The Grand Council of the Crees


Posted: 1998-12-31


It is with great pleasure to introduce to you Cree Nation Youth Council Annual Report 1997 - 1998. CNYC is proud to present its first Annual Report. We would like to take this opportunity in thanking the Youth Departments who submitted reports for CNYC, without your co-operation this Annual Report would not have been such a success.

Profile History of CNYC

Following the recognition of the International Year of the Youth in 1985, the Grand Council of the Crees (of Quebec) and the Cree Regional Authority formally recognized the importance of the participation of their youth with respect to the determination of the future direction of the Cree Nation and Cree People.

The first Cree Youth Assembly was held in Wemindji on August 1985 and official delegates representing nine (9) communities attended the meeting. The principle discussion at the assembly was to create the Cree Regional Youth Council (of Quebec), which is now officially known as Cree Nation Youth Council of Eeyou Istchee. Another discussion was to focus on the fact that youth needed a sense of initiation, direction and that they were ready to get involved and be a part of the leadership activities and the affairs of the Cree Nation and Cree People.

On November 11, 1987, a Task Force on Youth was created. The prime objective of this task force was to execute its mandate which was to have each community establish its own local Youth Council or Organization, in accordance with objectives and structures as determined by youth.

At the present time, the Cree Nation Youth Council is promoting and encouraging the participation and co-operation of the Youth of Eeyou Istchee on the local, regional, national and international level. It also assists all Cree organizations in the improvement of the well-being and quality of life for the Youth of Eeyou Istchee.

Message from Bertie Wapachee

Chairperson of Cree Nation Youth Council/Youth Grand Chief

I want to begin by thanking the Creator for giving me life and the opportunity to serve you to this day. I would also like to say jinsgoom-din-no missoweh to all my supporters; the young and the restless, the Elders, parents and friends for putting up with me and teaching me to be more patient in life. Thank you with all my heart.

It seems only a short time ago I decided to join this organization what was claimed to be a training camp for future Cree leaders. I have served the Cree Nation Youth Council for approximately four (4) years as an Executive member. My tenure as Deputy-Grand Chief and now as Youth Grand Chief has taught me what it's like to represent the majority of the Cree Nation which does not yet fully recognize the titles and roles of young leaders representing regional and/or local youth organizations.

We defined our roles, mandates and duties ten (10) years ago. For a decade, we called for recognition and support of our activities and our role within the Cree territory but have never proposed for a full recognition in the form of a constitution and becoming an organization to fully represent the interests of the youth of Eeyou Istchee.

We survived for over a decade without a complete structure in place. But to survive in today's society - we need to establish ourselves concretely. We have expanded in many ways and we are becoming more organized each day. Without the support from past and present leaders of the Cree Government, Elders Council, the constant support from our parents and dedication from certain individuals of the past and present, the CNYC would not have been as strong as it is today. We can only thank those who have contributed to this organization in any way or form. It is our hope to repay this great Nation for its support by providing the leaders of tomorrow.

There may have been some failures in our past, present and there will be others in our future, but we value our failures as much as we value our accomplishments, and the support from everyone. It has been ten wonderful years for the CNYC, to say the least!

This may be my last year as an Executive member of the Cree Nation Youth Council and I want to take this opportunity to express my thoughts on my two year journey as Youth Grand Chief: This organization has done so many wonderful things for me personally. It has not only provided me with the basic rules, principles and other necessities to become a Cree leader, but it has made me realize how wide open the world is for everyone.

Bertie Wapachee
CNYC Youth Grand Chief

Message from Andrew Neeposh, Director of Youth Development

Cree Regional Youth Department

Another year has come and gone with its usual challenges and opportunities. The year in review is a time to look back and pledge our appreciation to those people who have dedicated so much of their personal time to the establishment and development of the CNYC/CRA Youth Department. It is a privilege, on behalf of the support personnel of the department, to submit to the Youth Members this year's report of activities and accomplishments.

Over the course of this year, the CNYC's most colourful and influential youth role model, James A. Shecapio passed away. The sudden loss of a prominent leader has had a tremendous impact on the working environment of this organization. His tenacious leadership and determination is sorely missed. As a young organization going through 'growing pains', I firmly believe that better days are yet to come.

Despite this tough phase, the teamwork between the local and regional Youth has been uplifting. We have pulled through these difficult times and are now working together more than ever to address and voice the concerns and opinions on issues affecting youth and their future. The support of Cree Leadership continues to play a vital role as further develop and fulfill the mandate of the original intent and spirit of the CNYC/CRA Youth Department. Their continued support and invaluable advice is commended and appreciated.

As a regional establishment mandated to provided a support service on local youth development, this organization has evolved from its original purpose. The regional youth council was instrumental in the establishment of local youth councils as well as providing a 'training camp' to future leaders and youth members. The CNYC/CRA Youth Department's mandate is now focused on developing comprehensive programs to assist and enable youth to reach their full potential in areas of social, cultural, economic, and educational well-being.

As a Director of the CNYC/CRA Youth Department, I had the opportunity to oversee the implementation of various programs and activities for the benefit of grassroots Youth. To develop these programs, Youth members mandated the CNYC support personnel to develop a long-term strategic management plan. A consultation tour to all Cree communities took place this past year in order to conduct a needs assessment from grassroots youth. This assessment encompasses the need for training and development of programs for youth in the areas of politics, administration, blue-collar work and apprenticeship.

In closing, on behalf of the CNYC/CRA Youth Department, I wish to acknowledge and extend our appreciation towards Cree Leadership and the Cree Regional Authority administration for their continued support and help. Without it, this report would not have been possible.

God Bless You All.

Message from Lisa Petagumskum

Deputy Youth Grand Chief

The first thing I would like to say is thank you to all those who have been a constant source of inspiration to me, you know who you are. You are the ones who shared warm smiles and wonderful bear hugs when I came to your communities; there are too many of you to name.

It seems like only last year, when I attended the first Annual Assembly of the Cree Youth in Wemindji. Yes, that is how off my timing is, it was 1985, but it only seems like last year. I suppose this is why I've been with the CNYC Executive for six years. It doesn't seem that long ago, when I was bound and and determined that I would never get politically involved because I had my studies to focus on. Through time, I learned that I didn't have to choose between the two but rather I could do whatever I pleased. All I had to do was follow through.

One cannot think of the Cree Nation Youth Council without thinking of James A. Shecapio. He was a friend to so many, and a teacher to even more. He brought the concerns of our Youth to the international forum without batting an eye, everything seemed so natural to him. He, however, would be quick to remind us that none of it would have been possible without the support of so many people. He was like that, never taking credit for anything, and simply just kept on working. He was such a diplomat, so graceful and respectful, even when he lost. Bitterness is a concept which can hardly be associated with him, he was just so 'James'. I feel so privileged to have been able to walk in his shadow.

From 1985, the Cree Nation Youth Council has undergone numerous changes, as did all Cree organizations, but unlike most, it didn't have to answer to non-native governments, but rather only to the Youth of Eeyou Istchee. Most will consider it unorganized and confusing, but when one takes the time to travel to other native communities, it is surprising to find that CNYC is far ahead in the game of organizing youth; getting them to take on the responsibility and direction in which things will take place for them. this contradicts with past practices of waiting to get activities organized for them. CNYC has proven to some extent that it can be the vehicle for Youth aspirations, as it was envisioned in 1985.

I won't get rhetorical with an overabundance of words like 'honour' and other similar phrases, but rather say it has been a blast and quite a joyful experience to work for CNYC. It has taught me invaluable lessons, which I will walk with on my journey. Through CNYC, I have met wonderful friends, ones who I can disagree with, tease, count on, and love: Bertie, John, Glen, Sonny, Rhonda, Ashley, Diane R., Janie R, Robbie and Sally M., Alice, Andrew, Mabel H., Teresa, Anita, and so many more. Fond memories and hearty laughter is what I take with me and I look forward to so much more; CNYC was just the beginning. Take care of each other and especially the little ones. Hold onto your dreams, and see how far they'll take you, never lose sight of the goal for it may be closer than you think. For those with plans to join the CNYC Executive, it is a wonderful training ground which does not require much, but your time, be prepared to give it. I had volunteered for six years, but what I got in return is far more valuable than any paycheque.

Thank you.

Message from Robbie Matthews

Elders Advisor

I've known the youth council to seek knowledge. When the elders gathered, they sat with them. The young people wanted to hear and understand what the elders had to say. The Cree language and culture has strength. The youth asked the Cree elders questions many times for knowledge.

We, older people, seem to laugh at the young people when they want to speak Cree. We really laugh at them. I discovered how a young person feels when he/she knows that someone is laughing at them by the way they talk, even though they try really hard to speak in Cree to voice their thoughts.

The young people try really hard to use their Cree language when they gather to meet. They want to speak completely in Cree. I saw how it affected them. Then they started speaking in English. The young people still tried really hard, even though they didn't fully grasp the Cree language because they speak mostly in French and English. They still tried hard to translate for their fellow young people, even when I knew that something was blocking them because we think that they don't know how to use their language.

That was when I saw a young person being put down. The young people think that they are considered Cree but are unable to speak their language. This has taught me a lot of how to accept the young people. They sometimes have to be shown respect. We, elders, seem to put them down because of the way we hear them.

We tried really hard to treat the young people properly and not to show them that there's something wrong when they try to use their language. I still talked of good things of the young people I sat with. Some of those young people are not around anymore. I still talked about them properly when I still saw them at the meetings. I wanted to tell them good things when they wanted knowledge. We tried to give them the knowledge of how we understood it. We didn't tell them wrongly. Even when they asked the questions with the answers that would have been negative, we still told them with the best of our ability.

We should tell the young people not to give up when they want to talk about something. There is nothing that will hinder them when they want to use the Cree language. There is nothing stopping them. They shouldn't stop immediately when they think they are being laughed at. There are many times during our lifetime when things will come up that try to stop us because that is how the path we follow looks like.

Youth Achievements

Waskaganish PORTAGE

The Chairman, Spokesperson and the Executive Committee of the Cree Nation Youth Council are proud to bestow the Youth Achievement upon the Waskaganish Youth Council for their work on the magazine ?The Portage?. Their efforts have proven that youth have more than just energy and creativity; they also have great skill, talent and dedication. Cree youth have gifts of great value that we, as a Nation can benefit from. It is a great loss to us all if these gifts are left undiscovered. The CNYC is committed to ensuring that our youth have as many opportunities as possible to present us with these gifts.


Conceived by Derek McLeod, Corporate Secretary and Charles J. Hester, Youth Coordinator of the Waskaganish First Nation (Band).

Mission Statement

The mission statement of 'The Portage' is to foster hope and inspiration for our community.

Community Description

According to Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) Archives, the present location of Waskaganish was first established in 1668. It was known as CHARLES FORT and was built on the ruins of Henry Hudson's house. Between 1668-1687, the post was rebuilt and strengthened. The French occupied the post from 1686-1693, 1695-1696, and from 1697-1713. Between 1713-1775, the post was abandoned and later re-established as an Outpost of Eastmain in 1776. From 1776-1787, it was known as RUPERT'S RIVER. From 1787-1978, it was known as RUPERT'S HOUSE (named after Prince Rupert, first Governor of HBC). It was closed in 1811 and re-opened in 1813.

Present day Waskaganish is presently only accessible by aircraft and a seasonal road. The 3rd largest Cree Nation in Iyiyuuschii is located on the shores of the Rupert River. It has a total population of approximately 1800 people and roughly sixty percent are youth under the age of twenty-five years old. The community is an isolated community with high unemployment rates and very few jobs and training opportunities for the youth and community members.

Magazine Title

Since time immemorial, our ancestors brought news to our people by traveling to remote areas by PORTAGE and brought news from the camps and areas they had visited along their journey. These meetings often occurred at important portage sites along our river highways.


We are native and we need to preserve our home and native land for our future generations. We are saving trees, lots of them, buy using recycled paper. Using recycled paper provides the magazine with an historic and traditional appearance that recalls those river journeys. PORTAGE magazine brings that ancient but mystical approach and feeling of our past, to the present.



'Portage' news magazine is published bi-weekly at the mini-mall in Waskaganish, Quebec. It's purpose is to inform our readers of activities, news, community events and other information of use and interest to the general population. It is non-political and non-sectarian. ?Portage' is distributed free of charge to the community of Waskaganish. We welcome unsolicited manuscripts or articles and will publish them if they meet our publication's criteria. We will not return manuscripts or artwork unless they are accompanied by a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.

Design and Layout:

- 11 x 17 per sheet

- 8 sheets (16 pages)

- Black and white graphics

- 500 copies per print (but not limited to)

- distributed every two (2) weeks


Subscription Rates : $2.00 per month (2 issues)

P0. Box 189
Waskaganish PQ JOM IRO
Tel: (819) 895-2483
Tel: (819) 895-2583
Fax: (819) 895-2509

Community activities


contact person: Youth Chief Jennifer Pepabano

Office: 819-855-2878 ext. 420 Fax: 819-855-2875


Jennifer Pepabano - Youth Chief
Pauline Lameboy Dixon - Vice Chairperson
Robert Bobbish - 2nd Vice Chairperson
Christina Kitty - Secretary
Jason Bullfrog - Treasurer
Gabriel Herodier - Public Relations Officer
Christine Kitty - Member
Terry Washipabano - Member
Mimie Neacappo - Member
Leona Shem - Member
Joanne Sam - Member
Ricky Lameboy - Member
Ida Rednose - Member
Jules Quachegan - Youth Dev. Coord.


Youth Centre Project - A building was given to our department to use as an office. We also use it to generate funds through video, pool tables, and a snack bar. We later moved to a community centre and carried out our projects there.

Small Business Ventures - With the ability to run projects that generated funding, we went into other areas of interest. In addition to a pool hall, a bowling alley was added. Later, a fitness centre, silk screen printing project and a pro-shop (sporting retail) were added.

Community Projects - To create employment, we were assigned a number of projects, such as a community playground, an outdoor rink, and a softball field.


contact person: Youth Chief Kenneth Cheezo

Deputy Youth Chief William Gilpin Jr.

Office: 819-977-0211 Fax: 819-977-0281


Kenneth Cheezo - Youth Chief
William Gilpin Jr. - Vice - Chairperson
Shelly Shanoush - Member
Alfred D. Gilpin - Member
Sam Moses - Member



Contact person:

Youth Chief Jimmy Coon-Come

Office: (418) 923-2274 Fax: (418) 923-3115


Jimmy Coon-Come - Youth Chief
Larry Shecapio - Vice Chairperson
John Henry Mianscum - Secretary
Andrew Coon - Treasurer
Rene Coon-Come - Exec. Member
Beatrice Gunner - Member
Faith Gunner - Member
Lucy Trapper - Member
Abel Trapper - Member
Jason Shecapio - Member
Richard Shecapio - Member
William Shecapio - Member
Joseph Shecapio - Member
vacant - Youth. Dev. Coord.



In loving memory of Christian Fayard-Shecapio, who served the youth of Mistissini as Youth Development Coordinator.


Contact person:

Youth Development Coordinator Stella Jolly

Office: 819-673-2512 Fax: 819-673-2542


Norman Wapachee - Youth Chair
Greg Jolly - Vice-Chairperson
Louise Tanoush - Treasurer
Hattie Wapachee - Secretary
Gilbert Wapachee - External Affairs
Noreen Moar - Internal Affairs
Mary Annie Blackned - Educ/Employ.
Stella Jolly - Youth Dev. Coord.


January 1998 Fundraising: Individual Sponsor Sheets for participants for FWIYC, Penny Social for FWIYC, Live Bingo & Bake Sale for FWIYC

February 1998 Fundraising: Pay What You Pick for FWIYC, Local Youth Planning Session, Fund raising: Valentine's Dance for FWIYC, Penny Social for FWIYC,Take Out Plates FWIYC.

March 1998 Worked on Youth Council Proposal (funding for operational budget and special projects), Submitted Proposal to Nemaska First Nation.

April 1998 Goose Break, Planning of Youth Educational & Cultural Exchange Trip to Ottawa.

May 1998 Youth Educational & Cultural Exchange Trip to Ottawa, Financial Support and Assisting help to the Jolly family (Loss of Daughter),Welcome Home Gathering: Ruth Jolly.

June 1998 Fundraising: Live Bingo for Youth Activities, Fundraising: Penny Social for Youth Activities, D.J. Dance for Youth Activities. Aboriginal Day Celebration ? Planning Various cultural activities & contests, Youth Camping Excursion (Weekend) by Canoe,Fundraising: Pay What You Pick for Youth Activities.


Contact person:

Youth Development Coordinator Mark Forsythe

Office: 418-745-3366 Fax: 418-745-3426


Freddy Bosum - Interim Youth Chief
Nelson Mianscum - Councillor
Randy Bosum - Councillor
Harry Bosum - Councillor
Olivia Couchees - Councillor
Mark Forsythe - Youth Development Coordinator



Contact person:

Youth Rep Kevin Mianscum

Office: 819-737-2224 Fax: 819-757-8311


Local des Jeunes Members:

Christopher Mark - President
Virginia Moore - Vice-President
Ryan Moore - Treasurer
Jessica Cooper - Member
Marina Moore - Member
Sandra Awashish - Member
Roy Mark - Advisor
Robert "Bobby" Moore - Advisor
Native Youth Representatives:
Pauline Mark Ruperthouse CoChair
Dennis Saganash- Vice Co-Chair-resigned
Maggie Etapp - Secretary - resigned
Donna Sanford - Member
Kevin Mianscum - Member
Virginia Moore - Member


SUMMER 1997:

FALL 1997:

WINTER 1997:


Contact person:

Youth Chief Marcel Happyjack
Youth Dev. Coord. Angus Kitchen

Office: 819-753-2890 Fax: 819-753-2555


Marcel Happyjack - Youth Chief
John Jolly - Vice Chairperson
Priscilla Meilleur - Member
Joey Blacksmith - Member
Glen Cooper - Member
Stephanie Gull - Member
Irene Neeposh - Post-Secondary Rep.
Steven Blacksmith - Post-Secondary Rep.
David Cooper - Trappers Rep.
Kenny Icebound - Trappers Rep.
Angus Kitchen - Youth. Dev. Coord.



FALL 1991

WINTER 1997/98

Spring 1998


Contact person:

Youth Chief Ruby Atchynia

Office: 819-929-3385 Fax: 819-929-3203


Ruby Atchynia - Interim Youth Chief and Youth Development Coordinator
Linda Salt - Member
Diane George - Member
Leonard Masty - Member
Stanley George - Member
Vacant - Member
Vacant - Youth Chief
Rachel Kawapit - Resigned due to family responsibilities
Gloria George - Resigned due to schooling (College)


The Youth Council was elected in October of '96 and their term ends in October '99. The Youth Council have done activities such as Youth Week which takes place annually, the Regional summer games, Christmas feasts for children, Picnics throughout the year, Local tournaments, Sponsoring Youth groups, Dances, as well as assisting other departments in activities they have planned or organized such as the Recreation & Cultural Department.


In loving memory of a fellow youth who left us on June 8, 1997, Samuel Menarick; remembered as a friend.


Contact person:

Chairperson Charles Hester

Office: 819-895-8650 Fax: 819-895-8901


Charles J Hester, Chairperson
A Thomas Hester, Vice-Chairperson
Daisy Stephen, Secretary
Cheryl Moar, Treasurer
Tommy Blackned, Member
Marilyn Blackned, Member
Ian Diamond, Member
Albert Diamond, Band Council Rep.
Billy Stephen, Elders Rep.
Charles J Hester, Youth Development Coordinator



Waskaganish Gathering Place: The construction of a 21,000 sq. ft. facility to serve as a youth centre. This facility will house a cafetorium (gym, auditorium & cafeteria all rolled into one), fitness centre, arcade, billiards hall, elders' component, Portage headquarters, Vision-Quest Studios, an agora as well as several multi-purpose rooms.

Media Print Project "The Portage": This project currently employs ten young people. It produces "The Portage", a community newsmagazine that covers local current events, issues, profiles, etc.

Vision Quest Productions: A youth video club established in 1994, Vision Quest produces videos about the Cree culture and the Cree way of life. It also creates a community show entitled "What's up in Waskaganish?" which airs on the local TV station.

Waskaganish Fitness Centre: Owned and operated by the youth council, the Waskaganish Fitness Centre has served the community for nearly ten years.

Canoe Brigade: An annual paddling expedition approximately 400 km long from Waskaganish to Nemaska and return via the Rupert and Pontax rivers, involving ten to fourteen young people. Established in 1990, this project was the first of its kind in the Cree Nation.

Summer Student Employment Program: Annually, approximately 100-150 students and youth are engaged in this program. The SSEP offers employment opportunities in the following domains: Administration, Accounting, Business Enterprise, Recreation, Law Enforcement, Maintenance, Carpentry, Hospitality Industry, Community Service as well as general labour type of work.

Wolf Pack Program: Directed at young people between the ages of 8-13 years old, this program ensures the creativity and energy of young people is put to use in a positive manner.

Youth Council By-law: This past year we adopted a new Youth Council by-law. We have made major changes in the way the councillors are elected.

Career Enrichment Program: This program provides employment for students and out-of-school youth. We offer it in two segments, fall and winter. Approximately 40 young people benefit from this program annually.

Short-term Job Creation Project: A work creation program, directed at young people with minimal education and virtually no work experience to gain helpful skills.

Youth Department Comprehensive Development Plan: The youth department / youth council has been involved in a planning process for the past two years. We have identified a five-year plan for the department and we are now taking the initial steps to implement this plan.

Cree Youth Concert: The youth department, in collaboration with Waskaganish Minor Sports Association and the Recreation Department, sponsored a concert featuring Cree youth performers from around James Bay. The concert was held February 19, 1998.



for the Cree Nation Youth Council

Cree Regional Authority Youth Department

We have outlined the duties and responsibilities of the various positions in the CNYC and the CRA Youth Department:


The CNYC Chairperson and the Youth Grand Chief have the following responsibilities:

Provide progressive reports on all CNYC activities to the CNYC, Cree youth and GCCEI/CRA as well as other organizations.


The Director of Youth Development has the following responsibilities:


The Secretary has the following responsibilities for the CNYC and the CRA Youth Department:



The Funds Soliciting Officer also assists in


The Special Projects Co-ordinator has the following responsibilities:


Consultation Tour - Needs Assessment of Cree Youth

March/April 1998

Strategic Management Plan Development - ongoing

9th Annual Youth Assembly - Waskaganish - MacLean's Camp June 30 to July 2, 1998

Cree Nation Youth Council Elections Office of: 1. Chairperson 2. Vice-Chairperson Waskaganish - MacLean's Camp ? July 2, 1998

Cree Youth Heritage Journey - 7th Canoe Expedition from Nemaska to Waskaganish via Ruperts River - June 20 to June 29, 1998.

Cree Youth Heritage Journey - 1 St Winner Expedition Route to be determined - Feb. and March 1999

Cree Nation Youth Calendar 1999 - To include Cree youth achievements and role models - To be available before Christmas 1998

Cree Nation Youth Council Participation - 5th World Indigenous Youth Conference - New Zealand - December 1998


The Administrative Assistant provides the following assistance in the following:

PROGRAMS FOR 1998-1999

Here are the brief summaries of the programs for 1998-99. These programs help Cree youth to gain skills for various careers. The CNYC invites all Cree Youth to get involved. If one or more of these programs interest you, or if you would like more information, please contact the CNYC head office in Nemaska or your CNYC local office. Cree Youth Technical Resource Group : A resource program for individuals with technical skills to assist in developing plans for youth organizations, youth departments and to assist the CNYC in the implementation of its new structure.

Youth Leadership Program: A career training program that allows youth to enhance their professional, operational and organizational skills.

Communications / Public Relations Program: To help the CNYC become more visible to its members, to promote activities, and provide information about the CNYC through various forms of communication.

Cree Youth Culture / Language Enrichment Program: To promote and preserve the Cree language, culture and values.

Youth Talent Enrichment Program: Personal self-awareness is the key to self-confidence. This program helps Cree youth to develop their personal growth and self-confidence through the arts and drama activities.

Career Explorations Program: This program helps Cree Youth to choose career options. This program will help youth learn about all present and future career opportunities both locally and regionally.

Environment Program: This program will be to conduct research what Cree youth perceive as healthy lifestyles. Efforts will include an environmental awareness consultation program.


James A. Shecapio

Once in a while a person comes along and changes your view on life, Although, no force that you can see has been used, You can still feel the affects of time spent with him, For days, weeks, years, and maybe even for a lifetime. A journey has ended for our friend. His life was a teaching in itself.

Working for the enhancement for our nation;
Determination brought forth the voice of the Youth;
Persistance opened doors and hearts;
Challenges were met without flinches and anger;
And the gentle ways which broke down many barriers.
He showed us all that brute force is not necessary for true understanding; Often times, it negates and hinders us from seeing the truth.
Those who knew James, may now realize, the honour, And blessing bestowed upon us for the time we had with him.
He walked in a balance of greatness and humility.
At times, relentless in his mission;
He usually failed to take time for himself.
He had a sense of urgency in accomplishing his tasks; Few saw the rare frustrating moments
He was patient and respectful to everyone; Even to those who were unaccommodating. An eternal diplomat, He taught us to accept one another, unconditionally.
We will all be so much more, for having known James.
Our Youth were heard in every corner of the world, Because he believed and took time for us.
Our nation was taught what leadership entailed.
We will all miss our friend and teacher.
May he rest in peace with his daughter Amanda.
Forever in the glory of true Serenity.

by Rhonda Oblin & Lisa Petagumskum

The Cree Nation has lost many of its Youth this past year. The CNYC would like to take this opportunity to honour them. Although they left us too early, their memories will remain with us always.