Volume 1, Issue 20

Chiefs reach self-gov’t deal

Indian Affairs is one step closer to being dismantled in Manitoba. After six months of negotiations and 13 rewrites of a ground-breaking agreement on self-government, Manitoba’s First Nations Chiefs ratified a preliminary self-government agreement in early September. The agreement covers 60 First Nations and 85,000 status natives. It must now be ... read more ››

Cree health on the move

There is a new address for the Program and Research Team in Public Health for the Cree Territory of James Bay. The unit has moved in with the Mercury Project of the Cree Health Board at 1610 Ste-Calherine W., office #404, Montreal, H3H 2S2. You can contact the unit for birth ... read more ››

Elders banish wayward youths

Two native teenagers from Alaska have been banished to two uninhabited islands to spend more than a year in exile. The 17-year-old youths were sent off with sleeping bags and a few select tools on a fishing boat after brutally beating a pizza delivery man in Everett, Washington. He was left ... read more ››

From the basement to the ballroom

There was recently a pow wow at the Sheraton Centre in the main ballroom. It was part of a conference field there. It is significant for me, because I see the progression and acceptance, if you will, of our culture as native people. t is an impressive room with big chandeliers, wall-to-wall ... read more ››

Hepatitis program for natives

A new health care consultation program is helping isolated doctors treat aboriginal people in northern communities who have hepatitis. The Canada-wide program, now reaching its first birthday, links health care workers in northern communities with a specialist at the University of Alberta Department of Medicine. The program allows the university specialist ... read more ››

I voted for the land

“There is one greater power than all the powers we know—the power from above.” Chisasibi Elder Robbie Matthew Sr. was asked to comment on the Sept. 12 Quebec election won by the Parti Québécois Myself, I was not really concerned about who won and who lost. Myself, I was more concerned about ... read more ››

Innu boycott federal hearings

The Innu people of Nitassinan have pulled out of public hearings into low-level military flights over their land, saying the Canadian government isn’t interested in their input. “It’s a sham,” said Daniel Ashini, director of Innu Rights and Environment for the Innu Nation. “We are extremely disappointed.” Ottawa is holding the hearings ... read more ››

International politics and Indigenous peoples

The Crees have been active in international politics for many years. Most prominent of these actions was the fight against Hydro-Quebec’s proposed Great Whale project. As a result of this confrontation, we are known in the United States, Europe, South American countries and Japan, among others. The Crees have also made ... read more ››

Karaoke fever

Ka-ra-o-ke (kar’e o’ke), n. the act of singing along to a music video, esp. one from which the original vocals have been eliminated. [Japn, = kara empty + oke orchestra] -Webster’s dictionary The faltering voices of young men blowing a popular song from the Sixties to smithereens assailed our ears as ... read more ››

Lawyer paid a bundle for talks

A former president of the Liberal Party of Canada will be paid up to $250,000 to head the federal negotiations with the Mohawks of Oka next year. Lawyer Michel Robert was appointed to the part-time position by federal Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin last May. There was no public call for ... read more ››

Lay off Quebec, Mercredi told

Ovide Mercredi should stay out of the upcoming Quebec referendum campaign on sovereignty, says Konrad Sioui, the former regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador. Sioui, who ran unsuccessfully to replace Mercredi as National Chief of the AFN last July, claimed in an interview with La ... read more ››

Let’s walk together

After interviewing Bertie Wapachee, he asked “So do you have a tear in your eye?” We both laughed while I reached for a hanky. You don’t meet many people more intense than he is. That power he has is now going to be put to work on behalf of the ... read more ››

Parizeau keeps Native Affairs

Jacques Parizeau announced his new cabinet on Sept. 26 and kept the sensitive Native Affairs post for himself. David Cliche, elected in a Montreal suburb, will be Parizeau’s special Parliamentary secretary on native issues. Abitibi-West MNA Francois Gendron is getting the Natural Resources Ministry. PQ deputy Richard Le Hir got one ... read more ››

Police situation “intolerable”: Chief Diamond

The police situation in the Cree communities is “intolerable,” says Waskaganish Chief Billy Diamond. “The Waskaganish First Nation has been forced to use funding identified for other purposes in order to finance its policing services. This situation is intolerable, unacceptable and cannot continue any more,” writes Chief Diamond in letters sent ... read more ››

This space for rent

Well, actually it’s free. Here we are, issue # 20. I’ve usually done the editorials for this page. And I’ve run out of things to say… Actually I’m getting lazy. So we here at The Nation are inviting you to contribute. To contribute to The Nation and to your nation. We want ... read more ››

Washington visit inflames separatists

Matthew Coon Come provoked the ire of Quebec nationalists on Sept. 19 when he went to Washington and asked a U.S. audience to keep an eye on Quebec’s treatment of First Nations. The Grand Chief said he was worried about sovereigntists using violence against First Nations peoples who refuse to be ... read more ››

Wellness program part of healing process

The only way to get the healing process underway in the Cree communities is by openly talking about issues like family violence and child sexual abuse, says Chief Billy Diamond. “We have been living in a period of denial,” said Chief Diamond in an interview. “The healing has to begin.” “We must ... read more ››

Whereas the Members of the Cree Nation of Eastmain Having Met in Eastmain

EASTMAIN is breaking new trails on old hunting grounds. At Eastmain’s Local Annual General Assembly, two resolutions were passed that deal with traplines and the traditional role of the tallyman. This is the first time that the tallymen have been officially recognized in Band resolutions. The resolutions lay out the rules and ... read more ››

Your changes for a change

The countdown has started. In eight to ten months, the province of Quebec will be looking at a referendum on separation from Canada. That decision will have far-reaching consequences for Crees and other indigenous peoples whose territories, lands or resources happen to be in the present boundaries of the province ... read more ››

Zapatistas on war-footing

The Zapatista National Liberation Army has gone on “red alert” in response to what it calls an “attitude of belligerence” on the part of Mexico’s government. The rebel army, made up mostly of indigenous Mayan peasants from the impoverished Mexican state of Chiapas, launched an uprising on Jan. 1. Talks with ... read more ››