Strangers Devour the Land: A Chronicle of the Assault Upon the Last Coherent Hunting Culture in North America, the Cree Indians of Northern Quebec and Their Vast Primeval

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Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008 - History - 376 pages
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First published in 1974, Strangers Devour the Land is recognized as the magnum opus among the numerous books, articles, and films produced by Boyce Richardson over two decades on the subject of indigenous people. Its subject, the long struggle of the Crees of James Bay in northern Quebec—a hunting and trapping people—to defend the territories they have occupied since time immemorial, came to international attention in 1972 when they tried by legal action to stop the immense hydro-electric project the provincial government was proposing to build around them.

The Crees argued that the integrity of their vast wilderness was essential to their way of life, but the authorities dismissed such claims out of hand. Richardson, who sat through many months of the trial, mingles the scientific and Cree testimony given in court with his own interviews of Cree hunters, and experiences in gathering information and shooting films, to produce a classic tale of cultures in collision.

In a new preface, he reveals that the Crees—now receiving immense sums of money as compensation for the loss of their lands—appear to be doing well, and to be in the process of joining modern, technological culture, while retaining the spiritual base of their traditional lives. Meanwhile, Hydro-Quebec continues to eye additional rivers on the Cree’s lands for new dams.

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Review: Strangers Devour the Land

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

I haven't even finished this book, but I'm reviewing it because my impression of it won't change. This book is an intimate look into the life of the Cree people of the James Bay area in 1971, and how ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Born in New Zealand in 1928, Boyce Richardson has worked as a journalist and editor in New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Canada. He first became interested in the Cree Indians while he was on the staff of the Montreal Star, and subsequently produced three documentary films about them. He is the author of several books and has contributed articles to many magazines in the United States, Canada and Britain. Richardson now lives in Ottawa.

LaDuke is a well-know Native American organizer, environmentalist, and author. She teaches Native Environmentalism at the University of Minnesota.

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