Volume 10, Issue 17

AFN Unable to Work With Gov’t: Nault

Indian Affairs Minister Robert Nault called the Assembly of First Nations ineffective and irrelevant last week, an attack that comes less than a month before the organization chooses a leader. “The AFN is structurally incapable of working with the government, at least the way it’s organized now,” Nault said at a ... read more ››

BC Natives Want Inquiry Into Police Neglect

Native leaders in British Columbia are calling for a public inquiry into the death of Frank Paul after the release of disturbing video footage showing his last hours alive. Chief Edward John of the B.C. First Nations Summit said the jailhouse tape troubles him. It shows Paul being dragged by prison ... read more ››

Bizness as Usual

The day after Canada Grand Chief Ted Moses finally had a chance to talk to Quebec premier Jean Charest. Charest quickly dispelled any notions that Moses support of Landry and the Parti Quebecios during the provincial election would have any effect on Cree/Quebec relations. Moses said Charest indicated that the ... read more ››

Burglars Really Into Grand Council Offices

The Montreal office of the Grand Council of the Crees suffered two burglaries in less than a week last May. According to police and the Grand Council office manager Elaine Harrison-Awashish, the break-ins don’t appear to be politically motivated. MUC Police reports say the first break-in took place on the evening ... read more ››

Cree Social Work Pioneers Earn First (and Perhaps Last) University Degrees

“Education doesn’t make you happy, nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free, if we are, or because we’ve been educated, if we have. Education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. Education opens our eyes and our ears, it tells us where ... read more ››

Fighting Fires On Our Own

It looks like the start of a long hot summer this year. Many people up north are happy to see the warm weather after having to deal with a cold winter. Although many people along the James Bay coast prefer the snow and ice to the mosquitoes and black flies, ... read more ››

First Timer

There are some times when the whole reality about being adopted jumps up into my face and says ‘boo.’ As I have written before, I am a native adoptee, meaning that I did not grow up in or near a native community. Through no choice of my own I grew ... read more ››

New Prison Will Address Aboriginal Problems

Saskatchewan’s first federal minimum security penitentiary for aboriginal men is officially open. The Willow Cree Healing Lodge on the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation Reserve aims to prepare offenders for reintegration into society through Native spiritual and cultural interventions. It’s been about 15 years in the making, and officials say the lodge ... read more ››

Opposition Brewing to Manitoba’s Urban Reserves

Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray says that urban aboriginal reserves are “the best hope we have” of reversing native poverty in Winnipeg, but already opposition is brewing. Murray dismissed charges that urban reserves amount to a “city-within-a-city” that don’t pay taxes or follow city rules. “Reserve is such a loaded term. The ... read more ››

Saganash Blasts Feds at Commonwealth

In a keynote address to an international Commonwealth indigenous peoples’ summit in Georgetown, Guyana, Grand Council of the Crees’ Special Envoy Romeo Saganash detailed the “gross disparities” facing aboriginal peoples across Canada, and called for the abandonment of ongoing federal policies of extinguishment of aboriginal rights. Addressing leading indigenous peoples’ organizations ... read more ››

Sentencing Procedures For Aboriginal Offenders Denies Justice To Victims

The application of s. 718.2 (e) of the Criminal Code has raised serious concerns about public security in Cree communities and in other First Nations communities in Canada. The main idea embodied in paragraph 718.2 (e) is that the courts should exercise restraint and consider all reasonable alternatives before imposing ... read more ››

Speak up for the Lubicon Cree

For the past 12 years, I’ve been the unofficial pastor to the Lubicon Indian people who live in Little Buffalo, some 130 km east of Peace River. And on a few occasions Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak has invited me to sit in on negotiations with federal and provincial government officials. Ten ... read more ››

Standoff in G.W.

On June 23, 2003, police in Whapmagoostui were alerted to a disturbance involving a young man and women, who were intoxicated. The young man was carrying a rifle and police soon set up a security perimeter, effectively shutting out residents in the restricted area near the young man’s home. Four ... read more ››

What’s in a Name?

Sometimes, names can be misnomers, an accident of the tongue, a slip of the lip, a mispronunciation or misspelling. In the case of aboriginal people countrywide, names are anglicized or interpreted from their true meaning, names like Luke Warmwater. At one time in my life, I came across a letter addressed ... read more ››