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Hunting and the Quest for Power: The James Bay Cree and Whitemen in the 20th Century

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Type: Book Chapter
Author: Feit, Harvey A.; Morrison, R.B.; Wilson, Carl
Book Title: Native Peoples: The Canadian Experience
Publisher: McCelland & Stewart
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/52
Sector: Social Organization
Region: North America
Subject(s): indigenous institutions--history
hunters and gatherers--history
Cree (North American people)--history
Abstract: "This chapter has been called 'Hunting and the Quest for Power' because it is about different quests for power and how they have interacted in the recent history of the James Bay region of northern Quebec. The key terms of this title are ambiguous; hunting means different things to the Cree than it does for other Canadians, and so, too, with power. The quest for power is a metaphor the Cree might use for the life of a hunter; it is also a metaphor Euro- Canadians might use for the goals of both northern developers and government bureaucracies. ... "When the Cree began their opposition to the James Bay hydroelectric scheme in 1972, they asked if I would present some of the results of my research to the courts and then use them in the negotiations. It was an unexpected happenstance that my study proved to be of some use to the Cree, and one for which I was thankful. I served as an adviser to the Cree organizations during the negotiation and implementation of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, regularly from 1973 through 1978, and on an occasional basis thereafter. This took me into a new set of interests in the relationship of the Cree to the government and toward a deeper interest in Cree history. The results of some of these experiences are described in the latter parts of this chapter."

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