ARTICLES BY Will Nicholls

Will on the Grill

This edition of the WOG includes a few seasoning mixes and sauces, which are good for you in a variety of ways. They cost less than store-bought mixes and contain no preservatives. You can change them to your taste (or that of your family). Just add or reduce the amount ... read more ››

Canada opposes ban on genocide of indigenous peoples

Dickens started off his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with the timeless sentence, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Perhaps that statement can sum up what most North American First Nations peoples felt on September 13. Certainly, most of the world’s indigenous ... read more ››

A ‘civilized’ beginning

There exists the possibility of Cree self-government within five years. We will be looking at Cree governance that reflects our values, culture and way of life. The tentative agreement recently negotiated with the federal government (which still must be ratified in a referendum) finally recognizes the Grand Council as a ... read more ››

Federal agreement debated at AGA

As expected, the new relationship agreement with the Government of Canada was a hot topic at this year’s Grand Council/Cree Regional Authority Annual General Assembly in Chisasibi August 7-9. Many questions about the 20-year, $3.5 billion deal were directed to the Grand Council. One Cree woman, a hunter, asked, “For the ... read more ››

A brave new world

I tried to summon the devil last July 16. The word was out that the Harper government was set to unveil a monumental agreement with the Cree of Eeyou Istchee. And I felt I had to at least try to verify if Hell had in fact frozen over. I guess I’m ... read more ››

Cree-Canada agreement hailed by all sides – Unanimous Consent – History made in $1.4 billion deal that will establish self-government

It was like night and day. Unlike to the announcement of another “nation-to-nation” agreement five years ago, the deal announced July 16 between the Crees and the federal government has met with universal approval. The 20-year Agreement Concerning a New Relationship Between the Government of Canada and the Cree of Eeyou ... read more ››

Echoes of a Proud Nation

Back in 1991 the Mohawk community of Kahnawake decided to host a pow wow on the same patch of land that had been occupied by the Canadian Armed Forces the previous summer. That long summer of 1990, of course, was dominated by the Oka Crisis, when Kanesatake Mohawks set up ... read more ››

The multiple ways to skin a cat (or a municipality)

I’ve always liked the old saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Personally, I wouldn’t waste my time skinning a cat (the pelt isn’t worth much), but I do try to implement the lesson in looking for more than one solution to a particular problem. It was ... read more ››

On responsibility

As June 28, the national day of protest for aboriginal people, approaches, some in the non-Native community are starting to lose their cool. Take, for example, the statement by Ontario Provincial Police Association President Karl Walsh. Mr. Walsh, very authoritatively, recently warned all Native leaders and National Grand Chief Phil ... read more ››

Cree kin get together

On June 5, The Grand Council of the Crees and the Tataskweyak Cree Nation of Manitoba signed a declaration to affirm ties of kinship and cooperation between the two Nations. But this was more than a simple expression of friendship. Grand Chief Matthew Mukash noted the declaration could be interpreted as ... read more ››

Sacred Addictions

It’s a problem for many but a ray of light may help stop many from lighting that next cigarette. The Tobacco Healing Centre, the first of its kind, opened its doors June I I in the town of Arnprior, near Ottawa. The centre already claims an 80 per cent success rate ... read more ››

On June 29, remember the lessons of Dudley George

Leaders are urging calm on June 29, including Grand Chief Matthew Mukash. June 29 is the day many Aboriginals across Canada will protest the lack of federal concern for Aboriginal issues, including treaties and agreements. This comes on the heels of the release of the Ipperwash Report May 31. The report ... read more ››


As this issue of the Nation reaches the Cree communities in the North, many schools will have already held their graduation ceremonies. I would like to add my heartfelt salute to a job well done by all our graduates. It has been a tough journey. Some parents might disagree, arguing it ... read more ››

Will on the Grill

Learning the basics is important step for young adults as they begin cooking. Even the best cooks sometimes have to get back to their roots. Many of the recipes in this Will on the Grill are the basics. They’re recipes I learned from the many cooks in my life, from ... read more ››

A non-apology apology for a non-existent crime against humanity

So Canada’s House of Commons passed a motion last week calling on the federal government to apologize to residential school survivors. Hell, it even passed unanimously, 257-0. Even though Conservative government MPs voted for the motion, the smoke and mirrors that Ottawa has employed for a century continues, however. Indian Affairs Minister ... read more ››

Where’s the bailing buckets?

Someone once passed on the observation that a ship’s destination doesn’t particularly matter when it’s sinking. I felt his statement to be both a great truth and ultimately a lie. Does this mean that the survival of the fittest shall prevail? That would mean that the rule of law shall ... read more ››

7 years later – New developments in OJ mining contamination story miss one element: action

The Ouje-Bougoumou mining contamination issue is dragging on as governments at all levels fail to bring the political will required to deal with it. “It’s been seven years of studies after studies. We all know there is something wrong. How long will it be before we actually do something?” asked Louise Wapachee, ... read more ››

Will on the Grill

Sometimes you look at what you eat and wonder what you are missing. I remember cooking for my parents for a while and leaving for a few days. When I came back they looked at me strangely. I asked them what had happened. It turned out they felt guilty because ... read more ››

Voting for a change

If you were conducting an epidemiological study on Aboriginal peoples in Quebec you might come to the conclusion that we are allergic to ballot boxes. The First Nations voter is usually averse to both provincial and federal elections and that is reflected in the very low voter turnout. In most ... read more ››

LG3 – When a normal hunting trip becomes a version of Cree Survivor

It was the worst of times; it was the best of times. No matter how a hunt turns out those words are true and is a part of the experience. Hunting is a traditional practice of the Crees and is a part not only of the life but the culture. ... read more ››

Let’s Talk Education – a CSB assembly

Montreal hasn’t seen this many Crees gathered since last year’s Grand Council/CRA Christmas banquet. They came from all over Eeyou Istchee to talk about education and learn about the inner workings of the Cree School Board and its various departments. One hot topic concerned a proposal to change the way ... read more ››

Will on the Grill

Ah, avocados, my favorite fruit. I won’t bore you with any of my guacamole recipes this issue as I have written a couple in the past. However, I have included Will’s Hard Salad, which has an easy cheater’s recipe for the vinaigrette. The avocado is free of both sodium (salt) ... read more ››

To protect and to serve

There are moments that clarify life for you. You may lose faith in the inherent ability of man to encompass community and wellbeing and then you are handed a gift. One such moment in my life occurred recently when I was helping to keep one dog away from another that was ... read more ››

‘Hang onto these words’

I recently asked for a book that I knew would interest me. I didn’t know when I started to read how muchit would influence me. The words that Johnny said were so close to the words I grew up with I couldn’t put the book down. The words of an ... read more ››

Will on the Grill

Recently I did something I normally don’t do: I hit up a greasy spoon called La Binerie Mont Royal. It was the beans that drew me in. Sad to say I have never matched my grandmother’s beans and have “bean” looking for a recipe for a long time. The binerie ... read more ››


Do the souls of the hundreds who lay long buried beneath the Plains of Abraham toss and turn in an unquenched quest for nationhood? It’s doubtful. Nationhood was the exact opposite of the competing cries upon that battleground almost 250 years ago. Rather, it was the glory of imperial France ... read more ››