Category: Editorials

Cree perseverance

The decision by Strateco Resources to tear down its uranium-development camp in the Otish Mountains north of Mistissini is something that all Crees can celebrate. From the grassroots to the band council to the Grand Council, people came together to speak with one voice: we will never accept uranium mining ... read more ››

The poverty of Conservative policy

Canada is quick to speak out against human rights violations abroad, and to brag about its foreign aid to combat poverty around the world. It would be nice if the government would do the same at home. Given the desperate living conditions of most First Nations across the country it ... read more ››

Christmas memories

Memories of Christmas past often return to me as the holidays approach. One of my earliest was in Moose Factory. We lived in a small red trailer on the island in those days with dad working at the former CFB Moosonee. Santa used to come to every home to hand ... read more ››

Democracy or hypocrisy?

As I write, the Canadian Senate is in the middle of a debate over a motion to suspend three of its members without pay. They are Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, all Harper appointees who have since been forced out of the Conservative caucus after embarrassing revelations about ... read more ››

Facebook and you

The Cree world is increasingly one that exists online, especially in social media. It’s a great way to connect families and communities but its drawbacks are growing. The impersonal nature of sites like Facebook is leading to incidents of character assassination and cyberbullying. Many people using this form of communication fail ... read more ››

Elijah Harper: A man to remember

It was a blow to hear of Elijah Harper’s death on May 18 at the age of 64. He will be remembered for his courage and his actions, above all for his role in opposing the Meech Lake Accord 23 years ago. That moment became a turning point in Canadian ... read more ››

Charlie’s love will live on

As a young person growing up in Mistissini I was unsure of my place in life. More often than not, children learn from those who are older than they are. Outsiders blithely refer to them as Elders but I knew something they didn’t. My mother taught about the “Great Ladies” ... read more ››

Facts and messages

An recent Ipsos-Reid poll for Global Television and Postmedia News purported to show that two-thirds of Canadians believe First Nations are well treated by the federal government. They also believe First Nations receive too much funding from the feds, but still feel that Natives’ quality of life should be improved. ... read more ››

Monkey business

Chiefs from all across Canada attempt to gain access to Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa. They are repulsed and try to visit the Department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. Again the chiefs are denied entry and there is barely a blip on the radar of the mainstream media. A chief heads ... read more ››

’Tis the season

The holidays are full of promise and hope for many, but some lean to Ecclesiastes when they’re left feeling that nothing matters. It feels like it’s all the same because, “I have seen everything under the sun, and there is nothing new… nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes even has a ... read more ››

Financial transparency

Relations between First Nations and the federal government aren’t what they used to be. First Nations leaders across Canada are frustrated with not being consulted on legislation before Parliament. In this case, it’s Bill C-27: First Nations Financial Transparency Act and many leaders feel it’s heavy-handed and gives the wrong ... read more ››

Ethics once again

I have written about ethics throughout the years and it’s time to do so once again. It certainly isn’t new: this issue was a hot one way back in 1990 at that year’s Annual General Assembly. That’s when a resolution to establish a code of ethics to govern potential conflicts ... read more ››

I’ve got my eye on you

  “I’ve got my eye on you,” is a phrase you would usually expect to hear from a father of a young teenager. In this instance, it was a rude awakening. As someone with a long history at a First Nations publication, I pretty much expect that Canada’s various intelligence agencies ... read more ››

United we stand

  It’s difficult to write an editorial that breaks a long-running guideline we have at the Nation. We do not target people but rather the issue, position or other components of a news story. We feel that the substance of a story and how it affects our readers is more important ... read more ››

This land is your land

  There’s an Aboriginal land grab on the horizon that hasn’t been seen since England said Rupert’s Land was owned by the Hudson Bay Company for about 200 years. That one gave away the northern parts of Quebec and Ontario, all of Manitoba, most of Saskatchewan, southern portions of Alberta and ... read more ››

The “secular” mask of racism

On Tuesday, August 14, Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois offered a new plank for her electoral platform: a “Charter of Secularism”, supposedly to guarantee the rights of Quebec residents to live in a society free from religious pressure from the state. The idea was to make it law that no member ... read more ››

The Rule of law

When you have Aboriginal blood in your veins you feel and know that the rule of law in Canada isn’t so blind or predisposed to honour the principle that every person is equal under the law. When a disproportionate percentage of Aboriginals are behind bars it says something about the ... read more ››

A better tomorrow?

On July 18, Chiefs from most First Nations in Canada gathered in Toronto. It was the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly and this year elections were held for the National Grand Chief. For some reason Willie Dunn’s song, “Ballad of Crowfoot,” came into my mind. I heard, “Comes the ... read more ››

I believe

  Global Television and Postmedia News had Ipsos Reid look at how the average Canadian views the relationship between the Canadian government and Aboriginal Peoples. It is no surprise the poll said that most Canadians believe Aboriginal Peoples are well treated. They even believe Aboriginal Peoples receive too much from the ... read more ››

The consequences of our actions

  It’s quiet in the office at night. I like it. There are almost no distractions and I can see the patterns of life around the world. Connections you might have missed before are now visible. The funding cuts to the Canada’s Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth Program worried me for ... read more ››

Strawberry Fields Forever

  One must love the government no matter what. At least this is the feeling one gets when they take a look at Quebec’s Bill 78 entitled An Act To Enable Students To Receive Instruction From The Postsecondary Institutions They Attend. Nowhere in Bill 78 is any real enabling of students to ... read more ››

It’s not only one community

Uranium. The very word makes us cringe. Past experiences for Aboriginal peoples have been unpleasant to say the least. The Navajo people in the US were exposed to the toxic effects in the 1940s and 1950s. In Canada, the Dene of Great Bear Lake stated, “Without being told of the ... read more ››

The death of National Aboriginal Health

People believed in 2000 that it was time that Aboriginal people here in Canada started to look at and study health issues relating to them. Thus the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) was born. Today that belief has fallen by the roadside and they’ll be closing shop on June 30. ... read more ››

A Cree decision

Recently a rumour came my way. It came from three different people so I assigned a reporter to look into it. The information said that by March 31 the Board of Compensation (BOC) would close its books (as it was the end of the fiscal year) and all its assets ... read more ››

Spring is in the air

Recently the Nation traveled to Toronto to attend the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention. It was huge and it was great to see so many Aboriginal people there either as communities, businesses or just plain interested individuals looking to network. There were exhibitors and delegates galore, but ... read more ››

Dealing with the First Nations

These days Canadians cannot say they aren’t aware of some of the issues First Nations face. Attawapiskat showed housing and living conditions in many northern Aboriginal communities. Yet there are many communities like Attawapiskat throughout Canada and this problem is becoming too large to ignore by mainstream media and society. Economic ... read more ››