Volume 6, Issue 8

“Deficient at all levels”

The Waskaganish band’s finances were in serious disarray last year, according to an auditor’s report (see News, page 7). The band’s auditors, Pratte, Bélanger of Montreal, found numerous serious problems in the band’s accounting procedures. They recommended many changes “to safeguard the Band’s assets more effectively.” Below we reprint excerpts of their ... read more ››


These are great days to be a Native. Things are happening all across this country that are putting us in the spotlight and much of it has to do with our love of the land, resource development in remote First Nations, traditional hunting and trapping areas, and our right to ... read more ››


Waskaganish residents know the band is deeply in debt. But what caused it? One problem is the same faced by many First Nations: not enough money to cover all the needs of a growing population. But two building experts who worked in Waskaganish for years say a lot of the band’s estimated ... read more ››


Relations between the Quebec and Cree governments have broken down as a result of the Mario Lord forestry case. The Quebec government recently took a hard line cutting off negotiations on the Memorandum of Understanding and a potential $ 117 million in funding, saying the Crees were negotiating in bad faith. Native ... read more ››

Crees sue over OFF-SHORE ISLANDS

The Grand Council of the Crees has filed a lawsuit asking that the Cree off-shore islands in James and Hudson bays not be transferred to Nunavut. The lawsuit, filed Feb. 19, asks the Federal Court of Canada to protect Cree rights in the off-shore areas, including hunting, fishing and trapping rights. ... read more ››


There has been a tense exchange of letters between Native Affairs Minister Guy Chevrette and Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come about the Cree forestry lawsuit (see News, page 5). Here we reprint excerpts (Chevrette’s letter is translated from French). For those wishing to see the complete and untranslated versions of ... read more ››


The Cree Nation has to take ownership of its health and social needs, and not just leave them to the Cree Health Board. That’s the consensus that emerged out of the Special General Assembly on Health and Social Services (see News, page 9). “It’s a Cree Nation issue,” said Abel Bosum, coordinator ... read more ››

Health Board: The vision statement

The Special General Assembly approved a vision statement for the Cree Health Board for the first time. It goes tike this: The Eeyou Nation of Eeyou Istchee is committed to developing responsible communities in such a way as to result in: • individuals who are well-balanced emotionally, spiritually, mentally and ... read more ››

Health concerns pour out at assembly

The first-ever Cree special assembly on health and social services heard an outpouring of concerns about everything from diabetes to suicide and the housing crisis. And delegates didn’t spare the Cree Health and Social Services Board from their criticisms. Delegates came up with a list of 46 “major problems” that need ... read more ››

I was on a search…

I was on a search for some long-lost explorer last week (details in a far-off issue). And what better place to go look for long-lost explorers than cash-poor Waskaganish. My search in cash-starved Waskaganish failed miserably when I almost died from exposure while completely stoned… on four Tylenols and a ... read more ››


NO RIGHTS FOR CREES? I guess the moose crap hit the fan lately with Quebec Native Affairs Minister Guy Chevrette’s letter to the Crees. Basically the letter is an ultimatum to the Crees saying they were negotiating in bad faith because they were taking Quebec to court over forestry and were ... read more ››

On the inside

It may take more than extra money to fix the Cree Health Board, according to some of its employees. They say the Health Board’s largely non-Native middle management has a “backwards” mentality, wastes a lot of money and is very resistant to change. When James Bobbish took over as the board’s ... read more ››

Robert Weistche

Robert Weistche, chairman of the Cree School Board, has levelled a number of serious criticisms at the Health Board. He said the Health Board has dumped much of its responsibility for people in need onto the School Board. Some examples: The School Board is now handling many social services cases due to ... read more ››

United front on FORESTRY LAWSUIT

Cree chiefs are presenting a unified front on forestry, even as Quebec has decided to suspend the 1995 MOU and up to $117 milion in promised funding. “Quebec has always tried to divide and conquer, but in this case we’re all together,” said Nemaska Chief George Wapachee. “We’re showing you can’t ... read more ››

Voices of the Elders: Achaanwaapush

As told by John Petagumskum I don’t know what the other communities call it, but here in Whapmagoostui we call this legend Achaanwaapush (“Cannibal Rabbit”). He was a cannibalistic creature. He was a person with the features of a rabbit and he habitually slaughtered people. There was a family of Lynx people ... read more ››

Waskaganish finances a mess: auditors

The Waskaganish band’s finances are a in a desperate state, plagued by large cost overruns on major construction projects, numbers that don’t add up and serious flaws in record-keeping, say auditors. “Budget control and follow-up seem to be deficient at all levels,” said auditors in a scathing report issued last July ... read more ››

Youth plan inter-tribal gathering

The Montreal Aboriginal Youth Council has a lot of work ahead of it. They’re planning an inter-tribal youth gathering this June 26 in Kahnawake, complete with workshop and traditional activities. They plan to have traditional dancing and story-telling, talks by Native rolemodels and a regular dance. They’re currently on the look-out for ... read more ››