By Richard F. Salisbury
A place of origin for the Cree is a useful examine of ways the 1st James Bay venture was once negotiated among the Cree and the Quebec executive. 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 nearby improvement in James Bay.
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Additional info for A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981
Conversely, the number of non-Cree living in Cree villages was even smaller. About 200 non-status Indians, with some white (Scottish or Russian) ancestry, were not included in the official DINA registers, but otherwise lived, hunted, and were treated by all as part of the majority of Cree residents. Quebec statistics for 1971 show 120 white residents in Great Whale, 150 in Fort George, and figures of 5 for Paint Hills, 7 for Eastmain, and 23 for Rupert's House. Another 50 should be added for Mistassini.
The summer, when all families lived close together near the post, was both a time for social interaction and a time for preparing for next winters hunting. Preparing equipment, collecting supplies, repairing old materials, and, above all, deciding who would form part of the next winter's hunting group took place at this season. Making the decision was in fact the task of the "tallyman" - the particular individual of the family "owning" each hunting territory who was deemed to be in ritual contact with the spiritual "Masters of the Animals" of the area, and whose name was usually recorded in the official Quebec Beaver Preserve registry.
A few Cree were employed as teaching aides for kindergarten classes, and in the smaller villages a one-room school provided for grades 1 and 2 as well. Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 were taught in Fort George and in Mistassini, and students going on to these grades from the primary schools had to become boarding pupils or live with foster parents in the village. Providing foster care and supporting the school had become the major source of wage-income in Fort George. The problems of expanding a school system where previously there were neither school buildings, teachers, adequate finance, nor a flow of children through schools were met by slow expansion at the top and a broader expansion at the base.
A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981 by Richard F. Salisbury