Volume 1, Issue 5

“Great Whale is the Best”: Hydro Union

Hydro-Quebec and the utility’s employees remain enthusiastic about the Great Whale project despite statements by Natural Resources Minister Christos Sirros that Quebec’s energy policy is being re-examined. “We support the development of Great Whale,” said Raymond Gravel, president of the union representing Hydro-Quebec’s 7,000 blue-collar workers. “We are convinced that ... read more ››

Charlie Watt “Livid” About Deal Postponement

Imagine for a moment that the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement went like this: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Mexican President Salinas de Gortari are sitting at the table ready to sign the historic deal. Then they get a message. Brian Mulroney won’t be coming. Tell all ... read more ››

Crees Outnumbered 3:1 at Entities

Despite sinking millions of dollars into Cree economic-development efforts, non-Crees outnumber Crees three-to-one at the three largest Cree economic entities, according to figures from the Grand Council. The situation is even worse when just full-time jobs are considered. Cree Energy, Air Creebec and Cree Construction employ 253 non-Crees in full-time posts, ... read more ››

Diabetes Epidemic in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan natives are experiencing an epidemic of diabetes and are far more likely than non-aboriginal people to suffer life-threatening complications from the disease, says a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The report says the province’s First Nations people are 16 times more likely than non-natives to develop kidney failure ... read more ››

Enough Is Enough

Trappers in Waswanipi are so frustrated by unrestricted forestry operations on their traplines, they are talking about taking action, says John Kitchen, the chief of Waswanipi. “Our trappers have had enough. I wouldn’t be surprised if people started doing things,” he said. The Nation interviewed Kitchen in Montreal at a ... read more ››

Forum Foiled by Cliche Contract: Crees

The Grand Council of the Crees has pulled out of an international conference on First Nations and hydro-developments because of fears that the event is biased in favour of big utilities like Hydro-Quebec. The Grand Council learned that one of the main organizers, Quebec environmentalist David Cliche, has a contract ... read more ››

Hydro meddles in GW review: Crees

Hydro-Quebec has asked the Grand Council of the Crees to change the Cree composition of the federal and provincial committees studying the Great Whale River Project, according to Bill Namagoose, executive-director of the Grand Council. The Quebec utility has complained that two of our representatives are not “neutral,” Namagoose said. The ... read more ››

Johnny Kistabish Remembered

We just learned that a good friend has passed away. Johnny Kistabish had complications following an appendix operation. He got an infection during the operation and just never got better. Today, as I sit here, I remember Johnny’s laughter. It dances in the dark corners of my mind lighting the ... read more ››

Masters of Conquest

If the Cree people had read the James Bay Agreement of 1975, translated word for word into written Cree, it is “highly doubtful” they would have ratified it, says Matthew Mukash, chief of Whapmagoostui. “We weren’t given enough time to have the text of the Agreement translated into own language ... read more ››

Mohawks Scapegoated: Nation Office

Tensions are flaring in Mohawk communities near Montreal after statements by the federal government and RCMP that outside police may raid the communities in search of alleged cigarette traffickers. RCMP commissioner Norman Inkster recently told reporters, “Should circumstances require, it’s entirely possible that we will end up enforcing the law ... read more ››

Mountain Bike Marathon to Kick Off in Mistissini

The organizers of the Mountain Bike Marathon Challenge ’94 have announced that the third edition of the event is taking place this July 22 and 23. The two-day event consists of children’s mountain bike racing competitions on July 22, followed by the 110-kilometre Bike Marathon Challenge from Chibougamau to Mistissini ... read more ››

Power Glut in Ontario

A massive power glut at Ontario Hydro is leading to new layoffs at the financially troubled utility. The Toronto Star reported on Feb. 4 that Ontario Hydro plans to chop up to 1,669 more jobs. That’s on top of 10,000 jobs axed last year when the utility reduced its workforce ... read more ››

TeeVee Drops In On Chisasibi

Dakota House arrived in town just before 2 p.m. Dakota, who plays the character TeeVee on the CBC show North Of 60, was exhausted after the long trip from Edmonton and his overnight stay in Montreal. He was picked up by Nellie Pachano at La Grande Airport. When he first arrived in ... read more ››

The McDonald’s Factor

“Do you have any McDonald’s restaurants up there?” is a question I hear from time to time. Now what is that actually supposed to mean? That’s a pretty straight-forward question. But what is the meaning behind it? Does the person really want to know if we have any McDo’s back home? ... read more ››

The Sins of Our Sacred Plant

Let’s be truthful and honest. I’m an addict. Like all addicts I need my daily fix. I’m not alone, there are a lot of us out there. Normally we are just law-abiding citizens enjoying our cancer sticks. But as a Chinese curse has it: “May you live in interesting times.” I, ... read more ››

Time For Change

Violet Pachanos thinks it’s time for a change. “I’ve been involved in this from the beginning and have seen a lot of things along the way,” said Pachanos, the chief of Chisasibi and the only woman chief in all nine Cree First Nations. “I think we have to change the ... read more ››

U.S. Ecologists Blunder

A U.S.-based environmentalist group has walked into controversy after planning a demonstration against Hydro-Quebec without bothering to consult the Crees or major Quebec environmentalist organizations. The Native Forest Network decided last November to hold rallies on April 14 in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Montreal and in other countries to ... read more ››

We Have The Right: Algonquins

If anyone has the right to break up Canada, it’s the First Peoples of this country, says Albert Tenasco, Grand Chief of the Algonquins. “The non-treaty people of Quebec, the Algonquins, should have the main say in which direction this province should go, not the people that came after us,” ... read more ››

Youth Worried About Jobs

The lack of jobs for Cree youth could force many to leave Cree communities in search of employment, says James Shecapio. president of the Cree Youth Council. “Hundreds of young Crees are coming back to the communities with higher education. They may look outside Cree communities if there are no jobs. ... read more ››