Volume 19, Issue 5

A cure for all seasons

  One nice thing about winter is that it signals the beginning of the flu and cold season, which, if left alone to develop, can turn your schedule upside down. Hacking out one’s lungs in the middle of an intense snowstorm with flash cold temperatures in the minus 40s should do ... read more ››

A showcase for the artists of Quebec’s 11 Nations

The ground-breaking 11 Nations exhibit at Old Montreal’s Bonsecours Market was unveiled December 13 to a packed gallery that included luminaries such as NDP MP Romeo Saganash and Quebec Native affairs minister Geoff Kelley.   With 38 pieces hanging in the historic building in the heart of the old city, many artists ... read more ››

Balancing the risks

  We long ago became accustomed to the environmental review reports issued by those who wish to exploit the land. Usually we are told there will be few problems if any, no real impacts and that the materials to be left behind are already naturally present in the environment anyway. So ... read more ››

Better late than never?

The RCMP says it will develop closer working relationships with First Nations groups in a joint effort to solve cold case files on the epidemic of missing and murdered native women in Canada.   The RCMP will establish a working database of missing persons and unidentified remains in partnership with the Sisters ... read more ››

Blackstone returns for sophomore season

  Premiering Wednesday, January 11, the second season of the award-winning television series Blackstone will be continuing where it left off with last season’s cliff-hanger finale on APTN.   The series, which follows the fictitious Blackstone First Nation, is ground breaking because it is told from the First Nations point of view. The ... read more ››

Building a legacy on a foundation of humanity

I know many of you might expect me to use this space to attack National Post columnist Christie Blatchford for her December 27 piece as full of bull… err horseshit (she’s the one who fertilized her prose with “horse manure,” after all). But, really, despite her ill-informed assertions and tortured ... read more ››

Correspondence from a hospital bed

Not even a heart attack December 10 could keep Janie Pachano from passionately advocating a fully funded mandate for the Elders of Eeyou Istchee. Unable to make it to the December 12-13 Grand Council board meeting in Montreal, Pachano, executive director of James Bay Cree Cultural Education Institute, sent a letter ... read more ››

Cree Hockey News and Notes

  Kapuskasing Flyers Bring Their Winning Ways to Gatineau   The AAA Kapuskasing Flyers of the Great North Midget League finished 2011 on a high note, putting together a combined record of 8-1-1 in both GNML games and games played at the Waterloo Golden Puck Tournament, recently held in Waterloo, Ontario.   There are a ... read more ››

Eeyou Istchee in the midst of historic evolution

  Looking back on another prosperous year of economic development in the Cree Nation, Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come recently took the time to discuss with the Nation what the government he leads has done for Crees.   While Premier Charest’s ambitious Plan Nord put Eeyou Istchee on the global map as a ... read more ››

First Cree of 2012

While most were out celebrating the arrival of the New Year, Edith Salt and Rylan Gull-Chum of Waswanipi were celebrating the birth of their second son, Cohen Gull-Chum, the first Cree baby born in 2012.   Delivered at 12:29 am on New Year’s Day and weighing a healthy 3.8 kilograms, Cohen Gull-Chum ... read more ››

Happy New (and not the last) Year

  We are all looking forward to a new year but many are fearful of the coming of 2012. Some believe the coming year will mark the end of an historic period. Many think that this year will be a spiritually changing one and far too many believe it will herald ... read more ››

How to keep your resolve

Whether you just want to get rid of some extra holiday weight after several weeks of excess or you want to give your life a complete makeover, New Year’s Day is the traditional starting point for many people’s attempts to better themselves. The problem, however, is that what often begins as ... read more ››

Hunger strikes have a powerful history

Over the years, leaders from northern First Nation communities like Attawapiskat have fought hard for many of the basic services and programs that most people in Canada take for granted. However, I can understand my peoples’ frustration when it feels like progress is being reversed and we are losing what ... read more ››

Images of the future

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, a new five-minute video could be that epic novel that captures the rising spirit of an entire nation.   The Cree Regional Economic Enterprise Company – Creeco Inc. for short – recently released a video that puts a face ... read more ››

Kateri Tekakwitha sainted

Born in 1656 in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon near Auriesville, New York, Kateri Tekakwitha was named as one of the seven new saints to be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI next October. Kateri was the daughter of Kenneronkwa, a Mohawk chief, and Tagaskouita, a Roman Catholic Algonquian.   At the age ... read more ››

Liberals blast feds over Attiwapiskat crisis

  The federal Liberal Party continued its harsh criticism of the Harper government’s handling of the Attawapiskat housing crisis after a December 18 visit to the community by Liberal Leader Bob Rae and the party’s critic for Aboriginal Affairs, Carolyn Bennett.   “At the moment, we’re grateful that the 22 homes have been ... read more ››

Losing my BFF to suicide

My best friend wasn’t just my BFF; she was my family by blood, my favourite cousin. We were close, close enough to tell secrets. Lea was the type of girl who loved to have fun without worrying about what other people thought of her. She loved to take long walks with ... read more ››

Losing resolutions

I’ve been slaving over hot cooked turkey and slobbering over luscious cakes lately and somehow I still managed to lose a few ounces of the fat I have painstakingly gained over the last two decades. I think I lost it during the heavy sweating that happens when you bend over ... read more ››

Serving up success in a four-course menu

  Who offers a four-course menu, including an entree, soup, main course and dessert for $5? Pass by the Sabtuan Regional Vocational Training Centre in Waswanipi, where you can eat to your wallet’s content.   “We are not out to make money,” Centre Director Michael Lewis says from the get-go. In the final ... read more ››

The movement sweeps north

As the voices of Canada’s Indigenous peoples have grown louder since Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began her hunger strike December 11 in opposition to Bill C-45 and other federal government attacks on First Nations, the “Idle No More” movement has rippled across Canada and beyond. Now people in Val d’Or ... read more ››

Trapping Beaver in the Winter

Told by Elsie Duff, Chisasibi Translated and transcribed by Brian Webb Beesum-communications.com/legends As far as you can remember, did your family move camp almost every day during the winter? Sometimes we did. During autumn, we settled down to wait for winter to set in. When the days grew longer after Christmas, this was when people ... read more ››

Voices from around the Sacred Fire

At Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s camp on Ottawa’s Victoria Island, the Sacred Fire is at all times surrounded by helpers and people from many Nations who’ve come to pay their respects. Some stop and quietly make prayers; others hang around telling stories, laughing, or having serious discussions. I returned on ... read more ››