Volume 1, Issue 7

An Elder’s thoughts on Quebec and Cree separation

The following is an interview between The Nation’s Ernest Webb and Chisasibi elder Abraham Pisinaquan, 80, about Quebec and Cree sovereignty. Translated by Brian Webb. The Nation: Where do Eeyou come from? Abraham Pisinaquan: He wasn’t in one place when he was found. Wherever Whiteman found land, there were native people. ... read more ››

Crees bid for Midget AA franchise

Young Cree hockey players may soon no longer have to go south and join non-Cree teams to play Midget AA hockey. Plans are underway for the first Cree Midget AA hockey franchise to be affiliated with the Abitibi Minor Hockey Association. Organizers of the bid made their pitch to the president ... read more ››

Indian Affairs Dept, On The Way Out

After years of complaints about the colonialist mentality of Indian Affairs, it looks like the hated federal department is on the way out. The problem is no one knows what will replace it. The first reaction of aboriginal leaders has been very positive. “What we’re talking about here is a major ... read more ››

Inquiry into Residential Schools

The Assembly of First Nations is launching an inquiry into the residential school system and intends to seek reparations for what Ovide Mercredi called “violations of human rights.” The schools, founded by religious orders, forced First Nations children to abandon their traditions, languages and religions, and were frequently the sites of ... read more ››

Inuit Elders Help Offenders

The Inuit of Iqaiuit are experimenting with a new way of dealing with young offenders. Instead of having to serve a term in custody with questionable results, some young male offenders are being taught traditional Inuit ways by two elders and their families in an outpost camp 100 km southeast ... read more ››

It’s Our Right To Decide

Crees don’t have to sit and watch if Quebec decides to separate from Canada. Separation may lead to big social disruptions, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity for Crees to redefine their relationship with Quebec, Canada and with each other. Crees have several options before them, each with its own merits ... read more ››

Mockery of Justice for Native People

On May 16, 1992, Richard Shecapio, age 19, was shot and killed by a person under the influence of alcohol. The accused was arrested and then released from prison 10 days after this incident and placed in a halfway house in Amos, Quebec where he enjoyed freedom of movement in ... read more ››

Murray Porter: 1492 Who Found Who?

Murray Porter grew up and still lives on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. 1494: Who Found Who? is his first album and all he asks for is a chance. “Have an open mind and have a listen. Then you make your own judgement on the music itself,” he ... read more ››

Nationalist Like Me

Quebec nationalists come in many different stripes. Some like Jean Allaire, the controversial leader of the new nationalist party Action démocratique du Québec, want immigrants to pledge an oath to “live in French.” If they don’t, they’ll have to pay back the money spent to “integrate” them. But other nationalists see ... read more ››

Native Rebels Optimistic

The Mexican government has agreed to make sweeping economic and political reforms after talks with aboriginal rebels who launched an uprising in January. Leaders of the rebel Zapatista National Liberal Army were cautious about the accord but expressed guarded optimism. “We now have the obligation to reflect well on what ... read more ››

Natives Better Off, Believe Francophones

Three-quarters of francophone Quebecers believe that federal grants to First Nations peoples should be either reduced or eliminated altogether, according to a poll conducted by La Presse and Radio-Quebec in early March. Among anglophones, only 28 per cent believe the funding should be cut. Also, 52 percent of francophones say the ... read more ››

New York Contract Cancelled?

The new chairman of the New York Power Authority has dealt a major blow to Hydro-Quebec when he recommended the cancellation of the utility’s estimated $ 5-billion (U.S.) electricity contract with Quebec. The move gives more breathing room to Crees concerned about construction of the proposed Great Whale River project. The ... read more ››

Our Language Is Who We Are

Some young people might be confused about what being a Cree means. I know, because I’ve been there. Growing up as a young man, I thought our Creeness was in name only. Seeing images on TV of Indians dancing, drumming and sometimes scalping, dressed in their feathers and paint, I thought ... read more ››

Our Rights Are Our Rights

SOM – LA PRESSE SURVEY Federal subsidies to the native peoples of Canada are $5.8 billion per year. Do you think these subsidies should be…? Increased Maintained Reduced Abolished No Opinion TOTAL (no. 1,002) 2% 20% 39% 29% 10% Mother tongue French only (no. 854) 1% 15% 43% 34% 7% English/Other (no. 145) 6% 43% 18% 10% 23% Would you say that the quality of life ... read more ››

PQ Offers Natives New Deal

Jacques Parizeau seems convinced he will be celebrating Quebec Independence Day on June 24, 1996, but he still hasn’t figured out how to deal with the biggest obstacle in his path: the First Peoples of this land. The Parti Québécois has put a lot of energy into trying to convince Quebecers ... read more ››

Quebec Denies Our Rights: AFN

Quebec and Canada must recognize aboriginal rights, including the right to self-determination, says the Assembly of First Nations When we began looking at the issue of separation and options of sovereignty for the First Nations of Quebec, we called a number of people. Ghislain Picard, vice-chief of the Assembly of First Nations, ... read more ››

R-21 Trapline: The Wounded Land

Many people would be happy to have a road near the place where they live, work and play, but trappers are an exception. Trappers on trapline R-21 are adversely affected by a new road called the Route du Nord running from Nemaska to Chibougamau. Freddy Jolly is the tallyman of the R-21 ... read more ››

Reopen Contracts: Coon Come

Quebec should reopen its costly secret risk-sharing contracts with aluminum multinationals, says Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come. The contracts will end up costing Hydro-Quebec ratepayers $10.2 billion, according to a new study by an Oregon-based energy consultant. “If Premier Johnson can have legislation adopted to unilaterally reopen the labour contracts of ... read more ››

Servinor Rapped Over Funds

Servinor has withdrawn $8.5 million from a bank account managed by the Board of Compensation without getting permission from the board. The move has prompted calls for stricter controls on how the Board of Compensation manages its funds. Servinor also raised eyebrows because it spent much of the $8.5 million on ... read more ››

Should We Stay or Should We Go

There is lots of talk about Quebec possibly separating from Canada. What isn’t being talked about are the rights and options Crees have if Quebec separates. The separatist Parti Québécois is the favoured winner in the next election, which could beheld as early as June. A growing number of Quebecers seem ... read more ››

Sports Getting Too Competitve, Say Youth

Over-competitiveness at sports matches is getting out of hand and is hurting relations between Crees, say Cree youth. “There’s an overemphasis on competition,” said James Shecapio, president of the Cree Youth Council. “It’s one thing to win, but the important thing in the cultural tradition of the Crees is for everyone to ... read more ››

The buck stops where?

Hydro-Quebec has lost another export contract to the U.S. This time it was an 800-megawatt deal that was up for renewal. It would have extended well into the next century. David Freeman, the new head of the New York Power Authority, announced on March 2 that he was recommending the cancellation ... read more ››

Tufts Sells Hydro bonds

Tufts University of Massachusetts has decided to sell its investments in Hydro-Quebec bonds to protest against the proposed Great Whale River Project. At a closed-door meeting in late February, the university administration decided to sell investments of $2 million because of the Great Whale project’s “potential negative and irreversible impact ... read more ››

Zigzagging on the Rupert’s

It was a clear sunny day without wind, the kind of day when the water acts like a mirror. You can see the world reflected in the water. You can see for miles and, with the heat, the distant islands seem to be floating in the simmering air. Voices from the ... read more ››