Category: News

Regional diabetes conference gets at the root causes of a Cree epidemic

by Amy German – When the first Cree Regional Diabetes Conference was held in 2006, the plan was to make it an annual event, said organizer Janis Neeposh. Unfortunately it would take until 2015 and for the community of Oujé-Bougoumou to pick up the reins to make this happen, resulting in ... read more ››

Promoting non-violence one step at a time

Quickening the pace to a two-year-old movement to promote non-violence, George Diamond recently led another major walk to condemn violence in any form and raise awareness about the issue throughout Eeyou Istchee. From October 16-19, Diamond joined seven others on an 84-kilometre walk in the name of stopping violence. “The walk went ... read more ››

Cree kids participate in international walk to school initiative

Hand in hand with their parents and other community members, this October the children of Eeyou Istchee participated in activities celebrating “Walk to School Month,” an initiative held in over 40 countries worldwide to get children out and active. In Mistissini, Wally Rabbitskin, a Planning, Programming and Research Officer for Physical ... read more ››

Diamond mine fails to improve conditions in Attawapiskat

Few stories illustrate the widening chasm between rich and poor as clearly as the story of Attawapiskat. The chasm is captured in Vicki Lean’s inspiring documentary, After the Last River. When the world’s largest diamond company, De Beers, opened a mine 90 km upstream from the First Nation community in northern ... read more ››

The Roundhouse Café is a warm place for Indigenous homeless in Montreal

Montreal’s Cabot Square stands at the corner of St. Catherine and Atwater streets, a gateway between the noise and chaos of the grimy downtown to the east, and the wealthy tree-lined streets of Westmount in the west. For decades, the park has been full of homeless people, many of them ... read more ››

Wemindji unites against suicide

“A lot of youth are dealing with drugs and alcohol,” says Wemindji Community Health Worker Colleen Atsynia. “Most of the cases I get are related to drugs and alcohol, with attempting suicide.” That alone is enough of an explanation for why Atsynia and her colleague Norma Jean Saganash helped organize events ... read more ››

Inuit designs gain ground in the global marketplace

Coveted in the north for their exquisite designs, Inuit-made sealskin goods and parkas have a deserved reputation for quality and warmth. Created by the Makavik Corporation with the help of Victoria Okpik from Quaqtaq, Nunavik Creations produces traditional Inuit-designed parkas, luxurious fur coats and sophisticated accessories for an international market. Makavik recruited ... read more ››

Dorothy Grant blends Haida culture into her fashion designs

For over 30 years, Dorothy Grant has created extraordinary fashion designs that meld Haida art with contemporary trends. Her new creations include a light-blue, silk evening gown with eagle prints and a smart, black suit with a wolf design embroidered on the lapels. Grant said that many of buyers over the years ... read more ››

Specialized sex education will remain despite Quebec plan

Social media lit up with debate following an August 30 Twitter post by Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come calling the Quebec government’s plan to impose a “no-exceptions” sex-education curriculum at some of its schools “disgusting.” But many of those responding to Coon Come seemed to be missing the implication of ... read more ››

The Senator strikes back

After slamming Patrick Brazeau many times in the past I have to say that, for once at least, the embattled Senator has finally impressed me. In an essay titled Time To Throw Harper Under The Bus and published August 25 on the Loonie Politics website he hit the nail on ... read more ››

Osheaga 2015 knocks it out of the park

Another crazy weekend at Montreal’s Osheaga music festival came and went from July 31 to August 2 as Evenko celebrated the 10th anniversary in Parc Jean-Drapeau, where the event has grown into one of the biggest, most diverse musical experiences in Canada. Star-struck teenagers, flower princesses, care-free hippies, unabashed “bros”, ... read more ››

Romeo Saganash wants to mobilize the Aboriginal vote for federal election

MP Romeo Saganash marked the unofficial launch of his re-election campaign with a cocktail party and fundraiser July 6 in the Old Port of Montreal. Joined by New Democratic Party leader Tom Mulcair, Saganash said he intends to mobilize First Nations voters across Canada to turn out in large numbers ... read more ››

Where did Aboriginal Affairs put that missing $1-billion?

News that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) failed to spend $1-billion budgeted for First Nations services over the last five years didn’t catch Quebec’s Indigenous organizations by surprise. After all, barely more than two weeks before the news broke in early June, the 40-year-old organization Quebec Native Women ... read more ››

Rookie officer and two civilians rescue Waskaganish family from fire

Assisted by two local residents, an Eeyou-Eenou Police officer carried a mother and two children, aged 6 and 3, to safety from their burning house in Waskaganish May 25. Officer Bruce Wapachee was on his routine morning patrol when he noticed plumes of black smoke billowing from the rear of the ... read more ››

Report says inadequate Kashechewan dike puts community at risk

For many Crees, the spring thaw is associated with warmer weather and the pleasures of goose break. For the residents of Kashechewan First Nation however, the change of season is a time of destructive flooding and a grim annual evacuation. In late April, the community of 1500 Crees was evacuated for ... read more ››

Happy Mother’s Day

I don’t think there is a culture on this planet that doesn’t honour their mothers. Though the modern Mother’s Day is relatively new, hundreds of years ago both the Greeks and the Romans had festivals honouring motherhood. It is only in the past few generations that men have been part of ... read more ››

C.R.E.E. Hockey and Broomball Tournament in Val-d’Or

Northern Lights Team The 34th annual Cree Regional Events and Entertainment (C.R.E.E.) Senior Hockey and Broomball tournament took place December 4-7 at the Centre Air Creebec in Val-d’Or. Featuring teams from Ontario, Quebec and one all the way from Nunavut, men and women battled it out on the ice in Women’s ... read more ››

Susannah’s Journey

A Cree family from Whapmagoostui is raising funds to attend a Florida conference for families impacted by a rare genetic disorder. Susaannah Kawapit Their 12-year-old Susannah was diagnosed with Sotos syndrome shortly after her birth. The condition causes children to grow rapidly during the initial years of their lives. Susannah’s speech and ... read more ››

Courageous broadcaster passes away

Eeyou Istchee has lost one of its most prominent broadcasters. Roderick Rabbitskin passed away from heart failure on December 1 in Mistissini. For years Rabbitskin was a constant presence in many people’s lives as the sensitive man discussing the issues of the day as a radio host on CBC North. Rabbitskin worked ... read more ››

Trio of Quebec First Nations to contest 1970s northern Quebec agreements

Three Quebec First Nations say that their traditional territory partly overlaps with land included in the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (NEQA), signed in 1978. They are now asking for the federal government to step in to negotiate a settlement over the ... read more ››

Reopening copper mine given green light

A mineral company that wants to look into reopening an old Eeyou Istchee copper mine has received a green light from both the Grand Council of the Crees and a neighbouring Cree community. The Grand Council and the Cree Nation of Mistissini say that the partnership agreement signed with Copper One ... read more ››

James Daschuk rewrites Canada’s uncomfortable Indigenous history

In the middle of the 19th century, the Plains Nations lived on an abundance of bison, which provided them with a seemingly endless source of quality meat and clothing. Their diet was high in protein and low in fat – and they were among the tallest people in recorded history. ... read more ››

Mistissini death

Mistissini fisherman David Miamscum has passed away. Miamscum was reported missing on October 27, and was found by his son the following day. His body was recovered in the Bay Penicouane, his traditional hunting territory. It is believed that Miamscum fell out of his canoe. David Miamscum was 67 years ... read more ››

Construction of Cree Nation women’s shelters await confirmation

According to a CBC report, there is a plan to open two women’s shelters in Eeyou Istchee, but it appears unlikely they will open in February 2015 as initially scheduled. Lisa Petagumskum, Assistant Executive Director for the Miyupimaatisiiun Department of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay ... read more ››

Chisasibi Career Fair

Chisasibi hosted the 7th Annual Cree Human Resources Development Regional Career Fair Oct. 21-22 to promote job possibilities, provide one-on-one meetings between employers and potential employees and to help cut down on a sense of isolation job seekers may feel. However, the Career Fair isn’t just meant to inform job-seekers of ... read more ››

Quebec’s austerity cutbacks could set up an environmental disaster

Quebec has been hemorrhaging biologists, wildlife technicians, game wardens and now endangered species recovery teams, all in the name of austerity. But what kind of an impact will this have on a region that is looking to go full steam ahead with development like the Plan Nord, particularly on its ... read more ››