By Richard F. Salisbury
A fatherland for the Cree is a useful learn of ways the 1st James Bay venture used to be negotiated among the Cree and the Quebec govt. Richard Salisbury follows the negotiations which begun in 1971 and analyses the alterations 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
2 By 1971 over a third of the population resided year-round in villages. Three of the bands lived in large villages. Mistassini and Fort George bands formed the largest villages, numbering almost 1,500 people each in the summer. Both drew hunters from vast ranges of territory that at one time had been served by subposts of the HBC, like that of Nitchequon to the northeast of Mistassini. Within the large villages the families that had earlier met at the subposts tended to form subgroups, erecting their tents near one another.
They could be taught by adding one or more teachers locally, sometimes even employing a Cree with high school training who took educational courses during the summer. At the top the few students who lasted the course and completed primary grades (even if at a later age than would be normal in urban areas) were found places in urban schools. The initial group went to Sault Ste Marie; later groups went to Hull, Quebec, and to Brampton, Ontario, and boarded with local families. Further expansion at the base came as the Direction Generate du Nouveau Quebec (DGNQ) provided teaching in French at local schools, starting at Rupert's House in the buildings of the Oblate Fathers' Mission.
It can be seen from this sketch that it was never possible for villages to plan and provide for their own schooling; they controlled the resources neither to build the schools nor to recruit and hire their own teachers. More importantly, the planning - predicting how many children might go to school two years hence - and organizing of classroom construction were not feasible for local communities. And in any case, the critical growing point of the total school system - at the top - was not accessible to any single village where only one or two pupils might be eligible for the next higher grade, and no class could be formed for such a small group.
A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981 by Richard F. Salisbury