By Richard F. Salisbury
A place of origin for the Cree is a useful examine of the way the 1st James Bay undertaking 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 local improvement in James Bay.
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Additional resources for A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981
The operation of the physical plant of the villages had also become a significant source of employment. Garbage collection, operation of electric generators, collection of "honeybucket" sewage, and road clearing employed a small number in each village, though in unskilled jobs. A few of the services for the villages, notably, telephone service and air transportation, were provided by private companies and these companies did employ Cree agents for responsible tasks. The telephone network in each village used a radio telephone connection to the rest of the Bell Telephone system.
Prospective employers in forestry or mining towns who needed a Cree team would pass the word around that they were looking for their familiar Cree contact person, and when that person checked in he would be asked to organize a team. Such contact persons were often called by the Cree word for "boss" - auchimau (LaRusic 1968). It must be added that although casual workers might work for a whole summer (or perhaps for only a few weeks), the salaries they received were at low levels, barely above the minimum wage.
In Great Whale the small Cree band formed a subgroup within a large village, where the majority group was composed of Inuit who used the coast and the northerly tundra. These three large villages also housed numbers of whites, employed for the most part by the government, the churches, or the HBC, to operate the services of the villages or the radar base at Great Whale. 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.
A homeland for the Cree: Regional development in James Bay, 1971-1981 by Richard F. Salisbury