On 4/17/00 -0000, I got this propaganda piece from the Manitoba government
person[page down to see my reply]:
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
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
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.
>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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The new government is fundamentally committed to forging a new
partnership with Pimicikamak Cree Nation, based on mutual respect and
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Diane J. Peterson
4051 Gisella Boulevard
White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110
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