Volume 1, Issue 6

“Taking money is wrong”: Tulugak

A different thinking about hydro mega-projects is taking hold in Inuit country. At least, that’s the perception of Harry Tulugak, the former mayor of Puvimituq (Inuit for “Povungnituk”). “A lot of people are saying that man should not alter the face of the Earth in a way it shouldn’t be ... read more ››

Appeal from Native Prisoners

Native prisoners at the Washington State Penitentiary have been given an ultimatum. The prison chaplain, Ron Willhite, has issued a memo saying they have to get rid of either their medicine bag or their eagle feathers, but can’t keep both religious items. Willhite’s reasoning: no Native American religion ever made use ... read more ››

Book review: Indians Are Us?

Indians Are US? Culture and Genocide in Native North America is the title of the latest book by Ward Churchill, the co-director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in Colorado. Churchill, who is Creek/Cherokee Métis, touches on a broad variety of topics in the book’s various chapters, and devotes much of ... read more ››

Coon Come Sums Hydrogen Pun

Hydro-Quebec’s plan to export hydrogen energy to Germany will mean greater destruction of Cree lands, said Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come. “Can you not accomplish your goals through greater conservation and greater efficiency?” asked Coon Come at a conference of the prestigious Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries late ... read more ››

Cree land is not Quebec’s for taking, says Awashish

The biggest obstacle to Cree economic development is the government of Quebec’s view that Cree lands are a vast frontier waiting to be exploited for its resources, says Philip Awashish. “Quebec policies perpetuate the notion that Cree territory is a frontier for the development and exploitation of resources for profit and ... read more ››

Cree to Win Juno?

Moose Factory’s own Wapistan (a.k.a. Lawrence Martin) could be the first aboriginal person to win a Juno under a new First Nations music category. Wapistan’s debut album Wapistan Is Lawrence Martin, a favourite at The Nation office, is one of five recordings nominated in the new category. Wapistan was born in ... read more ››

Crees Win Supreme Court Fight

Crees have won a victory against Hydro-Quebec in the Supreme Court. The court decided unanimously on Feb. 24 that there must be a federal environmental review of all future Hydro-Quebec dam-construction projects that are necessary to fulfil contracts to export electricity to the U.S. “This will give us a little time ... read more ››

Crimes Against Humanity

If nifty little “pep” gestures like the “Indian Chant” and the “Tomahawk Chop” are just good clean fun then let’s spread the fun around shall we? During the past couple of seasons, there has been an increasing wave of controversy regarding the names of professional sports teams like the Atlanta “Braves,” ... read more ››

Discovering a New World

There is a whole new world opening up and we’re late starting. The new world I’m talking about is computers. Everyone’s seen them. You know the one sitting in your closet which you bought five to 10 years ago. You took it out of the box thinking of the possibilities ... read more ››

Fort Albany Station Seers Input

Fort Albany’s CFKA radio wants news articles and other contributions from First Nations peoples, says Mike Metatawabin, news director at the Cree-language, First Nations-run radio station on the west coast of James Bay. The eventual audience is all Native people in northwestern Ontario. Mike also wants to hear from video ... read more ››

Hydro Must Change: Engineers

Quebec’s energy policy is on the wrong course and needs to be revamped with input from the public, says the union representing Hydro-Quebec engineers. “We’re worried about the energy overcapacity,” said Louis Champagne, president of the 1,550-member Syndicat professionel des ingénieurs. “Why do we build things we have no need for? ... read more ››

Lay off Mohawks: Blacksmith

Give the Mohawks a break, says Deputy Grand Chief Kenny Blacksmith. The Mohawk people are being unfairly villainized by the Bloc Québécois and media, said Blacksmith. “We have got to have some peace sometime.” Some Quebec media like La Presse and the Bloc have stepped up a campaign to portray the ... read more ››

Maamuitaau Wins Award

Maamuitaau has won a Certificate of Merit from the Canadian Nursing Association for the documentary, Sugar Diabetes in the Cree Community. The half-hour documentary was produced for the Cree-language CBC program by Solomon Awashish, with help from writer-broadcasters Emma Saganash and Matthew Iserhoff. The documentary explores the causes and impacts of ... read more ››

Mistissini Debates Tourism

The Crees of Mistissini have always marvelled at the natural wonders surrounding their village on beautiful Lake Mistissini. Now, a growing number of Mistissini leaders want to show those wonders off to the world by getting into the booming business of “eco-tourism.” Not only would eco-tourism create economic prosperity for Mistissini, ... read more ››

Mixed Feelings on New Gold Mines

Cree leaders have mixed feelings about two new gold mines opening soon in the Mistissini territory. The mines may lead to economic spin-offs for Crees, but have also renewed concern about a lack of compensation for the exploitation of resources on Cree lands. Don MacLeod, economic-development coordinator for the Mistissini First ... read more ››

North of 50

The taxi driver from Chibougamau told me he wasn’t a bigot. “I’m not racist,” he said. “Mind you, I detest Arabs. But I have nothing against Indians.” I was on my way from Chibougamau airport to Mistissini. It was my first time in a Cree community. I was coming up for ... read more ››

Raid des Braves

Despite their less-powerful machines, two Cree teams placed among the top four in the annual 1,400-km Raid des Braves snowmobile race. For the first time this year, the race had a stop-over in Mistissini, where most of the community was on-hand to greet the racers. Of course, the Mistissini team was ... read more ››

Rev. Ottereyes hits the air

Waswanipi Cree evangelist Billy Ottereyes is starting a gospel broadcast on an American radio station on March 7. The Cree/English program will be heard through 18 states and six provinces, including the James Bay Cree territory, Monday to Friday at 9 p.m. Tune into 1170 AM (WWVA radio from Wheeling, ... read more ››

Seasoned Pro and OJ Cree Win Chibougamau Rallye

Remember when as a kid you were on the teeter-totter, then suddenly your friend as a joke jumps off, then you slam down hard. That’s pretty well how the Chibougamau Rallye feels, but it goes on for a couple of hours. The 28th annual Rallye in Chibougamau was held on February ... read more ››

Self-determination and Harmony

There is a perception that by incorporating technologies, foods or ideas into our native culture from the outside, we are no longer native. I’ve heard such comments as “you can’t skidoo down the aboriginal trail forever,” or the infamous argument made by lawyers in the 1970s court cases that since ... read more ››

Tax break for Natives

A court has ruled that Revenue Canada can no longer level corporate taxes on band-owned businesses. Judge D.G.H. Bowman, of the Tax Court of Canada, recently set a new precedent when he ruled that the Otinek Development Corporation Ltd. is exempt from taxes becuase its owner, the Opasquaiack Band of ... read more ››

The First Aboriginal Law Moot Kawaskimhon A Great Success

The first ever aboriginal law moot court was held in Toronto late last month. Because this was an aboriginal moot it was given a native name, “Kawaskimhon” which means, “Speaking with knowledge.” It was also opened with a prayer by an elder who talked of respect for the Earth and ... read more ››

The Forgotten Crees of Mistissini

Twenty years after the James Bay Agreement was signed, a key issue has never been resolved—the fate of nine Mistissini Cree traplines that fall outside the category-three boundaries defined in the Agreement. For two decades, trappers here haven’t had the same rights as other Crees, and have endured harassment from Quebec ... read more ››

Trappers Cautious About Tourism

Cree trappers are reacting with caution to Mistissini’s tourism plan, says Thomas Coon, vice-chair of the Cree Trappers’ Association. “I have a lot of concerns. I don’t mind sharing the resources, provided there is good management and control. We support tourism under certain conditions.” Coon is a community representative sitting on a ... read more ››