Washaw Sibi Eeyou

The River That Runs Into the Bay

The Washaw Sibi Eeyou has a distinct history and a vision to establish a new tenth (10th) Cree First Nation community within Eeyou Istchee.

We, the Cree people of Washaw Sibi have an inherent right to implement our plan to build a new community for our members. We have a right to govern ourselves and to have a home where we can ensure the survival and health of our people, our language, and our culture.

Home

The Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi is currently made up of some 350 members. All our members are eligible to be Cree beneficiaries under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Two hundred and ninety‑three of our members have registered status as such.

Our members are all located within Cree Territory as follows:

  • 200 on the Algonquin Pikogan reserve
  • 30 on the Algonquin Lac Simon reserve
  • 50 in the town of Amos
  • 42 in the town of Val d’Or
  • 18 in the town of La Sarre
  • 12 in the town of Matagami
  • 8 at various other locations throughout Eeyou Istchee.

Although we, for the mostpart, reside within Cree Territory, the Crees of Washaw Sibi Eeyou are unable to access educational, health and social services established by the Cree Nation pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Further, we have serious problems in accessing housing and job creation programs.

While the Washaw Sibi Eeyou see our extended family members and Cree brethren attending post‑secondary institutions and enhancing the wealth in human capital of the Cree Nation through the assistance of the Cree School Board, the Washaw Sibi Eeyou are entitled to no such support. In fact, the vast majority of Washaw Sibi Eeyou are forced to have their children attend school in the Algonquin language, a situation which causes great cultural pain to the Cree elders of our community.

There is likewise a large discrepancy in the level of services provided by the Cree Board of Health and Social Services and the level of health services currently provided to our members by Indian Affairs. This discrepancy results solely from the fact that the Washaw Sibi Eeyou, while Cree beneficiaries residing in Cree Territory, do not reside in a currently existing Cree community.

Over the past 10 years, the greater Cree Nation has become more and more aware of the plight of the Washaw Sibi Eeyou. The Cree Nation as a whole, and in particular the neighbouring First Nations of Waskaganish and Waswanipi, have provided substantial financial, moral and political support to the Washaw Sibi Eeyou in order to remedy our situation. This support culminated recently in the recognition of the Washaw Sibi Eeyou as the tenth Cree Nation by the 2003 Annual General Assembly of the Cree Nation. The elected Chief of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi currently sits as the tenth Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee).