Jan . 06 . 2016
Jackson Osborne, a Cree elder and resident of Pimicikamak Cree Nation (Cross Lake), has been collecting traditional knowledge on and about the history of his nation’s traditional land for about thirty years. He has dedicated his life to documenting changes occurring in the natural environment, along Pimicikamak’s shorelines and its surrounding environments, through photos and videos. Recently Jackson has archived over three hundred photos that depict the status of the land before and after hydro development.
Jackson shared a few of his photos with Wa Ni Ska Tan’s most recent Newsletter publication, available online soon.
“The cross that you see represents a young person, my nephew, who drowned in the shoreline. The younger generation in Cross Lake do not fully understand that the level of water fluctuates…the water is muddy, green and brown…they had a hard time finding him under the water.”
“In 1968, the water was clear, you could see the rocks at the bottom…the water was clean before Jenpeg was constructed, it was stable and had its natural flow. After the project, the water fluctuates, mercury and green.”
“The water is not clean..mercury and green..don’t know what it is but I see it along the shorelines…sometimes its blue and green…I don’t know what it is. There is always debris…islands eroding away…trees falling in the water…making it vey dangerous to navigate on the water.”
“During fall, we used to go skating. The ice was beautiful, like glass. However, after the construction of Jenpeg, there was lots of ripples on the ice. So we could not skate because this brought the slush…my ski-doo gets stuck when there is lots of slush and lots of water…this is dangerous.”
Thanks to Jackson Osborne for sharing his knowledge and photo journalism.