routinely classifies First Nations, Métis and Inuit ... read more ››

Grand Council urges UN to ratify declaration

The Grand Council of the Crees and other Native groups are pushing to ratify the United Nations declaration on Indigenous Peoples internationally by the end of the year. Grand Council Executive Director Bill Namagoose said that the full support of UN members, including Canada, would bolster the declaration. Anything less would ... read more ››

An Inside Job – Investigation reveals theft of almost $300K from Waskaganish band

An accounting firm’s forensic examination of the Waskaganish band council’s finances has uncovered a theft of almost $300,000. The investigation found the money was taken either by “persons unknown or by Ms. [Shirley] Cheezo herself” from rental payments intended for the Waskaganish housing department that Cheezo once ran. Cheezo, the former ... read more ››

Edith Cloutier to head UQAT board

Edith Cloutier, the Director at the Native Friendship Centre in Val d’Or, can add another title to her name: President. Cloutier, who has a degree in accounting from the Université de Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, was named president of the UQAT Board of Administration on September 27. She has worked tirelessly in promoting ... read more ››

Rangers are Forces’ eyes and ears in Eeyou Istchee

On September 27 the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, Major Guy Lang, met with Cree Grand Chief Matthew Mukash in the Grand Council’s Montreal office. During their meeting Mukash spoke of his support for both the Canadian Ranger program and the youth wing of the program the ... read more ››

BUYER BEWARE! Myths and Truths about herbal and other alternative remedies – Health advice from the Cree Health Board

Health concerns us all in the Cree Nation, especially when you consider the diabetes epidemic in some communities. Other health issues affect people but it is difficult at times to understand the many diseases, causes, solutions or choices. This column is designed to assist but it will require your input ... read more ››

Waswanipi bank thieves sentenced

For a while at least, crime paid well for Emily Happyjack-Gull and Josephine Happyjack-Gull. But the two convicted bank thieves will have a stretch of time in prison to consider whether it was all worth it. They were sentenced August 22 in Waswanipi court to eight months in jail. The two women, ... read more ››

Innu Chief re-elected

Controversial Innu leader Raphael Picard was re-elected to a third consecutive term as chief of the Innu Council of Pessamit (Betsiamites). The election, held August 18, pitted Picard against rival Rene Simon, a man Picard defeated twice before. Picard garnered 885 of 1,505 ballots cast while former chief Simon received 620 votes. ... read more ››

Caledonia blockade erected – again

Native protestors at Caledonia, Ontario, have once again erected a blockade to protest against stalled talks in the land dispute between a developer and Six Nations residents. An Ontario judge ruled August 8 that all negotiations to end the land claims dispute should halt until law is restored. Protesters and Caledonia residents ... read more ››

Mistissini police nab alleged pot dealers

Two Mistissini residents have been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking. “We executed a search warrant on July 15 at 6:50 am,” said Mistissini Police Interim Director Bradley Mianscum. “The target was a 29-year-old male.” Mathew Ottereyes was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. He appeared in court via telephone July 17 ... read more ››

Karate coming to Eeyou Istchee

For the first time in history, a traditional Karate competition will be coming to Eeyou Istchee, but don’t worry; you don’t have to be an expert to participate. “It will be mainly for the white and yellow belts in Wemindji and the other Cree communities,” said Chanh Chau Tran, President of ... read more ››

Heavy Metal wins award in Norway

Rezolution pictures’ documentary Heavy Metal: A Mining Disaster in Northern Quebec won a public voting prize at Riddu Riddu, a Sami film festival held in northern Norway. The Sami are a nation of indigenous reindeer herders in the northern Scandaniavian countries and this was the 15th year of their festival. The ... read more ››

Mukash out of hospital

“I’m back in the swing of things, I’m slowly going back to work,” Cree Grand Chief Matthew Mukash said after a recent two-week stay in a Montreal hospital. His health is now fine, he claimed, despite the extended hospital stay for internal bleeding due to an ulcer. “I know that people ... read more ››

Fontaine reelected as AFN Chief

To no one’s surprise, incumbent National Chief Phil Fontaine has been reelected to lead the Assembly of First Nations in an election on July 12. Fontaine defeated B.C.’s Bill Wilson by a 373 to 117 vote, capturing 76 per cent of the 490 votes cast for another three-year term. During the ... read more ››

Air Creebec wins medi-vac contract

The wait is over for those who have longed for the day when Air Creebec would be able to do simple, non-urgent hospital transport from Eeyou Istchee to Montreal. On June 7, Air Creebec signed a medical shuttle contract with the provincial government. The two-year contract effectively breaks the stranglehold rival ... read more ››

Harper gov’t says no to self determination

Canada’s Conservative government says it will vote against adopting a treaty on the rights of Aboriginals worldwide at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. According to a CBC news story, Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice was firm on the Tories’ stance. “It contains provisions that are inconsistent with ... read more ››

Former 0-J Band Councilor sentenced for sexual assault

Former Oujé-Bougoumou band councilor Lance Cooper was given a conditional sentence of house arrest for one year and 24 months probation after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year old boy in the victim’s own home. The sentence, handed down in O-J June 12, means Cooper will be under house arrest ... read more ››

JBCCS To Get New Digs

In what may be their shortest special general meetings ever, a loan for a new building for the James Bay Cree Communications Society was approved. The half-hour meeting saw the resolution passed with no difficulties. “It’s something that we’ve been working towards for years so it’s no surprise,” said Luke MacLeod, ... read more ››