One of the first films where I recognized Native people as being genuine was Boyce Richardson’s Job’s Garden. Job Bearskin, the grandfather of one of my classmates, was exactly the way I saw him in Richardson’s documentary. Smiling, kindly, friendly and dignified, even as he limped, by our playground on ... read more ››
There is just a hint of French in singer Melisa Pash’s speaking voice. I heard this when I caught up with her by phone in Val-d’Or. Melisa was born on Fort George Island and was raised in Val-d’Or, and makes the city her home. Balancing these two different worlds, the ... read more ››
Thirty years ago in Maniwaki, Quebec a policeman shot and nearly killed a fleeing 15-year-old Indian boy who had stolen a light bulb from an outdoor display. That fateful night inspired an angry young Willy Mitchell to pen his first song, Big Policeman, while recovering from a .38 calibre bullet ... read more ››
“They wanted to see what it is we do, so we just did it,” says Sam Blacksmith of his starring role in the Boyce Richardson film, Cree Hunters Of Mistassini. What 82-year-old Sam did, and still does by profession is, of course, hunt.
The film, which went on to win three ... read more ››
“I was hoping you didn’t get it.” laughs David Sam when I thank him for faxing me his answers. I had asked to do his profile weeks before the Chisasibi Kung Fu exhibition. He refused. There was nothing I could do but skulk away. After all, he holds a brown ... read more ››
At age 10, Katejun Coonishish is only two years older than his home community ofOuje-Bougoumou. Already he’s a three-year veteran and “flying like a bird” in the roughand tumble world of motocross racing.
Racing is in Katejun’s blood. Both of his parents, Sydney and Sarah, raced snowmobiles.His career began not long ... read more ››
It’s no wonder Mistissini’s Stephanie Mianscum is the reigning champion of the Nemaska FitnessChallenge. She’s impossible to catch up to when she’s on the move. We did manage to catch up with her,briefly, for a quick photo shoot. After which she was off and running again. This time for a ... read more ››
He’s armed with a booming voice inherited from his dad, but his attitude’s filled with a healthy disrespect for authority. Freelance radio journalist Christopher Stephen can sometimes be heard weekdays at the ungodly hour of 7:10 in the morning on CBC’s Winshgaoug and Eyou Dibajimoon at noon. He kickstarts the ... read more ››
Everybody in my family was an artist” replies Anishnabe painter Glenna Matoush when asked what she dreamed of being as a girl.
Like many native people, Glenna was surrounded by art growing up in a small reserve two hours north of Toronto. The ninth of thirteen children, Glenna would watch and ... read more ››
Friend and foe know him as “Sonny.” Others, or professional acquaintances, not aware ofhis usually sunny disposition, may remember him as Sidney Orr, Sidney Snowboy or even Sidney OrrSnowboy.
Sonny’s life reflects his many names. He’s been, at one time or another and in no particularorder: an athlete, a baker, a ... read more ››
Our second victim modestly left the “Claim To Fame” and “Title of your Autobiography” parts of the cree@large interrogation sheet blank for us to fill in.
Bertie Wapachee came up through the ranks of the Cree youth movement’s hierarchy, starting with secunty at the first World Indigenous Youth Conference in 1992. ... read more ››
Here it is, the long awaited and much hyped section of The Nation: cree@large! Repeat after me. Cree at large. There you go.
I know what you’re thinking. Large Crees, right? In a bizarre way, you’re almost right.Large Crees. Large in the sense, I guess, that they are not necessarily obese, ... read more ››