Xavier Kataquapit

Seasons Greetings

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:26

It is that time of the year again. With the holiday season and Christmas and New Year celebrations a lot of people will be rejoicing in so many ways. Most of this season should be devoted to children having fun but most of it has ended up being a very stressful time of the year with the main idea having to do with spending money to buy gifts to be happy. It never works.

Hunger Strikes Have a Powerful History

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:26

Over the years, leaders from First Nation communities in the north like Attawapiskat, have fought hard for many of the basic services and programs that currently exist. However, I can understand my peoples’ frustration when at times, it feels like progress is actually falling back and we are losing what little we gained. In the end many issues negatively affect the overall Native community in terms of chronic health problems, unemployment and social issues such as addictions, violence and suicide.

The Dream Catcher

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:26

I had a dream the other night. I was a little boy again. There I was, on the land back up on the James Bay coast. I could see the clear water of the Attawapiskat River below and the deep blue sky above with the burning yellow sun as white clouds sailed by. Then I lifted off the ground and flew south with the Niska, a flock of Canada geese. I could see the rivers and thousands of the lakes below me as I soared over the mushkeg and dense pine forests. As I flew it seemed that I was being transported through time and into the future.

Too many die on our northern highways

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:26

Here we are again in the middle of winter. This year up north, I am hearing lots of reports of snow and freezing temperatures. Last week, the temperatures with wind chills were in the minus 40 to 50 range in many places across the country. However, all this started late with a mild fall. 
Right now, as we head into February, I understand that the really frigid temperatures have given way to freezing rain in many areas in northern Ontario. None of the Elders I talk to remember such turmoil and ups and downs in the weather systems. 

The cost of living

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:25

As Native people we have to deal with so many addictions. That makes life more difficult than it should be. We are relatively new to the concept of money as compared to other cultures who have been dealing with financial systems for hundreds if not thousands of years.
One of the big obstacles in our way has been a very naive understanding of how the money system works.

In the spirit of respect and fairness

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:25

There are many success stories across Canada when it comes to resource development agreements and partnerships between First Nations, companies and government. Most non-Native people don’t realize this. Even in my home community of Attawapiskat negotiations in general between my people and Debeers has benefited many. The process is obviously not perfect but at the very least, the company, First Nation leadership and governments have bargained in good faith to make a very large project happen in the middle of pristine wilderness.

Remembering my father

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:25

I can’t believe I am writing words dedicated to the passing of my dad, Marius Kataquapit (October 26, 1938 – March 13, 2013). His death of a heart attack has left a hole in me that I know will never be fully healed but will get better with time. Dad was very much a bigger than life, fun filled character in the life of my family and whenever we were with him, he often found it necessary to punctuate our time with laughter and lots of smiles.

Midnight Shine lights up the coast

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:24

A new First Nation music production has been launched by Midnight Shine, which features an old friend of mine, Attawapiskat resident Adrian Sutherland. A lot of great music has come from James Bay over the past few decades and Midnight Shine represents a new crop of Aboriginal performers to add to this tradition. Midnight Shine, which is also the album title, is the first release by this group of First Nation musicians.

On the trail of history

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:24

I find travelling liberating. When I first started to visit other countries I did so with a minimal knowledge of history. The more I travelled, I realized I wasn’t getting a good sense of where I was. It was wonderful to climb up to the Acropolis and view Athens from the ancient ruins but I did so initially without really knowing much about where I was.

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