ARTICLES BY Sonny Orr

Scary bedtime stories

As the new millennium approached back in 1999, we still told scary stories to the kids, just to keep them in bed and hopefully not too scared to stay awake all night – but just enough to keep them quiet. Those bedtime stories were based on tales of old.Some came ... read more ››

Succeeding in a tough world…

I recently attended a conference centering on excellence in economics; learning from, teaching to and awarding smart people; winning big one small step at a time, that sort of stuff. All that, condensed into four short days – albeit they sure felt like four long, long days. What surfaced is ... read more ››

Post me, post me not…

Sometimes life’s aggravations seem to intensify at certain points in time, like when you try to buy a vehicle or big-ticket item at a store, dealership or even by mail, and then get rejected. What a bummer… Can’t buy that car, even though it could be a good deal and ... read more ››

Taking care of business…

Making money, making business, making something for money and even selling money – it’s called business. As I speak, some diehard stockbrokers are probably nearing the window sill in preparation to jump out in some of the world’s worst trading sprees ever, where even a large multinational-billion dollar money trader ... read more ››

Back to school daze

It’s time to head back to school after a summer of crazy lazy times for many students. It’s a time that some look forward to and for many other laggards, it’s time to wake up the sleeping mind and get back into the groove of school days. I remember back in ... read more ››

Assessing the Assessment: Though shortened by a day, the Grand Council’s annual General Assembly was able to cover all the issues faced by the Cree Nation.

On the day the delegates were due to arrive from the south to attend the Grand Council of Eeyou Istchee, low-laying clouds blanketed the airstrip making it difficult for Air CreeBec’s Dash-8 to land. After two attempts, the landing was aborted. The same thing happened to the two charters destined for ... read more ››

Money matters

I often thought about other people and sometimes I wonder how they do it. How do they get all the things that they have? What kind of money does it take to get what they want? So I did a little research on the topic and discovered a few surprising ... read more ››

China or bust

By the time you read this, the Olympics may be nearing the end of its scheduled events way over at the other end of the tunnel to China. I always wonder why we Cree don’t have any contenders for the Olympics, so I have come up with some possible reasons. Reason ... read more ››

When I grow up…

I always dreamed of being an astronaut, pilot, or anything that would get me off the Earth for a while. But because Cape Canaveral (or the Kennedy Space Center) was a bit too far off for me, the only real bet was to take up flying. Back then, a whole industry ... read more ››

Crimes throughout history

In many ways, crime is something that seems to be hard to swallow. It’s not likeable and treacherously dirty, not to mention illegal in many countries and downright dastardly wrong. But in some ways, crime does pay a little tribute to those who most likely wish that it wasn’t for ... read more ››

Remote control

On one of my many forays to the south, I was fortunate enough to be entertained in Mohawk country – something I encourage others to think about. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived within a kilometre of the Akwesesne reserve, St. Regis, Cornwall Island, Turtle Island. It’s ... read more ››

Summer student woes

The rake scratched the dry arid ground, scraping the last bubblegum wrapper left when Bazooka Joe was still a household name. The flimsy garbage bags busting under minimal pressure, reinforces the view that plastic garbage bags have a half-life of 15 minutes in the real world. Yet they somehow manage ... read more ››

Distress Signals

One thing I’ve noticed these days is the growing sight of ambulances, fire trucks and police cars, with flashing lights and blaring sirens, warning us that some calamity is under way. Back in the day, the only siren to be heard would have been the one at the school, where we ... read more ››

It’s a dog’s life

Back in the day, before petroleum products were common in the north, the dog team got us around. Remarked an old friend of mine who asked if I still remember those days, I reply yes, I do. Those dog team days were quite something, another time, another generation… Most dogs were ... read more ››

Decoy making for dummies

The wind bellowed out its fury over the small man-made pond, the waves cascaded over the rim of the sod dikes, the goose decoys posted rock-solid in the pounding wake of your average south-wind spring day. The conditions were beautiful only to the hunter, as the clouds loomed low in ... read more ››

Decriminalizing the Indian

Our people have always had some sort of stigmatism, such as lazy drunken Indians, welfare recipients, and burdens to society. And this is often used as an excuse to garner more moolah from taxpayers to wrong rights and this becomes the state of mind for many who are familiar to ... read more ››

Of Hockey Nuts and Broom Balls

One thing that I have noticed about any sport, and hockey in particular, is that the fans are divided, home team versus visiting team. It can be just as dangerous off ice as it is on ice. The stands, when the home team is nearing the goal, deafen the arena ... read more ››

International Woman’s Day Rocks

A nurse popped into my office one cold winter day and asked whether I was interested about writing a story for the Nation covering the events of International Woman’s Day in Whapmagoostui. She went on to explain that the women and the social leaders of the community had a vision ... read more ››

Money reigns over me…

I watched the process of the residential school payments to the living survivors of the archaic education program called assimilation. The process was simple, give all native people the right to an education and sit back and watch the show. The problem was how to do it, en masse? Well, ... read more ››

Flu management

I looked at the poor, suffering people, sitting patiently waiting for the nurse to come out and call their names. I heard a person’s name called out and was shocked to see someone else get up, but then I realized that they used maiden names here, so I settled back ... read more ››

When holidays collide

I was recently at the local store when I noticed a strange thing: Valentine’s Day items were slowly being edged out by Easter offerings. I checked the date quickly to see if I didn’t have some kind of two-week memory lapse and yes, it was still the first week of ... read more ››

Fog and other predictions

Looking outside one morning early January, I couldn’t see much. Some mysterious ultra-thick cloud saturated with tiny see-through snowflakes, commonly called snow fog, had dropped a blanket over the land that would blind us for days. Wow, snow fog. What next? Ice tornados that will be eventually coined “upside down ice ... read more ››

Wino chiyeyo

I watch a lot of TV to learn a lot of things. I tried tuning in to the youth channels and found out that, hey, youth is cool. They got something that I wished I had: a cool today, gone tomorrow type of attitude. Like, who cares? What I do ... read more ››

Living green is profitable

Green is everywhere you go, on the back and front pages of magazines, science shows, sprouted by political wannabes on television, people talking about their carbon imprint. It’s all about the current state of the biological world, which is now determined to be dismal. Go green, stay green, and use ... read more ››

A 5% solution

I remember the days when everyone had to pay at least some income tax. That was also the time when the annual income tax return had to be filled out by hand. Those days may still be here, but it seems that whenever I make my tax return, I don’t get ... read more ››

Where’s our Trump?

One thing I’ve noticed about our culture is that we don’t have any Donald Trumps out there. Where’s the rich tycoon with the ability to make a few million overnight? Where’s the guy who can make a deal with the devil and walk away intact and with even more money ... read more ››