Volume 20, Issue 18

Democracy Is Fragile

I was in Istanbul, Turkey, this past winter and I had the pleasure to walk in Taksim Square. I was impressed with the city as compared to the major centres in Morocco and Egypt I have seen. The ancient city, once known as Constantinople in honour of the Roman Emperor ... read more ››

Eastmain partially evacuated as forest fires rage

Over 300 people were evacuated from the community of Eastmain June 27, as forest fires that have ravaged the area for weeks spread within kilometres of the Cree community. Thick smoke permeated the air throughout town as Elders, children and those with health or respiratory issues were taken to Val-d’Or ... read more ››

Edith Cloutier named Member of the Order of Canada

  Regroupement des Centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ) President Edith Cloutier has been appointed Member of the Order of Canada for her work and actions improving the living conditions of urban Aboriginals. RCAAQ said they were proud of her achievements centred mainly on the Native Friendship Centre Movement. Cloutier said, “This ... read more ››

Improper medication storage leads to a mom’s worst nightmare

It was a typical evening for Waskaganish’s Bessie Gillies, before it turned into one of the most traumatic events a parent can go through. Coming home late from her mother’s with her three children aged nine, eight and two, Gillies was rushing to get a meal served to the family and ... read more ››

Leadership to be proud of

One must give credit where credit is due. Unexpectedly, this means the Quebec government under the current Parti Québécois administration. They have surprised and delighted me in their recent actions. Most recently, Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet, has notified Strateco that he plans to “refuse ... read more ››

Mayday for mayors

I can’t go a day without hearing of some politician from the south getting blasted in every medium over the corruption and collusion scandals that have hit the Montreal area during the last several months. What really gets me is that this corruption has happened over and over again and ... read more ››

Mistissini Niimuuhiikan… Mistissini powwow

Mistissini is the place to be July 19-20. After too many years to count, this Cree community will finally be hosting a powwow. Says organizer Luke MacLeod: “Years ago, I asked an Elder if they had songs made just for dancing. He was a respected Elder who often sang using ... read more ››

National Aboriginal Day: Celebrating the sun and First Peoples

It was late morning as the throngs of First Nations participants clamoured together just beside Montreal City Hall to don their traditional garb and prepare for a ceremonious march through Place Jacques-Cartier in honour of National Aboriginal Day. The event, organized by Terres en vues, the same organization that puts on ... read more ››

Oujé-Bougoumou and BlackRock sign BallyHusky Agreement mining deal

The Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation and the Grand Council of the Crees/Cree Regional Authority (GCC/CRA) signed an Impact Benefit Agreement June 20 with BlackRock Metals Inc., opening the way for an open-pit mine in Oujé territory. Known as the BallyHusky Agreement, the deal will allow extraction of iron ore and vanadium, ... read more ››

PAQ announces new location

A new home for Montreal’s disenfranchised Métis, First Nations and Inuit was announced June 19 at the Montreal Native Friendship Centre (MNFC). A traditional drum ceremony and a prayer by a member of the community started the evening for the announcement of the new building at the Projét Autochtone du ... read more ››

Reclaiming Orphaned Mines

Lush vegetation covers the scars of the abandoned Opémiska mine near Chapais The word “byproduct” often comes up when talking about the environment. We all know what it means: something that comes as a result of an action or process that has occurred. In the mining world, the byproducts of raw ... read more ››

Robert Baribeau on becoming new CCDC president

According to Robert Baribeau, his new job as President of the Cree Construction and Development Corporation is “a little hectic,” but he says that so far things are going well. Nonetheless, Baribeau has his work cut out for him. The CCDC reported losses in the last fiscal year and faces the ... read more ››

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The Assembly of First Nations faces 30% budget cuts

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) received word on June 3 that the federal government would cut its operating budget– yet again – this time by 30%. There had long been speculation by many people working in Aboriginal advocacy that the Conservative government would likely slash the AFN’s funding in the ... read more ››

The federal government fiddled while Eeyou Istchee burned

Photo by NASA Left to burn for weeks, the massive forest fire sparked June 12 that led to the evacuation Eastmain caused widespread electricity blackouts, closed the James Bay Highway, disrupted food shipments and spread dangerously thick smog over Quebec and the Maritimes. The question is why. Quebec Premier Pauline Marois was ... read more ››

Waswanipi Elders lead fight against Elder abuse

A few generations ago, it would be unthinkable for a Cree person to shout or swear at an Elder, let alone hurt or abuse one. However, Irene Otter, the Elders’ coordinator for community programs and member of the Elders’ Council in Waswanipi, says that times have changed, and the changes have ... read more ››