I was working on my tent-frame cabin, which was due for some maintenance, to put some tiles on the wooden floor. When I gazed upwards to inspect my threadbare canvas roof, I noticed it had a long tear. Back in town that evening, I found someone tall enough to help me.
I am feeling a little better about the state of democracy these days thanks to the election of Wab Kinew as Canada’s first Anishinabe Premier. He was elected recently with a majority government in Manitoba. So, congratulations to Wab and his New Democratic Party team and thanks to all those members of the voting public who made their decision based on values that have to do with social democratic ideals of sharing, openness, tolerance and caring for everyone, the environment and the future of our planet.
It’s been a while since I got up before sunrise, but it’s getting easier with the shorter days. Looking over social media, I see that it snowed south of here, which is to be expected. At the 55th parallel, winter doesn’t usually set in until Halloween night, then the stone-cold wintry weather ices us in the following day. No November rain for us, it’s straight to skating.
In 1998, the Grand Council of the Crees published a book titled Never Without Consent: James Bay Crees Stand Against Forcible Inclusion into an Independent Quebec. This book looked the referendum on October 24, 1995, asking whether the Crees would join an independent Quebec if the province voted yes in the provincial referendum to be held a week later.
I’ve been spending time in Winnipeg for work, and it has allowed me to check in with the large Indigenous community here. A few steps away from my hotel, at the forks of the Assiniboine and Red rivers, stands Camp Marcedes in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It’s named after Marcedes Myran, whose remains are believed to be at the Brady Landfill.
At least once a year I venture out of our traditional territory to wreak a little havoc in the lands of our southern brethren, the Hurons. It’s not really to wreak havoc but to learn and trade information for business development, something that’s kept me busy for the last 30 years.
It is with delight we see that the Cree Nation Government, Cree Trappers’ Association, communities and other entities will create a “Cree Cabin Damage Assessment Registry.” Cree land users will be asked to fill out a form by November 1 to describe the damage the fires have caused to their camps.
Whew, what a summer… interrupted. It’s not a season that many would acquaint themselves with as being a hazardous time, but it was this year. The summer of scorching fires across the country made headlines and as I write, another natural disaster has hit elsewhere on the planet in the form of earthquakes. I shudder to think what that type of disaster would do to us up here in the North. Most likely a huge tsunami created by a giant burp in the mantle of northern America, most of which consists of rivers, lakes and all kinds of ice.
I feel like a survivor at times and there is good reason for that. As an Indigenous person living in this time and country, I have seen so much happen over the past four decades of my life. The sad reality is that I have lost many young and Elders close to me over the years through tragic situations.