Volume 1, Issue 3

A New Face in the Crowd

Kenny Blacksmith is the new face at the Grand Council of the Crees. Just three months into his term as Deputy Grand Chief, he is already deep in discussion with the Quebec government about long-festering problems with policing in Cree communities. Cree police constables complained of a lack of support from ... read more ››

Algonquin Culture Threatened

Clearcutting in La Verendrye Park is slowly destroying Algonquin culture, says a traditional Algonquin from Rapid Lake. Jacob Wawatie described the dire situation facing his community at the Native Forest Network Conference in Burlington, Vt., in November. The problems started 15 years ago, he said, when the status of La Verendrye ... read more ››

By a Song: Ties That Bind

We were just recently blessed with a beautiful baby girl. She didn’t start out that way. She started out as morning sickness. Soon, she became a lump on her mother’s belly. Growing… We didn’t know… We didn’t know what she was, or who she was… Suddenly, a KICK. Then nothing… Waiting… ... read more ››

Conflicting Images of Our Destiny

The decision to oppose the proposed Great Whale River project was taken almost five years ago by the highest decision-making body of the Cree Nation: the General Assembly. Given that the Cree leadership now seems to wonder whether or not that position still holds, is another general meeting on the ... read more ››

Cree Youth Speak Their Minds

Youths may be the majority of the Cree population, but their views are often overlooked. Jobs, traditional values and future hydro-electric development – those are the main concerns raised by youth leader James Shecapio in an interview with the Nation’s William Nicholls. Shecapio is the chair and spokesperson for the Cree ... read more ››

CSB Plans Public Speaking Contest

The Cree School Board’s public speaking contest started in Waskaganish in 1989, and has since been hosted in Waswanipi, Nemaska and Wemindji. The event is sponsored by a host school with support from student services. This year’s contest will be hosted by James Bay Eeyou School in Chisasibi, the largest ... read more ››

Davis Inlet boots out RCMP

The Innu of Davis Inlet threw Canadian justice and RCMP officials out of their community a month ago, and they want them to stay out. “They have no jurisdiction over us,” said Davis Inlet chief Katie Rich in a phone interview with The Nation. “We have never signed any agreements. We ... read more ››

Education: Expanding Our Knowledge

In the old days, education was a fact of life. You lived your education through your own actions and interpretations of your parents’ and their parents’ actions, and their interpretations of their parents’ actions, and so forth. This developed into traditions passed on from generation to generation, which provided a ... read more ››

Enough to Tax Any Native’s Patience

Revenue Canada Taxation is a department that not many native people are aware of. In the dark not too distant past, the only real way a native got a chance to know the taxman intimately was through enfranchisement (basically giving up all your native rights so you could vote). Some ... read more ››

First Nations Housing in Crisis

If you’re one of the thousands of Crees on waiting lists for subsidized housing, the news isn’t good. At the current rate of housing construction, it will take until the year 2009 before every Eastern James Bay Cree who needs a new home right now gets one. And that’s not ... read more ››

Getting My Nemawon

One spring I’m standing in a typical variety store in a pre-fab town called Radisson, which sprung up in the middle of a Chi-you’s (Elder’s) hunting ground during the building boom of James Bay Phase I. Since the project, that store is one of the few places where you can ... read more ››

Hawaiians Seek Sovereignty

One hundred years after Hawaii was forcibly incorporated into the United States, the aboriginal people of Hawaii are fighting back. A coalition of indigenous organizations has formed to press for Hawaiian sovereignty and is demanding redress for the U.S. genocide that eliminated 85 percent of the indigenous population. In the ... read more ››

Love and Life in the Summer of ’90

Sundogs isn’t your typical coming-of-age story from Hollywood – white boy with nice car gets into trouble, gets drunk, gets girl, makes peace with dad, becomes a man. Marianne, the heroine of Sundogs, Lee Maracle’s first novel, doesn’t have time to worry about fast cars. She’s preoccupied with other problems. Marianne’s ... read more ››

Message to Cree Students

I take great pleasure in writing to you, a Cree who is embarking on post-secondary study in the south. Your desire to be educated outside of your community suggests much about you. It suggests that you seek knowledge, that you want to enhance your life and the lives of your ... read more ››

Mexican Native Revolt

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation took over six towns in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas, launching an uprising that has highlighted the country’s mistreatment of aboriginal people. The group, which goes by the Spanish acronym EZLN, consists of peasants descended ... read more ››

Micmac Reveals Truth About Nova Scotia Heroes

Some of Nova Scotia’s top tourist spots and towns are named after British military leaders who planned savage atrocities against the Micmac people, says a new book by Micmac author and political leader Dan Paul. “Their names are an affront to our people and the names of those places should ... read more ››


The Quebec justice system has failed Povungnituk, say residents of this Inuit community 500 kilometres north of Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay. Justice authorities have not dealt property with a sudden crime wave that has hit Povungnitik, including an ongoing case involving 116 children who say they were sexually assaulted, residents ... read more ››

Sirros Appointment Ominous

Premier Daniel Johnson’s decision to hand the natural-resources and native-affairs portfolios to the same minister, Christos Sirros, is an ominous sign, says Kenny Blacksmith, deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees. “We all know where Sirros is coming from, trying to promote negotiations on Great Whale,” Blacksmith said, ... read more ››

The Land Is Our Dictionary

When everyone else was heading off to residential school, Paul Gull’s father had something different in mind for his children. He told Indian Affairs, “I want to take care of my own children.” Gull, who has been chair of the Cree School Board since 1992, learned from his father that ... read more ››

Wolf warning in Waswanipi

Since early last month, several wolves have been sighted in the vicinity of Miquelon, Desmairsville and Waswanipi, Quebec. Two pet dogs were killed and eaten by wolves in Miquelon during the first week of December. The Waswanipi Cree First Nation, police force and public safety committee organized a wolf hunt to ... read more ››

Zapatistas Call for End to Mexican Dictatorship

The following is the full text of a declaration from the Lacandon jungle by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation: TODAY WE SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO: MEXICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS: We are a product of 500 years of struggle: first against slavery, then during the War of Independence against ... read more ››