ARTICLES BY Will Nicholls

The poverty of Conservative policy

Canada is quick to speak out against human rights violations abroad, and to brag about its foreign aid to combat poverty around the world. It would be nice if the government would do the same at home. Given the desperate living conditions of most First Nations across the country it ... read more ››

Days of wine and whiskey

Day One It was proud, it was loud and what a crowd at this year’s La Grande Dégustation de Montréal held November 8-9 at Place Bonaventure. This annual exhibition is a spiritual event for anyone looking for a new flavour to impress friends and family over the holidays. This is an ... read more ››

Christmas memories

Memories of Christmas past often return to me as the holidays approach. One of my earliest was in Moose Factory. We lived in a small red trailer on the island in those days with dad working at the former CFB Moosonee. Santa used to come to every home to hand ... read more ››

Two decades of laughter, tears, toil and news

The noted author and journalist Michael Connelly once said, “A newspaper is the centre of a community, it’s one of the tent poles of the community, and that’s not going to be replaced by Web sites and blogs.” A Cree teepee has many poles and the Nation is proud to have ... read more ››

Democracy or hypocrisy?

As I write, the Canadian Senate is in the middle of a debate over a motion to suspend three of its members without pay. They are Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, all Harper appointees who have since been forced out of the Conservative caucus after embarrassing revelations about ... read more ››

Facebook and you

The Cree world is increasingly one that exists online, especially in social media. It’s a great way to connect families and communities but its drawbacks are growing. The impersonal nature of sites like Facebook is leading to incidents of character assassination and cyberbullying. Many people using this form of communication fail ... read more ››

International Embarrassment

The son of a soldier, I grew up as an army brat on several Canadian Forces bases. In my teens at CFB Petawawa, I knew many of the soldiers who went to Cyprus, where some 29,000 Canadians served between 1964 and 1993 as part of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping ... read more ››

Toronto the not so good

Toronto has a lot going for it. Canada’s largest city rightly considers itself the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada. Officially, the city is proud of its cultural diversity, but increasingly, that pride is being questioned by Aboriginal Peoples across Canada. One of the early warning signs was the way ... read more ››

Wemindji hosts Grand Council/CRA Annual General Assembly

For a complete list of this year’s resolutions, click here The face of Cree politics changes from year to year and this year’s Annual General Assembly emphasized this. A new wrinkle in that face featured live streaming of the AGA over the Internet. As in the past, the supreme political body ... read more ››

Leadership to be proud of

One must give credit where credit is due. Unexpectedly, this means the Quebec government under the current Parti Québécois administration. They have surprised and delighted me in their recent actions. Most recently, Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet, has notified Strateco that he plans to “refuse ... read more ››

Singularly collective

It’s taken me a while to address last month’s Supreme Court of Canada decision that limits individual rights to protest resource exploitation. It’s a tough one as it looked at not only the duty to consult with Aboriginal Peoples before making decisions affecting treaty rights or agreements, but how and ... read more ››

The Nation has a healthy harvest at awards gala

Once a year the Nation and its team of writers, editors, columnists, photographers, production staff, graphic and web designers, sales people and accountants are judged on the quality of their work. It is truly a team effort that makes the Nation possible. As in years past, this year has shown ... read more ››

Elijah Harper: A man to remember

It was a blow to hear of Elijah Harper’s death on May 18 at the age of 64. He will be remembered for his courage and his actions, above all for his role in opposing the Meech Lake Accord 23 years ago. That moment became a turning point in Canadian ... read more ››

The next step?

As a nation grows so does the need for more and more infrastructure, tools, policies and procedures that will enable it to develop in a healthy way. There is no doubt that the Cree Nation, as a whole, has grown over the years. Where we once had people stand in ... read more ››

A huge step forward for health care

Mistissini’s new Miyupimaatisiiun Centre is open for business     Crees take pride in seeing their communities grow and Mistissini is no exception. Seeing a needed addition to your community is a pleasure when it fulfils a basic necessity like health care. The local clinic had become too small to handle Mistissini’s population growth ... read more ››

Food for thought

It’s no surprise that Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, concluded that current food systems are deeply dysfunctional. He said the world is paying an exorbitant price for the failure to consider health impacts in designing food systems. In his “Report on the special ... read more ››


If you were tuned into the news networks March 25 you were subjected to wall-to-wall panda-mania. China, as you must know by now, rented Canada two pandas for five years (for $5 million, no less) and our mainstream media decided this was the top news story of the day. Canadians ... read more ››

Respect and recognition

It is that time of year when Quebec’s community newspapers look back and take stock of their efforts. Here in Quebec we send the stories to the Quebec Community Newspapers Association and they send them to judges from outside the province. As editor-in-chief I am proud of the 12 nominations and ... read more ››

Patrick Brazeau: The journey continues

Since the collapse of the pedestal Patrick Brazeau called home, little has been heard beyond the initial reactions. Perhaps the changing of the guard in Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC), which saw John Duncan replaced with Bernard Valcourt as minister, had some positive results for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. ... read more ››

Charlie’s love will live on

As a young person growing up in Mistissini I was unsure of my place in life. More often than not, children learn from those who are older than they are. Outsiders blithely refer to them as Elders but I knew something they didn’t. My mother taught about the “Great Ladies” ... read more ››

Uncle Tomahawk

  It’s unavoidable, if unpleasant, to address the case of Senator Patrick Brazeau. I have often questioned his credentials as a credible Native leader in the pages of The Nation. For instance, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), which Brazeau led before being appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen ... read more ››

Facts and messages

An recent Ipsos-Reid poll for Global Television and Postmedia News purported to show that two-thirds of Canadians believe First Nations are well treated by the federal government. They also believe First Nations receive too much funding from the feds, but still feel that Natives’ quality of life should be improved. ... read more ››

Monkey business

Chiefs from all across Canada attempt to gain access to Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa. They are repulsed and try to visit the Department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. Again the chiefs are denied entry and there is barely a blip on the radar of the mainstream media. A chief heads ... read more ››

’Tis the season

The holidays are full of promise and hope for many, but some lean to Ecclesiastes when they’re left feeling that nothing matters. It feels like it’s all the same because, “I have seen everything under the sun, and there is nothing new… nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes even has a ... read more ››

Financial transparency

Relations between First Nations and the federal government aren’t what they used to be. First Nations leaders across Canada are frustrated with not being consulted on legislation before Parliament. In this case, it’s Bill C-27: First Nations Financial Transparency Act and many leaders feel it’s heavy-handed and gives the wrong ... read more ››

Ethics once again

I have written about ethics throughout the years and it’s time to do so once again. It certainly isn’t new: this issue was a hot one way back in 1990 at that year’s Annual General Assembly. That’s when a resolution to establish a code of ethics to govern potential conflicts ... read more ››