Category: 2006-06-23

Law and Order: Eeyou Istchee

Our focus in this issue is on justice and policing. Several stories this week raise a multitude of questions about the current models of criminal justice, punishment and rehabilitation in Eeyou Istchee and in First Nations across Canada. There are many different models out there. At present, Waswanipi is making some ... read more ››

The evolution of Cree justice

Back in the day when comic books were the only things we had to stimulate the imagination, a hero always emerged to deliver justice. He would track ’em down, call the verdict and put the bad guy away for eternity on some desolate planet in the dark reaches of deep ... read more ››

Big Trout Lake – First Nation faces $10 billion lawsuit – Platinum prospectors trying to legally evict Ontario band from its territory

The Big Trout Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario is in a fight to protect its rights from exploration and to recover the land in question from the Ontario government. Big Trout Lake has been dealing with the government in the land claims process for years, but is now before the ... read more ››

Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis – First People’s Festival premieres Native drama – Alex Rice portrays Ellen Gabriel

Sixteen years ago, Quebec and Canada as a whole, learned a tough lesson on Native affairs and the ever-present land issue. In 1990, a peaceful protest in Kanesatake to protect sacred Native land, turned into a botched Surete de Quebec raid and left one SQ officer dead; all in the name ... read more ››

Natives most likely to be crime victims

Aboriginal people are far more likely to be victimized by violent crime, according to a new study. The most alarming statistic from the report, published by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, showed that even though Aboriginals represented roughly three per cent of the Canadian population between 1997 and 2004, they ... read more ››

JBCCS To Get New Digs

In what may be their shortest special general meetings ever, a loan for a new building for the James Bay Cree Communications Society was approved. The half-hour meeting saw the resolution passed with no difficulties. “It’s something that we’ve been working towards for years so it’s no surprise,” said Luke MacLeod, ... read more ››

Former 0-J Band Councilor sentenced for sexual assault

Former Oujé-Bougoumou band councilor Lance Cooper was given a conditional sentence of house arrest for one year and 24 months probation after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year old boy in the victim’s own home. The sentence, handed down in O-J June 12, means Cooper will be under house arrest ... read more ››

Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? Lenient sentences stemming from 1999 Supreme Court ruling partly to blame, says police director

Sexual assault cases are at epidemic proportions in Mistissini. In fact, when the Nation spoke to several key members of the community, they all had first-hand experiences with sexual assault, from simple touching to rape. “Right now in Mistissini we have two sexual offences a month,” Mistissini Police Director Calvin Blacksmith ... read more ››

Under the gun

It’s often a frustrating job being a police officer, especially in small Northern communities like those in the Eeyou Istchee. Friends and family feel slighted when you won’t give them or their loved ones a “break.” Victims are upset because the perpertrator is back on the streets. Add to that ... read more ››

Caution on the roads

Seven police officers are going to be gung ho for a while on the roads. Residents from Mistissini, Waswanipi, Ouje-Bougoumou and Wemindji may be in for a rough ride after the police officers finish their course. The seven officers are getting up to speed on the Highway Code of Quebec ... read more ››

Fires prompt Mistissini evacuation

The people of Mistissini woke up to a frightening occurrence on June 7 after at least six forest fires were ignited by lightning and were threatening the community. “Most people are gone, it’s just the core people like the police, fire department, the health board, some volunteers and myself who are ... read more ››

Father’s Day Celebration

While attending university in Montreal, I had a chance to visit Louise (Jefferies). She gave me pictures her mother, Annie had kept of us when we were young. One photo, of my father and I, spoke to me. I am about three years old and my father is holding my hand ... read more ››

Bolivia’s land reform a victory for all indigenous peoples – Former coca grower Evo Morales launches ‘agrarian revolution’

Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, has launched what he called an “agrarian revolution” by redistributing 9,600 square miles of land to the South American country’s Indian majority. The June 3 announcement marked the first phase of a vast reform that will involve more than 77,000 square miles – an area ... read more ››

One man’s junk

One Saturday morning I heard of some local yard sales taking place and decided to head into town to see what I could find. Whenever anything goes up for sale for a good price I am ready to have a look. I think this comes from the experience of living ... read more ››

Moose TV

A crisis was threatening to erupt on the forested set of Moose TV just as executive producer Ernest Webb drove in early one morning. Lead actress Jennifer Podemski was in her trailer suffering from a mysterious ailment that had coloured her skin a disturbing shade of red. Someone wondered aloud ... read more ››