An awesome spectacle at 2005 Aboriginal Awards

The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards played to a proud and packed house in Toronto November 25. This was evident by the intensity that rippled through the audience when anyone spoke their native language – or when the hoop dancer did her thing, and flew like an eagle, prompting a spontaneous ... read more ››

GaWaNi Ponyboy: The Horse Singer

While some wonder how to fill all those hours in a day, there are those who are so busy that one wonders, where do they find the time? Take GaWaNi Ponyboy, an Eastern Band Cherokee: he is the author of 11 books, a horse behaviorist teacher and speaker, a Christian ... read more ››

First Son a Testament to the Marginalized

He was a simple man taking simple pictures. That is what one person had to say about the current exhibition at the Montreal McCord Museum by early 20th century photographer Chow Dong Hoy. Hoy lived in the B.C. interior at that time, where the melting pot of cultures was well under ... read more ››

Taima: A Band of Solitude

There is something really amazing about a musical piece that can almost bring you to tears within the first minute of the first song, sung in a language you cannot understand. TAIMA, a duo including singer/song-writer Elisapie Isaac from Salluit and musician/composer Alain Auger of Abitibi managed to do just ... read more ››

Grad Night: Not Just Frills, Beer Spills and Birth Control Pills

Ah, graduation. While school is out and no doubt you are still deprogramming from it all, the grad is no doubt on some of your minds. With the lyrics of Pink Floyd or Alice Cooper anti-school anthems ringing in your head as you walk around with perma-grin on your face, ... read more ››

Richard Desjardins: Still Trying to Correct L’Erreur Boréale

What do you do when everything you have come to love is threatened with destruction? Well, if you are Richard Desjardins, you make a documentary to use as a tool in your defense. What was done initially to protect the area around his beloved chalet in Abitibi that was being ... read more ››

Feeding the Body and the Spirit – Traditional Foods to be Served at Chisasibi Hospital

It has been said that when the Cree get sick, they lose their right to their traditional foods. That right will soon be returned to them. Under a one-year pilot program, seasonal traditional foods will become part of the four-week menu rotation at the Chisasibi hospital. The project will see geese, ... read more ››

Holy Matrimony Batman, What Do We Do Now? – Wedding Tips for Superheroes and Sidekicks.

Ok, so the question was asked, an affirmative answer was given, now comes the fun part – planning the wedding! A wedding is supposed to be a remarkable ritual in which two people join together into an institution from which they can draw strength, guidance and companionship. While it may ... read more ››

Language Policy May Get Clipped – Mistissini School Conference Tackles Low Grad Rate

Mistissini parents have had enough of high dropout rates and the low number of graduates. And they want some major changes at the Voyageur Memorial Schools to ensure their children’s future success. At a local education conference held in late March and early April in Mistissini, concerned parents, band council members, ... read more ››

Sports History Made in Waswanipi

There’s a new kid in town! Well actually, it’s not so much a kid as it is a team, and it’s not really so much new as it is two years old. And if you were at the Waswanipi arena on Thursday, April I, you were witness to the birth ... read more ››

Makivik AGM: Looking Forward As Agreement-in-Principle Nears Completion

Makivik Corporation’s Annual General Meeting went off without a hitch at the end of March. During the four-day meeting, it was revealed that Makivik’s beneficiaries’ equity fund balance was down to $190 million from $194 million last year. The stock market and fluctuation in exchange rates are to blame. Makivik ... read more ››

Education Alarm – Mistissini Looks For Answers to High Drop-Out Rates in Public Meeting

Native communities across Canada are facing an education crisis, and the James Bay Cree are not immune. Nationwide, Native students had an average school completion rate that was almost half that of the national average in the 1999-2000 school year: 39 per cent compared to 75 per cent for the ... read more ››

A Brief History of Native Politics in Canada

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has been an institution since 1969, having the original goal of correcting past injustices and enhancing the rightful position of the First Nations Peoples in Canada’s future after years of being excluded from the political process. But the AFN is not the first organization ... read more ››

Shadowing Phil Fontaine of the AFN

With a mix of platitudes like “no new taxes,” spins such as “I didn’t inhale” and lies like “I didn’t know anything about it,” the world of politics is somewhat of an enigma. People can’t help but feel a general mistrust for those who have not lived up to their ... read more ››

New Deal, New Relationship Proposed with Hydro Québec

Some new relief for some old headaches with Hydro Quebec appears to be on the horizon. A draft agreement between the Crees and Hydro-Quebec is now undergoing consultation rounds in the Cree communities. “The Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between Hydro-Quebec/SEBJ and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee” is the result of ... read more ››

Can I Get a Witness?

Jean Chretien has been deemed fair game to be called as a witness in a Breach of Treaty and Trust trial in Alberta. The Samson Cree Nation filed the motion in March of 2003 calling for Chretien and (now former) Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Robert Nault to testify ... read more ››

Paying it Forward…Ouje-Bougoumou Reaches Out

In the last issue of the Nation, we included two pages of events and dinners and donation points and the like, telling you who was doing what for whom and where. While fishing for all that information, we learned of one woman who was away on a mission in a ... read more ››

Remedy for What Ails You – Locals Win AMA Award

A group of five guys from Moose Factory made their way to Toronto for the Aboriginal Music Awards. Nominated in the Best Group or Duo category against Native mainstream artists Cheechoo and Martin, and Wolfpack, Remedy came away with the award. Although they have only been playing together as a ... read more ››

Aboriginal Music Takes Centre Stage – AMA Gala Launches 10th Annual Canadian Aboriqinal Festival and Pow Wow

It was an evening to celebrate the best in Native music from across the country. The John Bassett Theatre in downtown Toronto was packed November 28 for the fifth annual Aboriginal Music Awards, recognizing both popular and traditional original music. The evening started out on a strong note with hosts Tom ... read more ››

Apatisiiwin Agreement in Action

A group of 12 students in Rouyn Noranda are making an investment in the future of the Crees. Under the long-awaited Cree Employment Agreement (Apatisiiwin Agreement) the students are studying to be hydro dam technicians in a 2-year Vocational Secondary Education Program at the Centre Polymetier in Rouyn-Noranda. The Grand Council ... read more ››

Violet Pachanos – Overcoming the Traditional Gender Barrier

Trailblazers are those people who break uncharted ground, who go where none have been before and who open the door for others to pass through in the future. When we think of trailblazers within the Cree communities, one name that comes to mind has to be Violet Pachanos. She broke ... read more ››

Dorothy Nicholls: Opening Doors for Cree Women

I recently had the chance to speak with one of our trail-blazers over the phone. The first President of the Native Women’s Association in Mistissini, who helped bring in one of the first Native Daycares in Quebec was very busy with sick children streaming in to see her. She closed ... read more ››

Flying the Northern Skies: The Future Looks Bright for Air Creebec

Prepartion for a Cree airline began not long after the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975. At a planning session of the Grand Council of the Crees, the Chiefs and board members of the Grand Council identified business ventures that the Cree Nation should be ... read more ››

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

It has become a disease that is referred to as an epidemic amongst the Aboriginal populations. One out of every seven Aboriginal people has diabetes. In the Cree communities of Northern Quebec the number is even higher. Out of a population of roughly 14,000 people, 1,076 people have been diagnosed with ... read more ››

Suriname: Beyond Appearances – Part 2 of 2

Just outside the villages to the north is the Galibi Nature Reserve. It is 11 miles long and a mile deep. It was designated as a reserve in 1969 thanks to the effort of STINASU, the Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname. It has four mandates: the coordination of scientific ... read more ››

A City Free of Cars

Having lived in the city now for over 12 years, one of the things that constantly tries my patience is the traffic. The endless throngs of cars, trucks and gas-guzzling, environment-killing SUVs that plunge through the streets can turn an otherwise beautiful day into one where you are gasping for ... read more ››