A List of Environmental and Telecommunications Events and Issues

January 2 to January 9, 1998









Published, Edited and Written by George Mokray for
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617)661-2676
gmoke@world.std.com

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Listings

Monday, January 5

Computer-Controlled Dancing Sculptures
David Durlach
contact ddurlach@world.std.com or http://vismod.www.media.mit.edu/~ddurlach/tf.html
11 Miller St, Somerville
Editorial Comment: A workshop from TechnoFrolics and David Durlach, feminist engineer, that goes on until January 30.

12 pm
The Wise Dental Consumer
Richard Doff
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 135

1 pm
Zzzzzz: All About Sleep
John Winkelman
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 190

1 pm - 5 pm
Introduction to Digital Video
Katie Livingston
contact 253-0852 or cavan@mit.edu
MIT Building E40, Room 357
Meets same time and place Tuesday and Wednesday. Limited to 30.

1:30 pm
New England Solar Energy Industries Association (NE-SEIA)
contact Terry Fontannay (800) 977-0777 x201 or ne-seia@rnn.com
ASE Americas, Inc, 4 Suburban Park Dr, Billerica

3 pm
Origami
Norman Tsao
contact 255-8715 or nooooorm@mit.edu
MIT CSC Library
Meets every Monday until January 26 same time and place.

The Noise Environment Around an Airport
John-Paul Clarke
contact 253-2279 or mas@mit.edu
MIT Building 33, Room 206

Tuesday, January 6

10 am - 12 pm
New Directions in Highway Design: A New Urban Ring Prototype
Romin Koebel
contact 253-7122 or ajwhittl@mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 350

12 pm
How to Achieve World Peace Using Common Kitchen Utensils
Noemi Giszpenc
contact 255-7698 or noemi@mit.edu
Kitchen in the basement of Bexley dormitory, MIT
First of four weekly meetings

1 pm
Foundations of Animation
Pell Osborn
contact 253-2599 or cpomieko@mit.edu
MIT Building 56, Room 167
Every Tuesday and Thursday until January 29.

What's Happening in Environmental Chemistry at MIT
Jeffrey Steingeld
contact 253-4525 or jisteinf@mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 145

3 pm
African Blockbusters - Allah Tantu - human rights in Guinea
contact 253-3138 or schaffer@mit.edu
TBA

4:30 pm - 7 pm
Journey to the Monastery - meet a monk with an MIT PhD
contact 253-2983 or jsgould@mit.edu
MIT Building W11
Meets every Tuesday until January 27.

7 pm
Falun Gong - advanced meditation and exercise
contact 253-0720, ldvorson@mtl.mit.edu or
http://www.fas.harvard.edy/~hliang
MIT Building 1, Room 150
Every Tuesday and Thursday evening until January 29.

8 pm
3rd Annual IAP Festival of Amination: Animation Around the World I
contact 255-1769 or stephane@mit.edu
MIT Building 6, Room 120

9 pm
All That Tap! An Introduction Course to Tap Dancing
Kristen Vella
contact krvella@mit.edu
TBA
Every Tuesday and Thursday until January 29

Wednesday, January 7

10 am - 12 pm
Project Management
John Hollywood
contact 253-6185 or jshollyw@mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 145
Also meets same time and place on Thursday and Friday.

11:15 am
March Protesting the Recent Massacre in Chiapas, Mexico
contact 492-8699
starting from Arlington St Church, 351 Boylston St, Boston to the Mexican Embassy

12 pm
Web Quick Start Class
MIT Building E40, Room 302

1 pm
Radon: Radiation Exposure and Detection
Mitchell Galanek
contact ciam@med.mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 150

2:30 pm - 4 pm
The Limits of the Market: The Case of Mexico
Mike Piore
contact 253-3377 or mpiore@mit.edu
MIT Building E51, Room 372

4 pm
Demonstration honoring the 45 people massacred in Chiapas, Mexico
contact 773-0406 or uaine19@idt.net
JFK Federal Building, Government Center, Boston

Strong Women Books: How Does a Mainstream Scientist Keep her Credibility in the New Media?
Miriam E. Nelson, Bunting Institute Fellow in Public Health
contact 495-8212
Harvard, Bunting Institute, 34 Concord Ave

Thursday, January 8

10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
The Spirit World and the God of the Bible: The Yanomamo Experience
R G Ballinger, G Dawson, and B Cajicuwa
contact 253-5118 or hvymet@mit.edu
MIT Building 24, Room 121
Also meets same time and place on Friday.

10 am
Autonomous Surface Craft
Tom Vanek
contact 253-3326 or tvaneck@mit.edu
MIT Building E38, Room 300

1 pm
On Behalf of Children in Need: A Talk on How to Make a Big Difference in Small Ways
Eleanor Bonsaint
contact 253-5763 or bonsaint@psyche.mit.edu
MIT Building E10, Room 010A

2 pm
Computers and the Human Genome Project
Eric Lander
contact slomin@genome.wi.mit.edu or http://www-genome.wi.mit.edu/informatics/IAP.html or 252-1553
Whitehead Institute Auditorium
Lectures every Thursday until January 29.

The Consulting Business
Michael Mohr
contact 253-2015 or cmmohr@mit.edu
MIT Building 66, Room 110

How the Mind Works
Steven Pinker
contact 253-5763 or bonsaint@psyche.mit.edu
MIT Building E25, Room 111

2 pm - 4 pm
Introduction to Non-Wimpy Number Systems
Adam Elga and Jacob Lurie
contact 253-2526, adam@mit.edu or http://mit.edu/adam/www/nonwimpy.html
MIT Building 37, Room 212
Also meets same time and place on Thursday and Friday.

2:30 pm
China’s Recent Economic Reforms
Richard Eckaus
contact 253-3367 or eckaus@mit.edu
MIT Building E51, Room 372

3 pm - 5 pm
Analysis of Mortality in the USA 1800-1997: Evidence for Environmental Factors
William Thilly
Sustainable Agriculture in Arid Regions
Dennis Mclaughlin
contact 253-3726, voelker@mit.edu, 255-6269, lnichols@mit.edu
MIT Building 1, Room 390
Editorial Comment: Part of the Share a Vital Earth (SAVE) lecture series, the MIT student enviro group. There will be two lectures every Tuesday and Thursday during Janaury.

7 pm - 9 pm
Quarks, Chaos, Christianity
Ronald Young
contact rbyoung@mitre.org or jsgould@mit.edu
MIT Building W11
Meeting every Thursday until January 29.

7 pm - 9 pm
Boston Webgrrls Monthly Gathering
contact molly@bitgroup.com
Virtually Wired, 19 Temple Place, Boston
Cost: $5 at the door to cover meeting costs
RSVP not absolutely required, but it is greatly appreciated so we can order an appropriate amount of food!

7:30 pm
Boston Area Solar Energy Association: Green Power - Consumer Choices in a Restructured Energy Environment
Michael Tennis, ReGen Technologies
contact 49-SOLAR or http://BASEA.org
3 Church St, Harvard Sq
Donations help support the BASEA forum series

Friday, January 9

1 pm
Physics and the Earth: Why Mountains Rise, Continents Move, and the Magnetic Field Reverses
Leigh Royden
contact 253-1292 or wiki@goodwin.mit.edu
MIT Building 4, Room 370

2 pm
African Blockbusters - Hyenas - Western materialism in Senegal
contact 253-3138 or schaffer@mit.edu
TBA

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm
Yoga: The Science of Human Perfection
Swami Sarvagatananda
contact 253-2327 or mehta@cytel.com
MIT Chapel
Meets every Friday until January 30 same time and place.

Saturday, January 10

9 am - 3 pm
Sustainable Boston: Green for a Greener City Conference Thomas Menino, Katie McGinty, Byron Rushing, Trudy Coxe, Jim McGovern, and others
contact 350-8866 or geeta.pradhan.pfd@ci.boston.ma.us
Boston Public Library, Copley Sq, Boston

7 pm
Party at the HUB in NYC - fundraiser for The Hub, which promotes electric cars, pedicabs, sells/rents bikes'n skates and for TIMES UP! an ecofriendly biker-group that does radical critical mass rides in NYC & many other things
contact http://www.panix.com/~timesup
81 East 3rd St, between 1st & 2nd Ave, NYC
Editorial Comment: I know it's a little out of the usual purview but I thought it was an interesting event for all of those who may be in New York on that day.

Sunday, January 11

7 pm
Greater Boston Greens
contact 787-9521 or oggc@fcl.us.net
Community Church, 565 Boylston St, (Copley Sq), Boston

8 pm - 10 pm
Middle Eastern Drumming Rhythms
George Kirby
MIT Building W11 Hillel Center

Monday, January 12

Merrimack Valley Greens Meeting
contact massgreens@igc.apc.org
Lawrence Grassroots Initiative, Lawrence, MA

7 pm - 8:30 pm
The Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee - videos about biking in cities around the world, including Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, Seattle, Delft, and yes Brookline.
contact Bert Scharf 731-2820 or SCHARF@NEU.EDU
Brookline Main Library Auditorium

Thursday, January 22, 1998

8:30 am - 10:30 am
Northeast Business Environmental Network Breakfast Meeting:
Measuring Environmental, Health & Safety Program Performance
Benchmark Your Practices
Lee Wilmot, HADCO and Tom Burns, C.R. Bard
Learn What Regulators Expect
Bob Bois, Mass. DEP and David Webster, EPA New England
contact (978)557-5475 or execdirector@nben.org, http://www.nben.org
UMass-Lowell, Wannalancit Conference Center, 600 Suffolk St, Lowell, MA
Seating is limited. Please respond by Jan. 19, 1997
NBEN Members: $20 Non-members: $40
Editorial Comment: I went to the last NBEN breakfast and found it to be very illuminating. These are real people confronting real problems while running real businesses. Such limitations are an exhilarating opportunity.

Sources for Listings:
MIT _Tech Talk_ :
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/www
Harvard _Gazette_ :
http://www.news.harvard.edu/hno.subpages/hno.calendar.full.html
Harvard Environmental Resources On-Line:
http://environment.harvard.edu
MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs calendar:
http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/envir/earth.htm
Earth Day Network international/national listings:
http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/EarthDay/ednethome.html
Earth Day Greater Boston calendar:
http://www.earthdaygb.org

act-ma the Massachusetts activists mailing list:
subscribe by emailing majordomo@igc.apc.org, leaving the subject line blank and typing "subscribe act-ma" as the message

Peace and Justice Events Hotline at (617)787-6809

Computer Organizations of NE (CONE):
http://bcs1.ziplink.net/cone/sig - Special Interest Group list
http://bcs1.ziplink.net/cone/cal/index.html - calendar
Boston Webmasters Guild
http://boston.webmaster.org

Community Technology Center Network
http://www.ctcnet.org

Table of Contents




Costa Rica

I remember a friend from college embarking on a project to learn all the skills of a 19th century man. He visited one day and told us that he was heading down to Costa Rica to learn how to make cheese at a Quaker community there. After that, he figured that if he could learn how to build a horse-drawn wagon, his project would be complete. I don't know if either endeavor was ever accomplished but I like to think of him returning to his home in the Sierra Nevadas, driving his own wagon behind a team of horses along some logging road, munching on some of his own cheese and washing it down with a swig of his own beer. Hey, Lee, where are you now? That was the first time I paid attention to the idea of Costa Rica.

Every year, I receive an update from Bill McLarney and the folks at ANAI, Inc, the Associasion de Nuevos Alquimistos (spelling?), an international spin-off of the old New Alchemy Institute (now sorta kinda re-coalescing in Falmouth, MA at their old farmstead site). ANAI works in the Talamanca area of Costa Rica doing programs with local farmers, foresters, and others around ecological development practices. They teach people how to preserve the diversity around them while improving their own lives and health, physical and economic. They do effective work on a shoestring budget and, of course, the update ends with a plea for funds. I pass that plea along to you because I believe them to be well worth your attention and dollars. Contact ANAI Inc, 1120 Meadows Road, Franklin, NC 28734 for further information.

In the _Boston Globe_ of December 14, 1997 there was a report about an international conference on electric vehicles in Orlando, FL. President Jose Maria Figueres of Costa Rica announced that his government would buy the first electric step van produced by Solectria Corporation, a local company that I have followed for years (http://www.solectria.com). President Figueres said something else which amazed me. He said that "he was committing his nation to 100 percent use of renewable energy sources by the year 2005. The country presently uses 80 percent reneewable energy." This announcement was buried in the last few paragraphs of the article but it hit my imagination like a bombshell. Can you imagine a US President making such an announcement. This greybeard keeps remembering the Gus Speth's suppressed report from the last days of the Carter administration calling for 20% renewables by the year 2000. I especially remember it when I hear about Clinton's "million solar roofs" proposal - a proposal without funding and already months behind schedule (contact the folks at the Solar Energy Industries Association - NE in the Lisings section for further information about that).

Checking in with Hotwired, the online component of _Wired_ magazine recently, I came across another reference to Costa Rica. It seems that the country is about to hold an experiment in online elections this February. If the experiment runs smoothly, Costa Rica's Supreme Electoral Council may try to hold the 2002 election entirely via Internet. The infrastructure is already there because, reportedly, most of Costa Rica's schools are already connected to the Internet (I wonder whether Costa Rica is more connected than the USA). Working with the Costa Ricans are Brett Amdur and Sean Frankino of Villanova Law School in Philadelphia and Lorrie Faith Cranor of AT&T's research group in Florham Park, New Jersey. You can read the transcript of an interview with them at http://www.hotwired.com/synapse/hotseat/97/47/transcript2a.html It is interesting not only because of the online aspects but also because of the different conception of democracy. In Costa Rica, everybody is required to vote but most people remain registered were they were born, not where they live. The government provides transportation for voters and the days around the election become a country-wide celebration and family reunion time.

Costa Rica has not had a military since the end of their last civil war in 1948. They have an enormous wilderness preserve that may be the biggest in Central America. They used to be called "the Switzerland of Central America" because of their stable economy, although that has changed somewhat in the 80s and 90s. Their former President, Oscar Arrias, was the author of a peace plan that helded end more than a decade of internecine warfare throughout the region. I have never visited Costa Rica. With my sedentary ways, I may never travel there. It is a country of the imagination for me, a place that stirs my dreams and gives me hope and a wealth of possibilities. Costa Rica, it must be a powerful place to move me so wonderfully from so far away.

Table of Contents




What the ...?

The most amazing thing I saw in the reportage about the Kyoto summit on global warming and greenhouse gases was in the December 22 edition of _Newsweek_ on page 68:

"Ford Motor Company says it can build a van that gets 32 miles per gallon - more than twice its Econoline's mileage - at no additional cost."

Consider the implications of that statement, especially in the light of Alex Trotman's pronouncements on global warming in the December _Fortune_ (he doesn't think the science is conclusive).

I have a call in to Karen Breslau, the _Newsweek_ reporter behind that quote, and hope to track down the context and the author of the statement. I am interested in finding out whether next year's Econoline vans will get that kind of mileage and if not, why not.

Table of Contents




Talk to an African Architect?

An "A List..." reader has asked me to pass on a request from one Alero Olympio, an architect from Ghana who is trying to set up speaking engagements in the Boston area in February. Ms Olympio was educated in Ghana, France, and Scotland and is developing an appropriate modern architecture for Africa using ecological construction methods and natural materials.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact Alero Olympio through mchardy@msn.com

Table of Contents




_Defending the Land: Sovereignty and Forest Life in James Bay Cree Society_ by Ronald Niezen Allyn and Bacon, 1998 ISBN 0-205-27580-X (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=020527580X/alistA/)

I know Ronald Niezen from the aikido dojo. We have thrown each other across the mat many times. You get to know somebody in a particularly close way when you practice martial arts together. You learn how they move, how they inhabit their body, how they bear fatigue and pain in those hours on the mat. You learn their character from the way they grasp your wrist, throw you, and get thrown. Now, with this book, I have learned how he works and thinks, the depth of his research and the clarity of his writing. When I think of my dojo, what I feel is pride for all my fellow aikidoists. I am proud of Ron's work here not only because of its quality but also because he has chosen an important story that also interests me.

The modern history of the James Bay Cree of Northern Quebec is an epic that is still not over. Here are bands of tribal peoples who faced down the provincial government of Quebec and the multi-billion dollar development plans of Hydro-Quebec, one of the largest construction projects in the world. They have lost much and won some but the struggle continues. What _Defending the Land_ makes clear is that the strength of the Cree to stand before the juggernaut of "modern development" is rooted in their relationship to the land that supports them.

This relationship to the land is something we "civilized people" seem to have forgotten. Ron Niezen keeps on giving us different examples to make us understand the difference between feeling asphalt rather than soil beneath your feet:

"Forest life is recognized throughout Cree society as a potential source of personal improvement. 'When I did something wrong, I would go back in the bush (nuhchimiihch) and correct myself... That was our teaching taught by our elders... [When] I knew I was not going in the right direction, I would correct myself, go out there and find myself.'"

"Robbie Matthew, Sr. of Chisasibi remembers his father helping an elder with severe emotional problems by taking him out on the land: 'A person's mind is awake out there. And [the elder] had to get back in touch with himself. What [my father] used was the land... After a while [the elder] was in a different state... He could talk. He could really picture himself as a new person.'"

"The Cree word 'miyupimaatisiium,' best translated as 'being alive well' or 'in a good condition of life,' was explained by an elder in Chisasibi as an ability to lead an active life in the forest, to follow the Cree way of life. This notion of health implies not only physical vigor and spiritual well-being, but extends to the individual's social and natural environments. Another elder in Chisasibi, put it this way: 'The term miyupimaatisiium means constantly moving, exercising, doing things. Because when you're moving there's no stress.. [Out on the land] you would have no ailment because there's no tigme for that. You're always on the move... Your mind is doing different things every day.'"

"Cree negotiators had as their highest priority protection of the land and the viability of the forest way of life, reflecting the view of one elder that this is the real source of wealth and security: '[The] white man wants to put money in the bank and once he gets his money in the bank he feels secure, his children are secure because he has got something to look forward to. And its the same thing for us [with] the land. Its just like putting money in the bank. There will always be something for us, for our young generation. And we feel secure also.'"

"As an elder from Chisasibi stated, 'Never [wonder] where you are going to get something that you can eat tomorrow [or think that] you cannot eat unless you have money. Out on the land there is a lot of richness, a lot of nourishment that is free for the taking. Why can't we go out on the land where everything is free?'

Matthew Coon-Come says, "We have always conceived of ourselves as one people, tied together by the land we share and care for, and upon which our survival has always depended. We Crees are not 'nationalists'. That concept does not exist in the Cree language. Our tie to the land is not just political, it is also physical. We are part of our lands.... We Crees do not think of borders as sacred. We are part of the land. There is no other place in the world where everything, every hill, every stream, every fork in the river is named in Cree."

Can you imagine a world where everything you see has a name that is intimate with your breathing? How do you work in a world like that?

"Two long-standing principles of the rights and obligations associated with land use in Cree society are stewardship and sharing. A steward or 'tallyman' (uuchimaau) is responsible for a designated hunting territory. There is some evidence that management of specific territories by 'principal Indians' (as fur traders referred to them) is a situation of long standing in the eastern James Bay. Daniel Francis and Toby Morantz find that when Hudson's Bay Company Governor George Simpson wrote to his superiors in London in 1828 stating his intention to implement distinct hunting grounds, the eastern James Bay Cree already had them. '[T]he roots of such a land tenure system seem to go back at least to the early 1700s and the presence in the records of clearly worded references to such a system already in existence predate the company's stated intentions [to implement individually owned hunting territories].

"The uuchimaau fulfills his responsibility by coordinating the activities of families using the 'trapline,' ensuring that particular species of animals (especially beaver, the focus of fur-frade activity) are not overharvested and that widely scattered camps are bringing in enough food to meet everyone's needs."

"Another elder recalls the advice that was given to him when he accepted stewardship of a territory: 'It is up to you to protect, preserve, make rules where necessary and enforce good hunting practices. You will look after it as I have shown you in the past. You will also look after your people and share what you have on the land if they are willing to practice their way of life' (Cree Trappers Associaton, 1989: 9)."

"The Cree, like other egalitarian foraging societies, place more emphasis on adaptability to the land rather than accumulation, and breeches of etiquette are handled more by ridicule and social isolation than punishment."

In the world of the uuchimaau, rules of conduct derive from spiritual concerns:

"'failure in the chase, the disappearance of the game from the hunter's districts, with ensuing famine, starvation, weakness, sickness, and death, are all attributed to the hunter's ignorance of some hidden principles of behavior toward the animals, or to his willful disregard of them. The former is ignorance. The latter is sin.'

"More recently, Robert Brightmann finds that such practices as communication with game animals in dreams, and showing ritual respect toward animals that are killed continue to be central to human-animal relationships among Cree hunters of northern Manitoba. He describes the spirituality of the forest lifestyle as situated in a number of contradictory, contextually variable qualities attributed to animals: subject to reincarnation, yet finite; powerful, yet vulnerable; capable of both friendship and almost malicious opposition."

"As one member of a panel of hunters in Chisasibi explains, 'A hunter always speaks as if the animals are in control of the hunt. The success of the hunt depends on the aminals: The hunter is successful if the animal decides to make himself available. The hunters have no power over the game; animals have the last say as to whether they will be caught' (Cree Trappers Association, 1989: 21). Respect for animals is therefore not a mere appendage to one's skill as a hunter. Success in the forest economy depends entirely on a hunter's consistency in establishing mutual respect with the game he is pursuing. Boasting of one's ability and wasting meat are serious breaches of etiquette that will disturb one's relationship with game and discourage animals from being killed. Respect is shown through a patient attitude toward the hunt and proper handling of game that has been taken."

Unfortunately, in the world of today, of Hydro-Quebec and grandiose schemes, respect and patience are not commodities of value. With the inception of the La Grande project, "one of the most dramatic impacts on the Cree lifestyle was the discovery in 1982 that flooded organic material under reservoirs stimulates the formation of methyl mercury which, entering the food chain, is associated with birth defects and neurological disorders. Fish was a staple 'bush food' in the Cree diet. It was usually the first solid food given to infants and one of the most important subsistence resources throughout an individual's life in the forest, comprising roughly a quarter of the Cree diet. Surveys near the La Grande complex in the early 1980s showed that 64% of Cree residents had mercury levels classified as unsafe by standards of the World Health Organization. Hydro-Quebec's assessment of the problem stresses the temporary nature of dangerous levels of contamination: 'With time, this phenomenon diminishes and Hydro-Quebec's existing reservoirs in the James Bauy area should return to their natural state in ten to twenty years.' The length of time Hydro-Quebec cites for contaminated waters to return to their 'normal state', however, is unsupported by evidence. Meanwhile, a finding of the Mercury Surveillance Program, established in 1986 between Hydro-Quebec and the Cree Board of Health, points to a continuing problem, especially with consumption of large, predatory species of fish like pike and lake trout: 'the exposure of the Eastmain Crees has increased excessively during the summer of 1992. It is believed that the increase is due to fishing expeditions to the inland lakes. These fishing expeditions have brought back species of fish which were more contaminated by mercury.' Dietary limits on fish were strongly advocated by the mercury program, but as the finding from Eastmain show, this advice is not always followed. Among the results of the discovery of methyl mercury in the food chain was a new phrase in the Cree language, nimas aksiwim, 'fish disease', along with a perception among the Crees living near affected reservoirs or rivers that an important bush food was now unsafe or 'contaminated'."

Not only did Hydro-Quebec ruin an important staple of the food supply but they reneged on their promises of employment as well:

"Hydro-Quebec, initially intending to train 300 Crees and hire 150, has trained only 80 and, in 1996 had 12 full-time Crees employees, 10 temporary wokrers, and 32 on recall if jobs become abialble. Despite such employment figures, Robert Boyd, former president of Hydro-Quebec and founder of the La Grande proejct on the 1970s spoke glowingly of the social benefits of the project: 'Today the Crees are more numerous, better educated and , finally, stronger. And we deserve some of the credit for this happy situation.'"

The development of the hydroelectric resources in their area required the Cree bands to consolidate and relocate, resulting in serious social dysfunction.

"On the Island we used to visit each other more and we used to know where everybody lived and we walked from one end of the community to the other because everything was scattered all over the place... But here [in Chisasibi] you have everything centralized and here we don't visit anymore and we don't share kind words with each other. We pass each other as if we were in downtown Montreal."

James Bobbish, General Manager of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services explains: "The bush tends to be a natural disciplinarian... [Young people] know they can't hang out in sub-zero weather in the middle of winter. But when they come into the community, the same family, the same parents, do not have that sense of control and sense of comfort with the community."

There are other less tangible changes that have affected the Cree and their relationship to the land. As Robbie Matthew Sr says, "This river here [the La Grande] was once a mighty river, a very powerful river. [The place] where the rapids used to start from, that water was so powerful that you could cure yourself with it... Hydro wants to get that power, use it in a different way, but we, as indigenous people, have always respected that power in the water... When you want to go on the land, connect yourself with the rapids, the fresh water not the water that you take from the reservoir; its not going to give you any effects at all. But if you go off the reservoir and into my territory, there's a lot of rapids there. And if you want to cure yourself with the water, go there, take some, and boil yourself some tea. Then you will notice the texture, the taste, because it is powerful. I usually go there during my time in the bush. I go there just to watch the rapids."

The Cree have lost much but they have learned more. "Having been challenged with missions, boarding schools, massive hydroelectric construction, village relocation, and other agents of rapid cultural change, the James Bay Cree of northern Quebec have not only maintained basic connections to a hunting, fishing, and trapping lifestyle, but have at the same time become significant players in the 'politics of embarrassment', pushing for greater native regional autonomy while resisting the threats of major resource development and Quebec's sovereignty movement. The Cree have created a bridge between their forest lifesytle and the demands of administrative development and political struggle, between tradition and bureaucracy." We can learn much from them as well.

The one Cree settlement Ron Niezen has not studied is Ouje-Bougoumou (http://www.ouje.ca), an award-winning sustainable village with a district heating system powered by waste wood from a local lumbering operation. Marsha Gorden (MarshaGorden@worldnet.att.net) has written a case study on that project and I hope to get a copy of it soon. Ann Stewart (Stewartship@compuserve.com) used to be the Boston representative for the Northern Cree and keeps a close watch on Hydro-Quebec. There is much to be done. In _Defending the Land_, we defend outselves.

Table of Contents




The Begging Bowl

This year 27 people have given me $889 for "A List..." What is especially gratifying is that many of those 27 have contributed monetarily to "A List..." before. Return customers are always the best.

Thank you all for reading. Special thanks to those who commented or sent in items of interest. Thanks to all those who sent money. I appreciate all of it, although sometimes it may not seem that way.

May the New Year be one of joy and beauty for us all.

How "A List..." works:
If you want to have a listing included in "A List..." please send it to me before noon on the Friday before the event and if said even is deemed suitable for coverage, it will be included in the appropriate edition of "A List..." Articles and reviews, ideas, rants and opinions are also solicited. Publication is up to the erratic discretion of the editor.

"A List..." is also a listserv. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv by emailing a-list-request@world.std.com, leaving the Subject line blank, and typing "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" as the message.

"A List..." is a freeware/shareware publication. If the information is of any value to you, please contribute - money, information, encouragement, prayers and good wishes are all valid currencies for feedback and will be gratefully appreciated by
George Mokray
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617)661-2676
gmoke@world.std.com

This publication is copyrighted to George Mokray and the individual writers of the articles. Permission to reproduce is granted for non-profit purposes as long as the source is cited.

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