Volume 1, Issue 4

700 Club Launches Ministry

The Christian Broadcasting Association (the 700 Club in Canada) is launching a new ministry effort aimed specifically at First Nations peoples. Working in conjunction with the National Native Bible College, the CBA will provide a specialized counselling training program for native students. The program will focus on alcohol and substance abuse, ... read more ››

AIDS: A Danger to First Nations Survival

Winter comes early for the peoples of the James Bay region. Winds from the Arctic sweep across Cree settlements, and pristine land ripples at its touch. Before the cold appears, many of the young, like a bird leaving its nest, have left the communities for the many faces of the ... read more ››

Charly’s 10-year Plan

If Charly Washipabano doesn’t have any groupies yet, it’s because he’s only 11. But with a 59-mile-an-hour slapshot and 14 goals so far this season, you can bet the groupies aren’t far off. Washipabano, a Cree from Chisasibi, plays right-wing on the North Shore Elites, the top-ranked Atom AA hockey team ... read more ››

Coon-Come Calls for “Major Changes” – Economic Efforts a Failure: Study

After a decade of sinking money into Cree economic-development efforts, a potentially controversial new study says the efforts have been a failure and cost Crees millions of dollars. Cree economic-development companies lost money in eight of the last 10 years, says the study. Crees could have made $60 million more ... read more ››

Coon-Come calls for “major changes” at Creeco

The following is a letter sent by Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come to Cree leaders on January 19. It comments on a scathing study of Cree economic-development companies. The study found that the companies are losing money hand-over-fist. To: Cree Chiefs and Band Councils Creeco Board Members Board of Compensation James ... read more ››

Cree Tourism: An Ecological and Educational Alternative

Tourism brings up visions of basking in the sun and waiting for your stolen American Express traveller’s cheques to be delivered to you, while you casually sip on your “tres forte” Pina Colada in some remote yet accessible Caribbean hideaway. Watch out, sun-lovers. The Crees of James Bay have established tourism ... read more ››

Elijah Harper: No Ordinary Hero

Elijah Harper writes in his introduction to Elijah Harper: No Ordinary Hero: “Personally, I can never thank aboriginal people across the country enough for their support, for their show of solidarity. I did not act alone. Through them I found strength. I had the collective will and the prayers of ... read more ››

First Nations Self-Determination Gets a Boost

If Quebec separates from Canada, aboriginal peoples should hold their own referendums on whether to stay inside Quebec or Canada, or strike out on their own, says Romeo Saganash. “We are heading toward a clash of nationalisms,” said Saganash, who until last September was Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council ... read more ››

Freezing in Chisasibi

Chisasibi residents can blame Hydto-Quebec for the bitter cold that has gripped the community this winter. “This winter is the worst one we’ve had,” says Robbie Matthew Sr, former chief of the Chisasibi First Nation and a former president of the Cree Trappers’ Association. Temperatures have fallen to around -40 degrees ... read more ››

Fur Stand-off Heats Up

A campaign by anti-fur lobbyists to ban the import of wild fur into Europe could have “devastating socio-economic impacts” on thousands of aboriginal families in Canada, says the Assembly of First Nations. At a press conference in Brussels on January 13, animal-rights lobbyists slammed the practice of trapping and ongoing efforts ... read more ››

Leonard Peltier Denied Parole

Leonard Peltier was denied parole once again at a hearing in mid-December at Leavenworth prison. Two examiners from the federal parole commission recommended Peltier not be considered for parole for an additional 15 years. The two examiners acknowledged Peltier’s excellent prison record but recommended further incarceration “in light of the crime.” ... read more ››

Little Rhody says NON to Hydro-Quebec

Hydro-Quebec suffered a third defeat when Rhode Island’s Public Utilities Commission turned down an offer of 250 megawatts of electricity in late January. Maine turned down HQ in 1989; New York said NON in 1992. Last year, HQ approached Rhode Island with an offer the Quebec utility thought couldn’t be refused. ... read more ››

Moses Visits Chiapas

The United Nations should step in to investigate human-rights violations against aboriginal peoples in the Mexican state of Chiapas, says Ted Moses, the Cree ambassador to the UN. Moses returned last week from an eight-day human-rights mission in Chiapas as part of the Indigenous Initiative For Peace, organized by Guatemalan Nobel ... read more ››

POV HAS 200-Case Backlog

The mayor of Puvimituq (Inuit for “Povung-nituk”) was stunned when a man accused last year of sexually assaulting six children was given a two-month sentence. In an interview with The Nation, Mayor Noah-Adamie Qumaaluk said the sentence was the just the most recent example of how the justice system has failed ... read more ››

Power Glut at Hydro-Quebec

At 8 a.m. on January 19, Hydro-Quebec proved once and for all that it doesn’t need to build any new hydroelectric dams, say environmentalists. On one of the coldest days of the winter, the utility coped easily with a record energy demand—29,939 megawatts. It even had some capacity to spare. ... read more ››

Sweat Lodges Recognized

First Nations people have long known about the healing powers of sweat lodges. Now, mainstream science is finally catching up. A pharmacologist at the University of Manitoba says researchers are taking a hard look at traditional First Nations medicine, including herbs and sweat lodges. Professor Wayne Lutt has found sweat ... read more ››

The Other Side of the Trap

It’s January, the start of the new year, and the time that marks the beginning of prime pelt season for Cree trappers. Cree beaver has always been in a class by itself, respected and known throughout the fur world for its quality. I remember many a time listening to the tallymen ... read more ››

Theytus books presents: Creation legends Okanagan-style

Each society has stories and legends which explain the existence of the people, the land and animals with which we share this world. They tell of a “Dreamtime” when animals, plants and humans talked with each other. This was the time when the world as we know it was formed, ... read more ››

Time To Take Responsibility

From everything we hear from people, it seems clear there is a desire for fundamental changes in the way that we, as a nation, do business. People talk about how the entities act and the problems that are created. But where does the responsibility ultimately lie? With us. The Crees who ... read more ››

Tunes for dancin’ and hurtin’

Chiwhatin Productions, the record company formed in August 1992 by Earl Danyluk and Jeff Merriam, has released a series of four tapes su re to bring back memories of your wedding dance, your family at church or that party of long ago. Two fiddle tapes from Clarence Louttit and Fred Georgekish ... read more ››

Ward Churchill: Struggle for the land

Since I first discovered the writing of Ward Churchill, I’ve always found his analysis of the situation facing Native Peoples in North America pertinent. So it was a great pleasure to find that a collection of his writing about land-based struggles had been released in book form in Canada. Churchill, a Creek/Cherokee ... read more ››

What, Me, Confrontational?

What is Christos Sirros’s game? That’s the question on many minds after the man who Crees got to know as Quebec’s tough Native Affairs Minister was handed the Natural Resources Ministry in a January cabinet shuffle. Sirros retains the native-affairs portfolio. Some Crees saw the Sirros appointment as an ominous sign, a ... read more ››

Where Have All The Ethics Gone?

It’s no secret that some Cree people feel Cree public officials are somehow benefitting more than them as a result of their positions—elected or appointed. But was anything ever done about this? In a word, yes. The Grand Council of the Crees unanimously passed a resolution on the topic at its ... read more ››

Women Go Public

Flora Kitchen has noticed a change in the role of women in Cree society. They are becoming more assertive about their concerns in public, and Cree society is changing to accommodate them. “Women are starting to be heard,” said Kitchen, who is president of the James Bay Cree Native Women’s ... read more ››