Xavier Kataquapit

Stand Up For Public Healthcare

Create: 03/16/2023 - 00:33

I grew up in my home community of Attawapiskat First Nation on the James Bay coast and there were a lot of challenges living in the far north. As a matter of fact there still are. We have had a hospital in place for a long time but never really had a local full time doctor or dentist. However, we have had a lot of great nurses and midwives over the years. Thankfully because we have had a good public health care system in place for so many decades remote Indigenous communities across the country have had the benefit of some degree of health care.

Follow The Money

Create: 03/01/2023 - 21:25

I recall years ago when I had lunch with a couple of experienced journalists where the conversation was mostly about how the media landscape was changing and that the big changes happened first during the U.S. led Gulf War of the early 1990s and then again after the September 11, 2011 World Trade Center attacks. It was getting more difficult to report stories that had to do with war, industry, government, environmental or conservation issues and anything positive about Indigenous news.

Let’s Get Serious About Climate Change

Create: 02/16/2023 - 02:28

When we read the latest headlines in the world today we are constantly bombarded by news events we feel that we have no control over. There is the ever present talk of war and the threat of nuclear weapons being used which could turn our world into a wasteland of radiation. The economy seems to be forever on the edge of failing. There is the worry that aliens may be landing on our doorstep to start an invasion. Now we worry Artificial Intelligence is on the verge of overtaking our world and making us obsolete.

Welcome To The Brave New World

Create: 02/03/2023 - 02:08

What is the first thing you look at in the morning? What is the last thing you see before you go to sleep at night? Many of us would would hesitate in answering and probably not want to admit that the answer is the smartphone. We use it constantly to scroll through our favourite social media feed to look at memes, funny videos about cats, news stories, fake stories, true stories, questionable stories, gaming videos, movie clips or a quick five second video by some stranger we’ve never seen before and will never see again.

Meegwetch To Our Wonderful Elders

Create: 01/19/2023 - 02:29

These past few months have been hard on my friends and family as we have lost several prominent Elders in our lives. My family was sad to see the passing of my aunt Josephine Koostachin of Fort Severn this past November. She was my mom’s younger sister and their original family had all been born and raised on the Nawashi River north of the Attawapiskat River on the James Bay coast. They grew up in a traditional lifestyle on the land led by their parents Xavier and Louise Paulmartin and their extended family of aunts, uncles and grandparents.

The Trickster Is Online

Create: 01/06/2023 - 22:41

In James Bay Cree mythology and legends, one of the recurring characters that comes up is the story of the trickster or wandering spirit. This a mysterious character that wanders around our world and takes on any form it wishes. It could be a man, a woman, a child, an Elder, or calls itself an older brother or a younger sibling. Sometimes it’s an animal, a bird or a tiny creature. It could just be a spirit that blows in the wind, that speaks from the forest or inhabits the earth or stones or water. Sometimes it’s a monster and sometimes it is a helpful being that saves people.

Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Create: 12/22/2022 - 01:07

One of my favourite Christmas memories have to do with just being outside in the winter weather with my friends and playing in the snow. As a young boy in a house full of eight siblings, two parents and at one point our grandfather, I had lots of reasons to want to head outside. In our home in Attawapiskat on the James Bay coast, our three bedroom home was constantly full of people and as children, we were more than happy to want to head outside to be on our own.

We Are Not The Wild West

Create: 12/08/2022 - 02:52

There is a lot of discussion about gun control these days. As an Indigenous person who was born and raised on the lands of the great James Bay, I know very well the role that hunting rifles and shotguns play in harvesting animals. One of the first things I learned as a young boy was how to fire a gun as part of my education in learning the culture and traditions of my people in terms of harvesting moose, caribou, geese, ducks and other wild life.

Jingle All The Way

Create: 11/25/2022 - 22:28

It is hard to believe that Christmas 2022 and the holiday season is right around the corner. There are Christmas parades happening in most cities and towns right across the country. For many this is the first time since 2019 before the wretched Covid-19 Pandemic hit the world and stopped us all in our tracks. It is good to see Santa back on his sleigh running around the streets and greeting all the kids. We all need that idea of the goodness of Christmas and Santa this year.

The Tragedy Of War Is Generational

Create: 11/09/2022 - 22:41

November 11, Remembrance Day is very meaningful to myself and my partner Mike. Myself and my family lost my great-grandfather John Chookomolin during the First World War or what is referred to as the Great War. This is a very sad and tragic story as the Canadian military in 1917 sent a recruiter up the James Bay coast to look for young Indigenous men to join the conflict in Europe. This recruiter more or less kidnapped 24 young men who could not even speak English from Attawapiskat and convinced them to join him.


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