Club Med for EM-1

The main camp being set up to accommodate the 3,000 people who will work on the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric development project (EM1) is well under construction. Among the services that will be available on site will be a sporting complex and gymnasium with all the bells and whistles, sure to be ... read more ››

Meanwhile, in the City…

I don’t know what it is about a teepee, considering I have only been in one a few times, but whenever I see one in the city, I get that feeling of being home, a sensation of being back in the womb. On Friday, September 19, as I showed up ... read more ››

Suriname: Beyond Appearances

If you pick up a magazine on tourism or the environment these days, you will likely see the term “eco-tourism” splashed about the pages. It has become a catchphrase that is applied to anything that has to do with outdoor travel and recreation. However, its true meaning bears a lofty ... read more ››

Wildlife Officers Graduate

The first group of Wildlife Conservation Officers for the Cree nation have successfully completed their one-year program and are looking forward to being stationed in all nine Cree communities. Of the 10 students who graduated last week, eight are of Cree ancestry, one is Naskapi and one is non-native. The funding ... read more ››

Loving the Mentally Ill

It was quite some time ago that I watched a movie about two people who had quite an explosive relationship but who were nonetheless very much in love and wanted to be together. However, his job as a thug for a criminal gang prevented him from being able to fully ... read more ››

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 2003….wha?

How many people knew that August 9th was the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples? And how many people are aware that at this moment we are almost at the end of the International Decade for the World’s Indigenous People? Do not confuse it with the National Aboriginal Day ... read more ››

Urban Native

I recently returned from spending two weeks researching eco-tourism and the indigenous people in Suriname. It’s a small country located above Brazil next to French Guyana. Suriname is a former Dutch colony, which they acquired in a swap with Britain for New Amsterdam, now known as New York. The country ... read more ››

Burglars Really Into Grand Council Offices

The Montreal office of the Grand Council of the Crees suffered two burglaries in less than a week last May. According to police and the Grand Council office manager Elaine Harrison-Awashish, the break-ins don’t appear to be politically motivated. MUC Police reports say the first break-in took place on the evening ... read more ››

First Timer

There are some times when the whole reality about being adopted jumps up into my face and says ‘boo.’ As I have written before, I am a native adoptee, meaning that I did not grow up in or near a native community. Through no choice of my own I grew ... read more ››

Cree Social Work Pioneers Earn First (and Perhaps Last) University Degrees

“Education doesn’t make you happy, nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free, if we are, or because we’ve been educated, if we have. Education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. Education opens our eyes and our ears, it tells us where ... read more ››

Earning the Gray

A friend was picking through my hair the other day and while I worried he was looking for gnats or other nasties, it turns out he was kindly pulling out some of the gray hairs. It made me feel my age a little and I thought of the tale I’d ... read more ››

Pow Wow Trail Starts in Ottawa – Odawa Pow Wow

Odawa held their 27th annual Pow Wow from May 23rd to 25th in Ottawa. It was to be held at the Nepean Tent and Trailer Park, but Mother Nature had other plans and moved the gathering to a local skating arena. The move caused a two-hour delay on the Saturday ... read more ››

All Thumbs? Make It Green

Thinking of planting some trees or laying down some grass this year? We have a few suggestions from local experts. Doing so helps to avoid soil erosion. Soil erosion simply put is the process by which the nutrient rich topsoil is removed by wind or water. The result is that ... read more ››

Grooming the Forest

Tawich Construction Inc, in conjunction with Marcy Sylnord Inc, are now offering training programs in sylviculture in the community of Wemindji. Through these programs, Crees will attain certification that will enable them to secure employment associated with the EM1 project. As one of the things standing in the way of ... read more ››


I stopped by the Native Friendship Center of Montreal today, as I like to visit my old stomping grounds now and then. There have been many changes since I left four years ago, many faces have gone, but some new faces have come on the scene. New in a way, ... read more ››

White Lies

Another holiday, once extremely sacred yet increasing more commercial, has come and gone. As at Christmas time, I was yet again struggling with the idea of the lies that the capitalist commercial world sells us and that we in turn, sell to our children. I have a two and a ... read more ››

Electricity is in the Air in James Bay

The work in James Bay is under way, with the EM-1 hydroelectric project along the Eastmain River. It has been an idea of Hydro Quebec’s since the before the signing of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) in 1975, which made references to it under Section 8.1.2. With the ... read more ››


Last week I read a quote in reference to the war in Iraq that has stuck in my mind. One of the coalition leaders said that in order to save the city of Baghdad, they were going to have to destroy it. As evidence of this we hear in the ... read more ››

MacLeod Sees Bright Future for Cree Construction

Since last November, William MacLeod of Mistissini has been the president of the Cree Construction and Development Company. MacLeod has spent the past five months getting to know everything about the company. “Sitting down with management has been a priority. We have had to discuss which areas are important and ... read more ››

Blockade Unblocked in Kanesatake Dispute

A meeting between six Mohawk chiefs from Kanesatake and federal representatives ended April 3, with no apparent resolution. The meeting was held in response to the roadblock protest that prevented all outside traffic from traveling into and through Kanesatake since March 28. The protest was triggered by a policing deal agreed to ... read more ››

Geeks r Us

My sister and I have a long running joke about who is the bigger geek. I keep telling her that since I am older that makes me Queen of the geeks. She can have my title when I pass over or when I am too old and beyond geekiness to ... read more ››

New Training Centre For Crees

Flush with $18.3 million in provincial funding, the Cree School Board (CSB) is preparing to open a regional Vocational Training Centre. The 4,000-square-metre centre will be located in Waswanipi, with the construction slated to begin this spring. There is a target date for full operation set for September of 2004. There will ... read more ››

Ryan Weistche, Next NHL Hopeful

Described as “a pleasant surprise” and a “diamond in the rough,” Ryan Weistche is the next Cree NHL hopeful to look out for. Now 20, he’s been skating on ponds around his home in Waskaganish since he was two-and-a-half years old, but only began playing organized hockey four years ago. He ... read more ››

Native Women’s Shelter

Their mission statement is to “provide a safe and supportive environment that strengthens cultural identity, self-esteem and independence for aboriginal women and their children.” The Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal was founded in 1987 after a needs assessment determined that troubled native women living in Montreal needed a place to ... read more ››

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty

It was brought to my attention the other day that some people might only talk to me because of the way I look. Which is funny on many levels to me, but it did remind me that, gasp, some people still judge others based on looks. This being said in ... read more ››

Native Women’s Shelter Keeps Doors Open

There’s money for everyone in Quebec in the run-up to an election, it appears. Everyone except the 100 womens’ shelters in Quebec. Though studies have found them to be severly underfunded, they share a budget of $29 million. Last week, the Quebec government handed out $556 million to front line services, ... read more ››