By Richard F. Salisbury
A native land for the Cree is a useful learn of the way the 1st James Bay undertaking was once negotiated among the Cree and the Quebec govt. Richard Salisbury follows the negotiations which begun in 1971 and analyses the adjustments to Cree society over a ten-year interval in gentle of the neighborhood improvement in James Bay.
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Additional resources for A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981
Sensitive films (Job's Garden, for Fort George, Cree Hunters of Mistassini, and The Cree of Paint Hills] have made the hunting life real for audiences who have never visited the forest in winter. I shall not try to match these portrayals, which bring out the religious symbolism, the traditional skills, the deep knowledge that hunters have of the environment and of the ways of animals, the hardship and work 20 A Homeland for the Cree involved in living in the forest in winter, but also the predictability and security that deep knowledge can give - the knowledge that there are animals in the forest sufficient to provide for the needs of small human groups, that they will pass within range of a camp and be available for food, if one is ready and in the right place when they are available.
But if these figures show that most Cree had accepted the premise that schools were desirable, and that children ought to go to schools, and if, for some fifteen years, their children had indeed attended schools at an increasing rate, the results of that schooling were not as impressive. Cree children averaged over three years older in each grade, as compared to the Canadian average (or suffered an average grade-retardation of over three years), as a result of delayed entry into school, the need to master a second language before really beginning school-learning, and alienation from school.
There were in addition three smaller coastal Cree villages Rupert's House, with a population of 850, Eastmain with 270, and Paint Hills with 550. Waswanipi band members numbering 650 had no villages of their own, but lived inland in several small settlements - Desmaraisville, Miquelon, Matagami, Waswanipi River - none of which was on Reserve land, but all of which were accessible by road. 19 Village-band Society in 1971 Very few Cree lived outside Cree territory. A few students at senior high school levels and about ten students taking university or technical courses lived away from the area.
A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981 by Richard F. Salisbury