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.

About

The Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi are a group of 350 individuals who are either Cree beneficiaries under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement or are eligible to be registered as such. Although clearly part of the greater Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee, the Washaw Sibi Eeyou have a distinct history, territory and vision. Due in large part to the acts of the federal Department of Northern Affairs, the Washaw Sibi Eeyou have been disconnected from our Cree culture, have been dislodged from our traditional territories and have not been able to exercise our rights as Cree beneficiaries living in Eeyou Istchee.

Legal Status

The Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi has established a legal entity – the Washaw Sibi Eeyou Association–a not-for-profit corporation which carries out our local government functions and promotes the welfare of our people. This entity has existed since 1997.

To be eligible to be a member of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi, an individual must be:

  1. a Cree beneficiary or a person eligible to be registered as a Cree beneficiary; and
  2. a member of the Washaw Sibi Eeyou.

The final determination as to whether an individual is a member of the Washaw Sibi Eeyou is given to the elected Chief and Council of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi.

The currently elected Chief of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi is Billy Katapatuk, Sr. The acting Deputy Chief is Annie Weistche, and the other elected Councillors are Dorothy Polson and Kenneth Weistche.

Current Activities

The current activities of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi include the following:

  1. Planning for a new community
    The Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi has engaged the services of world-renowned architect Douglas Cardinal to assist in the planning of a new community. Mr. Cardinal conducted a "Vision Session" with the Washaw Sibi Eeyou in Amos during the month of March 2004.
  2. Consolidation of Washaw Sibi Territory
    Negotiations have been concluded with the neighbouring Cree Nations of Waswanipi and Waskaganish to determine the precise limits of the traditional territory of the Washaw Sibi Eeyou and to establish the Washaw Sibi Eeyou traplines as "Cree traplines" within the terms of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
  3. Integration with Greater Cree Nation
    The Washaw Sibi Eeyou are continuing our political and cultural integration with the greater Cree Nation. Elections are to be held shortly in order to allow the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi to send representatives to sit on the boards of all Cree entities.
  4. Negotiations with Algonquins
    Bilateral negotiations, although difficult, continue with the leadership of the Pikogan reserve in light of the new status of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi. We have also recommended and offered a mediation process between the two communities utilizing the services of respected Algonquin Elder, William Commanda.