Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History Native American

Voices From the Odeyak

by (author) Michael Posluns

foreword by Pete Seeger

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Sep 1993
Native American, Native American Studies, History
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1993
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 1993
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


On April 23, 1990, after a five-week journey from Hudson Bay to the Hudson River, the Odeyak landed at the Battery for Earth Day. Half-Cree, half-Inuit, the 24-foot freighter canoe, plowing across the Manhattan seascape, was a strange small vessel build in the dark Arctic winter to carry a message from two First Nations of the northern wilderness to a reclaiming of Times Square for Mother Earth.

Along with the Crees’ and the Inuit’s hopes and fears for their children and for the future of their river, the Odeyak carried a simple request. The Great Whale Hydroelectric Project, the first part of James Bay II, will destroy the natural economy of the Great Whale region, killing the way of life the Crees and the Inuit have followed since time immemorial. It came to ask the people of New England and New York not to buy the power.

About the authors

Michael Posluns has been writing about First Nations concerns since 1970. In 1973, he co-authored The Fourth World: An Indian Reality with George Manuel. He produced radio documentaries on the Long House Confederacy while working as an assistant editor of Akwesasne Notes. In 1983, he co-authored The First Nations and the Crown: A Study of a Trust Relationship for the House of Commons Special Committee on Indian Self-Government. In 1986, he wrote A Practical Guide to Indian Ontario, a portrait of traditional family life in three First nations cultures. In 1990, he edited Songs for the People: Teachings on the Natural Way., the writings of Art Solomon a Nishnawbe elder.

Michael Posluns' profile page

Peter "Pete" Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer and activist.

Pete Seeger's profile page

Excerpt: Voices From the Odeyak (by (author) Michael Posluns; foreword by Pete Seeger)

To read the headlines in the newspapers, to listen to television, you would think that Americans are selfish people who are only interested in their own pleasure. You would think that Americans don’t feel any concern about the lives of other people. You would think that American people are not concerned about the land that they are taking from the Indians up in the north of Canada so that they can have cheaper electricity. I think the newspapers are wrong. I think the television doesn’t tell us the whole story. I think there are millions of Americans who will say "No."
When they realize that we are taking the homes of people who have lived there for thousands of years, people who took care of the land as they hunted and trapped and fished and who want to keep on living on their land — there are Americans who will say "No. That’s not fair to take their land. We may have to spend a little more for our electricity. But we’ll find something. We can learn how to use solar power. We can start using wind power." There are a whole lot of things we can do rather than to take away the land that belongs to these people.

Excerpt from foreword / Pete Seeger’s greetings to a reunion of Odeyak travellers and hosts at the Beacon Sloop Club, on April 11, 1991.

Other titles by Michael Posluns

Other titles by Pete Seeger