MFNERC was proud to be at this year’s National Cree Gathering, hosted by Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN), September 23-26. At the 1996 National Cree Gathering, also held in OCN, a declaration of intent began the process of the renewal of a sovereign autonomous nation. The last fourteen years have seen this vision move closer and closer to reality.
During the gathering’s four days, many informative roundtables were conducted. They included a traditional parenting workshop, an elders’ forum and youth dialogue. The Black & White Cree Gala on September 25 was definitely one of the highlights. Performances by Jason Chamakese & Robert Gladue from Saskatchewan, OCN’s own Rhonda Head, and Ernest Monias from Pimicikimak Cree Nation made for an amazing night of celebrating Cree talent. Rounding out the show was a presentation by renowned filmmaker Kevin Lee Burton who showed his award winning film, Nikamowin.
The keynote speaker was Senator Jonathan Windy Boy from the state of Montana. Senator Windy Boy is recognized not only as a champion grass dancer but also as a strategic visionary whose motivational and influential voice supports tribal issues across the nation. The evening ended with a round dance with the entire audience taking part.
On the last day, the decision to facilitate continued gatherings as Cree peoples, to determine the future direction of the Cree Nation Confederacy, took place.
Kwiyask kiskenimitohakoh, ekota Kwiyask kikaki witatoskemitonanow!