ARTICLES BY Neil Diamond

Old Man River: Soon the powerful Rupert River will be silent with only the stories of its glorious past to give it a voice

A year ago my brother and I made a pact to travel down the river our father and grandfathers worked for many summers. They paddled up and down the Rupert in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company several times a summer. My father George Diamond started when he was ... read more ››

Fitness Challenge 2008: When the tough get going: The Nemaska Fitness Challenge attracted a good crowd, but a challenge goes out to other communities to participate.

Nemaska. The height of summer. Johnny Cash’s “Jackson” is blaring through the speakers. Three days and many miles of swimming, biking, portaging, canoeing and running lie ahead in this community’s annual Fitness Challenge. The 13th annual competition brings together some old faces from races past: John Gunner, Stanley Neeposh, Lena Petawabano, ... read more ››

A night to remember: The Nation picks up more awards at the QCNA

Almost every spring for the past 14 years, come rain or shine, the Nation has attended the Quebec Community Newspapers Association’s (QCNA) annual awards dinner. A quick count reveals over 60 awards nailed to our newsroom walls, including citations for outstanding writing, photography, sales performance under fire, and selfless public ... read more ››

The Iron Cree – Fitness challenge gets the adrenaline flowing

Summer. Nemaska. Morning. The 14th annual Nemaska Fitness Challenge is off to a late start. It’s probably not the first time in the 14 years so no one seems concerned. I advise, rudely, to no one in particular that a starting time be set and if any competitor isn’t ready ... read more ››

Moose TV

A crisis was threatening to erupt on the forested set of Moose TV just as executive producer Ernest Webb drove in early one morning. Lead actress Jennifer Podemski was in her trailer suffering from a mysterious ailment that had coloured her skin a disturbing shade of red. Someone wondered aloud ... read more ››

The passing charade

I don’t usually venture into Montreal’s east end because I’ve never in my 15 years as a resident felt comfortable there. Maybe it’s because of my steadfast refusal to speak French or my recurring fear of being surrounded, isolated and severely beaten by skinheads, bikers, or the typical Quebecois redneck. You’ve ... read more ››

The silence of the wolves

I don’t like this. I don’t like it one bit. Danger is afoot. Someone’s up to something. It’s been too quiet in Cree country ever since Matthew Mukash kicked Ted Moses out of office. I hate to say it but I kind of miss old Moses. I miss the controversies ... read more ››

Smears, Fears and Tears

If you believe the words of doom and gloom that were bandied about days before the election for Grand Chief, the Cree Nation will be in ruins and rubble by this time next year. One of the items on former – yes, that’s right, former -Grand Chief Ted Moses’ website warns ... read more ››

Blow By Blow

It seems I was way off in my election predictions two issues back. Apologies all around to those who placed bets based on said prognostications. And my most heartfelt sorries to Dr. Matthew Coon Come for referring to him as a Bible University drop Out. It appears he did finally ... read more ››

So It Begins…

The opening salvos have been fired at Double Dr. “Teddy Moses’ lofty pedestal. Kenny Blacksmith, Deputy Grand Chief Paul Gull and his predecessor Matthew Mukash have all announced their intentions to kick some Moses ass this coming fall when the office of Grand Chief of the Cree Nation goes up ... read more ››

Dammed If You Do, Dammed If You Don’t

I know a bit of what it’s like to be chief. I feel their pain. I first realized this while trying to enjoy a night of cordials at the Cabarrete night club in glamorous Chibougamau several weeks back. There I was, settling in with a cold drink, getting ready for the ... read more ››

When the Levee Breaks

My sympathies go out to our friends and colleagues at Hydro Quebec regarding the recent beatings they’ve endured in the Quebec media. It all started when an ungrateful Radio-Canada TV crew broke through HQ’s wall of security at one of their installations, embarrassing President Andre (Monsieur Caille to his Cree friends) ... read more ››

Of Knights, Dragons and Their Slayers

Do you want to make enemies real fast? Are you so arrogant as to think you’re important enough to have enemies? If so, do what many others before you have done: join the hordes of professional good spellers who call themselves journalists. Or take an even quicker route – run ... read more ››

The Last Line

I was already at work, in search of material, a subject, some serious insider info and in need of a cool, cheap drink when I bumped into a Cree politician at a Native bar late at night in downtown Montreal. It’s the kind of bar where the two-piece band will ... read more ››

Hanging a Few Chads in Eeyouistan

The recent re-election of George W. Bush in the Divided States of Amerika (DSA) reminded me that we, the divided Cree Nation, also have an election for Grand Chief coming up very, very soon. It might not be for the most powerful office in the world but I hear there ... read more ››

All Smiles in the ‘Skag

What a difference a decade can bring. That’s how long it’s been since the Grand Council/CRA Annual General Assembly was last held in Waskaganish. That was also the year The Nation first covered the event for its inaugural issue. According to the story that appeared in the magazine, Grand Chief Matthew ... read more ››

Interesting times and all that

Ever since the 1995 Quebec Referendum I’ve been very careful about how I fill out my ballot. I’ve marked my X with extreme precision, staying inside the box and probably paying more attention to that than who or what I was voting for. Luckily, the last presidential election in the ... read more ››

Elvis Has Crossed The River

Every July for the past ten years, the Cree side of Great Whale has transformed itself into a ghost town. Nearly everyone in town hops on their massive four wheeled scooters packed with everything but their washers and dryers, drive onto a Hudson’s Bay Company freighter, cross the mighty Great ... read more ››

QCNA AwARDS – The Inside Scoop

The Eastern Door of Kahnawake won three first place awards at the Quebec Community Newspapers Association’s annual awards night in Magog, Quebec this past week. They won for Best Photo Essay, Best Page Layout and Best Community Newspaper promotion. They also picked up 2nd and 3rd place awards in four other ... read more ››

Not the Nation

There are now three “newspapers” serving the Cree nation. The Grand Council of the Crees have launched a publication they can call their own. Eeyou Eenou Nation was released at the Council/Board meeting in Montreal on Decber 20th. The entire issue is devoted to the Agreement in Principle. Their first issue has ... read more ››

Chisasibi Christmas Miracle

George Bearskin thought he had a bit of good luck when he spotted a caribou crossing the road Dec. 3. He was driving a grader on a lonely stretch of road at kilometre 342 near LG-4 and pulled over to the side. “I saw the caribou in the treeline and ... read more ››

Rupert River Protest

It was inevitable that there would be a demonstration to protest the planned diversion of the Rupert River. Initial negative reaction to the signing of the October 23 Agreement in principle (AIP) centered on the potential diversion of the river. The protest started late Sunday afternoon by the Rupert River ... read more ››

Election in Nemaska?

On Friday December 14, Nemaska residents filed a petition to hold a special band meeting to decide on whether to call an election for chief. The is in reaction to Chief George Wapachee’s stand on the Agreement in Principle. Ten signatures are needed to call for a special band meeting. ... read more ››

A Very Fishy Story

We are going fishing and don’t even have hooks, reels, rods, tackle boxes, lures, leaders, rain coats, rain pants, boots, experience and most importantly, a boat. But we are still determined to wine, dine and entertain our friends with a giant lake trout upon our return. We shared an early cab ... read more ››

Fear and Loathing in America

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, Mohawk ironworkers Bart Goodleaf and Steve Bonspiel were working atop a building on 166th Street in Manhattan when they saw one of the World Trade Center towers burning in the distance. When they heard a boom they thought that the building had blown up. ... read more ››

It’s in the Hole

Golf was born on the windswept highlands and fields of Scotland long, long before today’s pristine fairways, finely trimmed greens, titanium clubs, shaded golf carts and Tiger Woods. The Scots imported many things to the Cree in James Bay when they first arrived with the Company: fiddling, brandy, watchia, syphillis, ... read more ››