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On 4/17/00 -0000, I got this propaganda piece from the Manitoba government person[page down to see my reply]:


Hi, all.

My name is Donne Flanagan. I am the communications director for the Government of Manitoba and a senior aide to the new Premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer.
Since coming into office six months ago, we have become increasingly aware of the campaign, particularly in Minnesota, on behalf of Pimicikamak Cree Nation (Cross Lake Band) to put pressure on Northern States Power to, in turn, put pressure on Manitoba Hydro and the Government of Manitoba -- stemming from PCN's long history of major grievances against the province and Hydro.
At a fundamental level, we in the new New Democratic Party government (as opposed to the former Conservative government, which had been in office since 1988) don't disagree with PCN's main points and outstanding issues.
In fact, the Cross Lake community has consistently and overwhelmingly supported the NDP over the years because we do take Aboriginal issues seriously. We have represented the area politically for decades. The current MLA for the area and now Minister of Conservation, Oscar Lathlin, is a former chief himself of another northern Manitoba First Nation -- Opaskwayak Cree Nation at The Pas, Manitoba. As well, the MLA for Rupertsland, Eric Robinson, is in fact a member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation and is now the Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs in the government of Premier Gary Doer.
This is an unprecedented level of Aboriginal representation in the government of Manitoba.
What troubles us, however, is that this message of change and new hope for northern Manitoba doesn't seem to be coming across in the information that is being disseminated in the U.S. This worry, I understand, is shared to a great degree by the other four Cree First Nations who along with PCN were signatories to the Northern Flood Agreement in the 1970s -- most notably, the Split Lake Cree Nation.
In the interests of full and open debate, we want Minnesotans and other concerned Americans to receive as much of the full story as possible.
As a first step, I am forwarding the following -- a recently prepared fact sheet that outlines a few basics on the new government's views on PCN and Manitoba Hydro situation.
I look forward to your feedback.
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FACT SHEET

>A Government of Manitoba Perspective on
Manitoba Hydro and Pimicikamak Cree Nation (Cross Lake Band)


The provincial election on September 21, 1999 resulted in a change of government in Manitoba with Premier Gary Doer officially taking office on October 5, 1999.

The new government has a clear mandate to work with Manitoba First Nations to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal People. This government has launched major new initiatives to expand and improve First Nations€ '² participation in the justice system, child welfare agencies, and new economic opportunities.

Northern Manitobans and First Nations now have strong representation in the provincial government for the first time in a long time.

Two of the new government€ '²s cabinet ministers are from First Nations:
Eric Robinson, a member of Pimicikamak Cree Nation, is Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, and Oscar Lathlin, former chief of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, is Minister of Conservation. In fact, all members of the Manitoba Legislature who represent the northern parts of the province are members of the government caucus.

The government is committed to acting on this strong mandate to find satisfactory solutions to the outstanding issues arising from the hydroelectric development a quarter of a century ago that affected Pimicikamak Cree Nation. These are some recent steps taken towards those solutions:

1) Within days of being elected to government, Minister Robinson met with representatives of Pimicikamak Cree Nation to address issues relating to Hydro development and social conditions in the Cross Lake community.

2) The province has initiated discussions with the Government of Canada with a view to making a new invitation to Pimicikamak Cree Nation to resume negotiations on the outstanding issues relating to Manitoba Hydro.

3) In March, 2000 the provincial government appointed a new Board of Directors for Manitoba Hydro that includes three First Nations members € '¶ one of whom served on the Inter-Church Task Force on Northern Flooding.

4) Manitoba Hydro is meeting twice a month with representatives of Pimicikamak Cree Nation to resolve issues under the existing Northern Flood Agreement that was signed by five First Nations, including Pimicikamak Cree Nation, in 1977.

5) The province recently announced the construction of a long-awaited bridge for the Cross Lake community € '¶ a high priority for Pimicikamak Cree Nation.

6) Manitoba Hydro is undertaking a 10-year, $5 million brush-clearing program, which will employ local citizens.

7) No new Hydro development is planned or contemplated for Pimicikamak Cree Nation territory.

The new government has made the same commitment to partnership with the four other northern flood communities € '¶ Nelson House Cree Nation, Norway House Cree Nation, York Factory Cree Nation and Split Lake Cree Nation € '¶ which have successfully concluded comprehensive agreements on their outstanding issues under the Northern Flood Agreement.

The new government is fundamentally committed to forging a new partnership with Pimicikamak Cree Nation, based on mutual respect and cooperation.

APRIL 2000

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FROM:
Diane J. Peterson
4051 Gisella Boulevard
White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
(651) 653-4385
birch7@goldengate.net

DATE:
April 17, 2000

Donne Flanagan, I am quite willing to provide feedback. My feedback is a need for you and your bosses to carry out the Northern Flood Agreement. Meeting with the people of Pimicikamak Cree Nation may be all that you are doing, and that is not enough when justice cries out for the real remedy: implementation of the Northern Flood Agreement. I am an European American. I will not collude with genocide against my neighbors any more. I am not willing to be a collaborator to another broken Indian treaty. I don't want your dishonorable, blood-stained electricity, even if you gave it to me for free.