Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How Did The Ancestral Cree Survive James Bay Winters?

As the housing and infrastructure crisis in Attiwapiskat continues, one can't help but wonder how the Cree ancestors of the residents survived the harsh northern winters for hundreds of years. They have been living up there for a very long time, and somehow managed to survive without $250,000 homes and millions of dollars in government aid. I suppose these people have now lost their ability to live off the land, where they prospered self sufficiently for a millennium. Now these once proud people have deteriorated into a welfare ghetto with complete dependence on government.

Charlie Angus, the federal NDP MP for the area is applauding the band for telling the 3rd party financial managers to go home because they didn't bring supplies. Auditors and accountants are not the Red Cross, yet Charlie seems to think they need to function as delivery people. Don't expect the auditors to get a warm welcome or cooperation from the band leadership that squandered $90M over 6 years. We need to find out what really happened to the money, therefor auditors and 3rd party management are required, not optional.


  1. I think they actually migrated south during the winter.

  2. Sounds like a plan. Even if they did migrate south, it could not have been far enough south for a significant change in temperature. I grew up about a 12 hour drive by car south of Attiwapiskat and the winters were vicious. Maybe moving to a secondary camp away from the coast as their ancestors did is what these people should be doing?

  3. Did you know that De Beers has an operating diamond mine employing just over 500 people about 90 kilometers from Attiwapiskat?

    I was watching a recent interview with the Ontario Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and was fairly astounded when she said that she didn't know if anyone from the band was employed there. That's information I'd certainly be interested in knowing and I have only a cursory interest in the subject matter.

    I also know that if I was unemployed and my family lived anywhere near a diamond mine my ass would be sitting at their front gates daily until I found employment within.

  4. I grew up very near to there and the natives lived in remote tents in the summer and had log cabins for the winter. They had no running water or electricity and were totally self sufficient for food. They grew vegetables and trapped.
    I also wonder why no natives are working at the mine

  5. According to Ezra Levant,about 100 Natives are working at the DeBeers mine.

    I dare say the Natives moved around with the game,and/or hunkered down for the Winter in cabins with a good supply of dried meat.

    I lived among Indians,that's what we called them, and they called themselves, Before Political Correctness. The Indians of Northern Manitoba trapped,hunted,and fished,grew gardens back at the homestead,and put up good supplies of food and firewood for the Winter.

    Our family homesteaded on an island on Lake Winnipegosis in the 1920 to the 1960's,and Indians were our neighbours and friends. We were all in the same boat, working hard to scrape out a living,and we respected one another. There were NO politicians of any color involved,just people making their way. There was no welfare available to anyone.

    The men often camped out to trap and hunt,and spent a good portion of every year away from home. The Indians built cabins where they needed them for Winter trapping,and some of them tented in Summer when they went on long fishing trips.

    I felt privileged to meet them when I was a kid,interesting people,tough,honest,,and self-sufficient. I will always remember the Indian trappers stopping at our house for a meal on their way back to their homes to sell their furs. They were usually dressed in the products of their trapping,everything made from hides,with beautiful rabbit fur trim and beadwork around the parka hood.

    I thought they were "cool" way before that term was part of the vernacular. It was a scene from a bygone era.

    Those Indians were so far removed from the "Natives" of today,it absolutely boggles my mind when I think of it.

    We've witnessed the degradation of a fine hardy people,all at the hands of politicians,of every kind.

  6. I think Charlie Angus has opened a can of worms and the results will not be to his liking. Neither will a lot of chiefs like their greed and abuse brought out to the daylight.
    Seems the 3rd party person will still be in charge and his distance will just make it a little more difficult to get results. How long before those living in abject poverty on reserves, while chiefs and family members live in luxury, will take this and decide to rebel and fire those chiefs.

  7. Never mind the 250000 dollar homes.
    What is with the helicopter ride to the "traditional hunting grounds"

  8. Chief Spence sounds a bit desperate in her call for all Natives to get aggressive with the government and stop the third-party oversight of her Band's accounts.

    Call me cynical, but I think there's something she wants to keep hidden.

  9. Isn't the tradition to burn our tax dollars to stay warm in winter?

  10. R&R no it is the siding,then wood doors,then the tax dollars.

    Rob C

  11. Can we please see a picture of chief Spence's
    log cabin/house/tent??