Volume 4, Issue 4

“How’s Rez Notes?”

“How’s Rez Notes?” I am frequently asked that question. The question before that used to be, “Is there gonna be a Rez Notes this issue?” I always lied, and still do, “It’s all in my head.” That always keeps the evil Editor at bay for a few hours and it ... read more ››

“I Know It’s Not Nice What I Said” – But I’m not a Racist: Val d’Or Hockey Coach Swears

Val d’Or hockey coach Yvanhoé Bélisle says he’s sorry he called a young Cree hockey player a “savage,” but says everybody uses language like that and it’s just part of hockey. “I know it’s not nice what I said. It’s part of the game. I say things that everybody says,” Bélisle ... read more ››

“If It’s Going To Be, It’s Up To Me” Interview with basketball great Jack Donohue

Basketball came to Chisasibi in a big way last month courtesy of the Northern Lights Basketball Camp. An all-star team of guest coaches was on hand to teach the kids what they knew. One of Canada’s most famous basketball names, Jack Donohue, attended as a special guest coach for three of ... read more ››

17 Kids Arrested in Davis Inlet Rampage

Seventeen youths in Davis Inlet were arrested after a rampage through their school on New Year’s Day. The Innu kids, aged 13 to 21, took an axe to the front door of the Nukum Maini-Shan School sometime in the night and left the building in ruins at 8 a.m., undetected, the ... read more ››

85% Say No To Indian Act Changes

First Nations governments and organizations have mounted a countrywide campaign against proposed changes to the Indian Act In surveys, 85 per cent of Native people oppose the changes, according to Ovide Mercredi, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Before Christmas, Mercredi delivered over 100 letters from Native organizations protesting the ... read more ››

A Tradition Under Fire

New Years was different this year. A familiar sound was missing. One that I always felt was unique to Cree communities and an important tradition. A new by-law was delivered just after Christmas to each household banning the firing of guns on December 25th, 26th, 31st and January 1st on Category ... read more ››

Chisasibi Needs Proper Airport

Chisasibi has been waiting for a proper airport ever since the community relocated from Fort George Island nearly 20 years ago. The community of 3,000, which is home to the Cree Regional Hospital, is served by an airstrip without lights, no communications facilities, no control tower and no building for travellers ... read more ››

Compromise on Fur Ban

The European Union has decided not to ban Canadian fur imports, after a heated debate by European politicians. The powerful European anti-fur movement has promoted the ban for five years because of what they called inhumane trapping practices. But European officials have decided against the ban after threats of trade retaliation by ... read more ››

Crees Ignored in James Bay Snowmobile Trail

Without consulting the Crees, Hydro-Quebec is proposing to build a $2-million snowmobile trail to connect Radisson to Chibougamau. Under discussion for at least a few months, Crees first heard about the plan just before Christmas. The trail will cut through Nemaska and will allow tourists from the South to pass through Iyiyuuschii, ... read more ››

Crees, Cherokee Less Likely To Have Alzheimer’s

Crees, the Cherokee of Oklahoma, the Amish, Nigerians and Japanese people are all attracting the attention of scientists trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of Canadians and Americans have the fatal disease, which destroys the victims’ minds and kills more than 100,000 people a year. There is no known cure, but scientists ... read more ››

From My Point of View: In Conversation With Judge Réjean Paul

The Cree Naskapi Commission just released its 1996 Report. The Honourable Justice Réjean Paul, who is Chair of the Commission, gave The Nation a chance to look into this year’s recommendations. Some were expected and others were as surprising as this man turned out to be. He talks candidly about ... read more ››

Fur Prices Buoyant

Everybody wants it. Wild fur from Northern Canada. Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Greece are buying more fur, and they’re buying more types of fur. That has translated into the highest fur prices in 10 years. “I’m a trapper and you can bet your bannock I’ll be out there,” said a ... read more ››

Guilty Plea By Kitchen

Waswanipi’s Chief, John Kitchen, pled guilty to a charge of impaired driving at a hearing of the itinerant court on Sept. 20. He was sentenced to a mandatory fine of $300 plus a $30 surcharge and court expenses, according to Marie-Chantale Brassard, the prosecutor in the case. Kitchen also cannot drive a ... read more ››

Gustafsen Lake Trial

From a Toronto prisoners’ rights publication comes a report on the trial of the protesters from last year’s Gustafsen Lake standoff. The Crown’s own witnesses have testified that: —The peace process initiated by RCMP officers of Native descent was working well and was to culminate in a meeting of all parties on ... read more ››

Hunger Widespread in Barrière Lake as Blockade Enters 14th Week

Life is getting desperate in the Algonquin community of Barrière Lake as its blockade of a logging road in La Vérendrye Park enters its fourth month. Food and other basic necessities are in short supply since virtually everyone in the community has been forced onto welfare and hunting activities have been ... read more ››

Indian Boyhood

In 1862 the eastern Sioux Indians, the Santee of Minnesota, rose up against white settlers, killing some 800 men, women and children within a month. American retaliation was swift, and Charles Alexander Eastman, then four years old, was among the Santee refugees who fled to Canada for sanctuary. When his ... read more ››

Kuujjuaq Tries Booze Ban

“It was the quietest two weeks,” said one resident of Kuujjuaq after the mayor banned alcohol sales in September. Last month, Mayor Johnny Adams became so alarmed by a series of alcohol-related deaths that he asked the 250-seat Ikkaqivvik Bar to close and the co-op to stop selling beer. The municipal council ... read more ››

Montreal Auto Show 97

One of the first things to catch my eye at Montreal’s Car Show was one of the info-commercial lads happily throwing grease and acid on his car and then polishing it away. I almost asked for his autograph but the models you see on the show were nowhere to be ... read more ››

Native Man Dies in Police Custody

Calgary police are under a cloud of suspicion after two people died in police custody in under a week. Derwin Many Fires, 27, of the Siksika Nation 70 km east of Calgary died in a Calgary hospital on Sat., Jan. 11. He was arrested for alleged public intoxication but suffered severe head ... read more ››

Northern Gets Boot in Big Trout Lake

Big Trout Lake, a Cree-Ojibway community in Northern Ontario, has given its Northern Store the boot. After a 150-year presence in the town of 1,000, Northern was given just a few days to pack its bags and leave after a dispute with the local Band Council. The dispute started after Big Trout ... read more ››

Northern Lights Basketball Camp Awards

10-15 year olds Category Most Positive Player: Bernadette House (Chis.) Best Hustle: Paula Menarick (Chis.) Most Helpful Player: Staneley Swallow (Chis.) Most Improved Player: Adam Gates (Chis.) All-Around Player Award: Jason Langdon (Chis.) “Gym Rat” Award: Conway McKenzie (Chis.) Special Coaches Award: Evelyn Tanoush (Nemaska) 16 years and over Category Most Positive Player: Chad McKenzie (Nem.) Best Hustle: Greg Kanatewat ... read more ››

One Chief Too Many in Fort Albany

One community, two chiefs. Fort Albany is in a state of political uncertainty as two chiefs lay claim to being the community’s rightful leader. Arthur Scott was elected in a community election held by secret ballot on July 2. But trouble started soon after the election when some residents started getting ... read more ››

Open Letter to Commissioners Cree School Board

On September 18, our student association attended your commissioners’ meeting at the new site for the Post-Secondary School offices in Montreal. Our intentions were to meet with anyone who would listen to our reasons for opposing the moving of the offices. We were successful in that you acknowledged us as ... read more ››

People to People, Nation to Nation – “Violence Is In the Wind”

Excerpts from the Royal Commission report (Official Summary), entitled, “People to People, Nation to Nation”: “There cannot be peace or harmony unless there is justice… Our central conclusion can be summarized simply: The main policy direction, pursued for more than 150 years, first by colonial then by Canadian governments, has been ... read more ››

So, I hopped on the kangaroo express…

So, I hopped on the kangaroo express back to my home rez after three years this past Christmas and New Years. Montreal, Val d’Or, Nemaska and finally, my ole home town Waskaganish. Back to the simple life. Or so I thought. Once off the plane, a perfunctory search through our baggage ... read more ››

Think Twice About Vacationing in Mexico

With the cold weather around the corner, many of you are in the midst of planning your winter getaway. A significant number of potential vacationers will be enticed to Mexico. The major factor is the low cost. For those considering making one of Mexico’s hot-spots such as Cancun or Acapulco ... read more ››

Voisey Bay, Part Deux

First it was Voisey Bay. Now, the Innu lands just north of Sept-lles are being turned into another Klondike. Prospectors and mining companies are flooding into the Lac Manitou region 60 km north of Sept-lles, following a massive discovery of nickel and copper. Miners are calling it the biggest discovery “since Voisey ... read more ››