Volume 1, Issue 16

A little decadence in the evil empire

How good it is to sink a business indeed! (Or at least attempt to.) My mission, which I decided to accept, was to infiltrate the eating quarters of the Evil Empire in Radisson and report my findings to CNI (Cree Nation Intelligence). Just what was the Empire putting in the digestive ... read more ››

A new beginning: Impacts of forestry operations from the Cree Hunters’ and Trappers’ Perspective

“Less and less, the birds sang, until one day we heard their beautiful songs no more and our hearts cried out as we hugged our children and told them to pray. Nothing could slow the loggers down.” Paul Dixon is a hunter and trapper in the Waswanipi Territory. The original version ... read more ››

A tête-à-tête with Brouillard

Richard Brouillard is a familiar figure to many Crees. He is one of the top consultants working for the Cree economic entities. In March, Bill Namagoose, Matthew Swallow and Eddy Diamond wrote a stinging letter accusing Brouillard of conflict-of-interest because he is both the controller of the Board of Compensation ... read more ››

Brothers need foster home

Bobby, 6, and his 4-year-old brother, Dwayne, need a Cree foster home in the Montreal area for at least a year, says Montreal’s Ville Marie Child and Youth Protection Centre. “They are bright, affectionate youngsters who need a lot of reassurance,” says the agency. Bobby and Dwayne’s natural parents will ... read more ››

Canada ignoring PQ threat

Canada is ignoring the territorial dispute between the Parti Quebecois and the Crees of James Bay, said Matthew Coon Come at the Cree Nations Gathering in The Pas. The Grand Chief accused Ottawa politicians of wanting to ignore the problem because they are afraid of stirring up anti-federalist sentiment in Quebec ... read more ››

Chiefs say no to development

Chiefs of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation say all mining, forestry and tourism on their traditional lands that does not have First Nations approval must be halted immediately. The call came in a tough resolution passed by the Chiefs at their annual Keewaywin Concerence in New Post, Ont. June 21-23. The resolution covers ... read more ››

Christopher Herodier goes back to the land

Christopher Herodier is a busy man. When I first met the young filmmaker at the Commercial Centre in his home town of Chisasibi, he quickly shook my hand and said, “Do you mind if we walk while we talk?” I accompanied him to the Band Council office, to the bank ... read more ››

Fighters collide over James Bay

Two British fighter planes crashed during a refuelling manoeuvre in the skies above James Bay on Aug. 1. The pilot and navigator of the first plane had to eject, and spent nine hours in a lifeboat on the La Grande River. Their Tornado fighter crashed, but Canadian and British military authorities ... read more ››

Former priest jailed for abuse

A former priest and boy scout leader was sentenced to six years in jail for abusing at least 16 boys while he lived and worked in three native communities in northwest Ontario. Ralph Knight Munk Rowe, 48, pled guilty to 28 counts of sexual abuse and one count of common assault ... read more ››

From Greenland with love

Uka Wilhelm, a Greenlander and medical student from Denmark, recently spent five months in Canada studying physiology at McGill and improving her English. In May, she was invited by the Kativik School Board to speak to secondary school students in Puvimituq as part of their “Career Days.” Uka (which means “white ... read more ››

Gas-sniffing plagues Davis Inlet

Gas-sniffing is causing more problems in Davis Inlet. Chief Simeon Tshakapesh says at least 42 children in this Labrador Innu community are abusing solvents to get high. “Things are getting worse,” he said in a Montreal Gazette article. The community has been struck by frequent suicide attempts—three in one recent week. Many ... read more ››

Hydro bonds a good deal, says utility

Hydro-Quebec is trying to reassure jittery investors that Hydro bonds are still a good, solid investment. Helen Mayer, a spokeswoman for the utility, played down a recent decision by yet another American college to sell off its Hydro bonds. Williams College, based in Massachusetts, dumped $1.5 million U.S. because portfolio managers said ... read more ››

Hydro slammed over Great Whale study

Hydro-Quebec is on the defensive over the proposed Great Whale River Project. The utility is being pummelled over its flawed environmental-impact study into the $13.3-billion project. The most embarassing development came when a panel of experts paid by Hydro-Quebec itself released a report saying the 5,000-page study is “gravely inadequate” in ... read more ››

Hydro would be easy to bomb, says Union

When Hydro-Quebec gave its security guards vastly expanded powers of arrest and investigation, the utility said it needed to guard against a growing threat of terrorism. But a union of Hydro’s own workers says security hasn’t been beefed up at major Hydro installations at all. In fact, the union says ... read more ››

Inside the evil empire

After years of fighting against the infamous Mega-Corp Hydro-Quebec in the northeastern United States, I was about to finally visit the dams that I felt had damned my people. It is hard to approach this type of story without a bias or an opinion, so I didn’t even try. I was ... read more ››

Natives have nothing to teach me, says Le Hir

PQ star candidate Richard Le Hir has Landed in hot water over comments he makes in a new film about the Great Whale River Project. “I would have something to learn from them [natives] if it could be shown that their culture demonstrated its superiority in one form or another,” Le ... read more ››

Natives must pay taxes: Le Hir

If Richard Le Hir has his way, First Nations people will have to pay all the taxes that other Quebecers pay. That’s what a Montreal-based journalist reports after having dinner with the PQ candidate in recent weeks. Le Hir launched into a rant about the special privileges natives supposedly have and said ... read more ››

Nominations for awards open

John Kim Bell was in Montreal on July 20 to announce the opening of nominations for the second National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. Bell, a Mohawk from Kahnawake, is Canada’s first aboriginal orchestra conductor. He established the aboriginal achievement awards and the Canadian Native Arts Foundation after witnessing the poverty and social ... read more ››

Operation liberation: Crees take troubled kids out of problem-plagued Val d’Or youth centre

They were the cutest kids in the world. It’s not what you might expect from Cree kids in a centre for troubled youth in Val d’Or. But that’s what we found—half a dozen of the sweetest, most open-hearted, curious and funny kids you could meet. They were each there for their ... read more ››

Proud of my native heritage

My name is Andy Baribeau and I work for Hydro-Quebec thanks to the Horizon 86-96 Program, which was born after negotiations between the James Bay Crees and Hydro-Quebec. The program permitted a certain number of Crees to be employed by Hydro-Quebec. To some of you, this may seem like a ... read more ››

Quebec attack on ecologists backfires

NEW YORK—Quebec’s defense of the Great Whale project here appears to have backfired. For a couple of years now the Quebec government had taken a back seat in the controversy, choosing to let Hydro-Quebec defend itself in New York against attacks by the Crees and U S. environmentalists over its Great ... read more ››

Report from the Cree Nations Gathering

The first Cree Nations Gathering took place July 18-24 in Opaskwayak, across the Saskatchewan River from The Pas, Manitoba. The purpose of this gathering was reviving a Confederacy of Cree Nations, which our Elders say was in place before the Europeans came to this continent. There were people from many ... read more ››

Thanks and many more thanks

This isn’t so much an editorial as a thank you to all the people we met with in our mini-tour of the coastal communities a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to George in Waskaganish, who not only put us up for the night but showed us some of that famous Cree ... read more ››

The Nation does Wemindji

Residents of Wemindji just celebrated the 35th anniversary of the move of their village from Old Factory Island to its present location. Celebrations continued until Aug. 7 on the island and in the new community. The Nation’s William Nicholls, Neil Diamond and Alex Roslin were on hand to witness the festivities ... read more ››

Wapistan, Ron Irwin at AGA

The Grand Council/CRA Annual General Assembly in Eastmain is going to have some distinguished guests—Wapistan and Ron Irwin. Wapistan (a.k.a. Lawrence Martin) won a Juno for his album, Lawrence Martin Is Wapistan. Ron is of course the federal Indian Affairs Minister. The assembly is happening Aug. 23 to 25. The Cree ... read more ››

Will the real self-government stand up?

The Quebec government has signed an agreement that may allow the Inuit to become the first aboriginal nation in the province to achieve self-government. The deal, signed July 21 in Montreal, only establishes the framework for negotiations on self-government. But it commits Quebec to the principle of greater autonomy for an ... read more ››