Volume 1, Issue 15

AIDS Activist Dies

A Cree AIDS activist who pioneered new ways of spreading awareness of AIDS in First Nations communities succumbed to AIDS himself on May 18. Leonard Johnston was instrumental in setting up support groups and grieving circles for people with AIDS and their families in Vancouver. He became an AIDS activist after ... read more ››

Canada should say sorry to High Arctic exiles: Report

Canada should apologize to the High Arctic exiles and provide them with compensation, says a new report from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The commission called the move of 92 Inuit from Inukjuak to the High Arctic “illegal” and “paternalistic,” and accused Canada of lying to the Inuit. The Inuit ... read more ››

Down on natives

Almost half of 1,000 Quebecers responding to a survey had a negative opinion of the province’s native population. One-quarter said they view aboriginal people in a “very negative” light, and 23 per cent more had a “rather negative” view of them. The survey counted 21 per cent as having a “very ... read more ››

Echoes Of A Proud Nation Pow Wow in Kahnawake

The Drummers Gilbert Cheechoo, lead singer – Earl Danyluk – Earl Danyluk Jr. In the 70s as younger men they went to the pow wows and gatherings and received teachings from the Elders and the people. Those teachings prompted them to start singing in 1974. In 1984, they were known as the ... read more ››

Forestry hurting moose: wildlife official

A top official in Quebec’s wildlife department says he shares the Crees’ concern about falling moose numbers in northern Quebec. “I agree with the Crees on this topic,” said Denis Vandal, chief of the Nouveau-Quebec department in Quebec’s Ministry of Environment and Wildlife (which recently replaced the MLCP). Vandal said forestry and ... read more ››

Grim picture at the Cree-Naskapi Commission

Robert Kanatewat knows the laws governing the Crees better than most. As Commissioner of the Cree-Naskapi Commission, his job is to monitor whether Canada and Quebec have honoured the commitments they made in the Cree-Naskapi Act. He also keeps an eye on the promises made in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. ... read more ››

Hydro wrangles with Sirros

Sparks are flying between Hydro-Quebec and Natural Resources Minister Christos Sirros. The utility and Sirros are waging an embarassing public battle over how to deal with a scandal involving a former aide to Premier Robert Bourassa. Mario Bertrand, who was Bourassa’ chief of staff, sits on the board of directors of ... read more ››

I’m a stand-by-my-native man

At the end of June, The Nation took part in a native media teleconference interview with Ron Irwin, the federal Minister of Indian Affairs. We shared the panel with John Coplin from Alberta News, Diane Lewis of Wawatay News in Sioux Lookout, Anne Sillibeck of CHON-FM from Whitehorse, Yukon and ... read more ››

Ingenious, impersonal machines

The day after we returned from the river we headed inland again, but this time in a helicopter, the commercial charge for which, if we had had to pay it, would have been something like $700 for the 70-mile flight. A young pilot efficiently hauled us into the air, and ... read more ››

Is Anything There For Me?

Waskaganish trapper Bob Moar Sr. spoke with Ernest Webb about the logging on Muskuchii Mountain and elsewhere on his trapline. Here is what he said. (Translated from Cree.) They seem to destroy wherever Crees have hunting grounds. When I go to the territory by plane, it’s expensive. I’m never sure if ... read more ››

Mass evacuation in Manitoba

Four hundred residents of a northern Manitoba native community are marching 650 kilometres to Winnipeg to protest contaminated drinking water in their village. About 850 residents of Pukatawagan had to flee their community July 9 and 10 after nine people got hepatitis from drinking unclear water. “It’s a disgrace to Canada for ... read more ››

Mistissini’s new Band Council

The new Chief of Mistissini is William Mianscum. In a brief interview with The Nation, Chief William Mianscum looked at his immediate priorities. And there are many new councillors. Mistissini’s looking for change, as the new Chief sees it. “Some councillors have never served before. This council represents change and a ... read more ››

Moving in on Muskuchii

There used to be a lot of moose on Muskuchii Mountain. Now there are few, if any. And local trappers know who is to blame: Normick Perron, the company that’s been logging in the area for the past eight years. “The mountain is very valuable to natives and for trappers. It’s ... read more ››

New era in Mistissini

Chief Henry Mianscum surprised few people when he announced he was retiring from politics this year. His long years of public service included a few terms as a young Mistissini Band Councillor, in addition to the 11 years he spent serving the people of Mistissini as their Chief. In an exclusive ... read more ››

Richard Brouillard responds to critics

Richard Brouillard is fighting back against his critics. He has written a letter to the chair of the Board of Compensation, Rod Pachano, defending himself against allegations of conflict-of-interest. Three CRA representatives to the Board of Compensation, Bill Namagoose, Matthew Swallow and Eddy Diamond, made the allegations in a letter to Rod ... read more ››

Self-government stumbles

Before self-government has even been implemented in Manitoba, many of the province’s Chiefs are worrying that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. A plan to dismantle Indian Affairs and hand powers over to Manitoba First Nations was announced with much fanfare last spring. But the process has been stalled ... read more ››

Sexual abuse hurts

Child sexual abuse can never be defined to the satisfaction and comprehension of a civilized society. Its horrid implications transcend at times human imagination and intellect. We, the Cree society, must redefine our attitudes towards the sexual abuse of children. I know that as Cree people, we never began to minimize ... read more ››

Sexual Abuse Hurts Our Children

How can we support victims of sexual abuse • We must support and believe the victim when the disclosure of abuse is made. • We must support and have com passion for other fam ily members who are affected and help them to grieve. • We must help them gain self-worth and self-esteem by supporting them ... read more ››

SM-3 A “dangerous precedent”

Innu traditionalists who oppose the SM-3 hydro-project have gotten some words of support from the Conseil des Atikamekw et des Montagnais. Rene Simon, the council’s chairman, says Hydro-Quebec’s projects threaten the Innu way of life. He also criticized a compensation agreement signed by the Innu Chief of the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam ... read more ››

The cook was on vacation II

Isn’t it amazing what a piece of blueberry glazed cake is capable of? Fortunately, it wasn’t available in Nemaska where I had the pleasure of experiencing a most unusual restaurant a couple of weeks ago. Actually, it’s the only restaurant in Nemaska. The place looked very popular during dinner one evening ... read more ››

The ice is broken

After 14 years as a Peacekeeper in Waskaganish, Jim Hester has seen some painful things. Two years ago, a girl came forward and reported that she was abused by her father. But she was so afraid of being alone with a male police officer that she couldn’t tell her story to ... read more ››

They are cutting Me down

Loggers are quickly moving northward. Now, they are active in the Waskaganish Territory and threaten the sacred Muskuchii Mountain. Tallyman Charlie Diamond spoke with us about the clearcutting near his trapline by the company Normick Perron. Charlie, 52, has been hunting since his father first took him at age 10. ... read more ››

Unions complain of harassment by renegade Hydro cops

Native people, ecologists and human-rights groups aren’t the only ones worrying about Hydro-Quebec’s secretive new police force. Now the utility’s own employees are getting a taste of the tactics of the “Surete d’Hydro-Quebec,” and they don’t like what they see. Hydro-Quebec’s 210-person police squad has extensive new powers to investigate, interrogate ... read more ››

Zapatistas reject peace plan

Indigenous rebels in Mexico have rejected a peace plan proposed by the government in March, saying it falls far short of the economic and political reforms the rebels demanded when they launched their uprising January 1. The rejection will not immediately lead to a resumption of armed conflict. Leaders of the ... read more ››