Under The Northern Sky is the title of a popular Aboriginal news column written by First Nation writer, Xavier Kataquapit, who is originally from Attawapiskat Ontario on the James Bay coast. He has been writing the column since 1997 and it is is published regularly in newspapers across Canada. In addition to working as a First Nation columnist, his writing has been featured on various Canadian radio broadcast programs.
Kataquapit writes about his experiences as a First Nation Cree person. He has provided much insight into the James Bay Cree in regards to his people’s culture and traditions. As a Cree writer, his stories tell of the people on the land in the area of Attawapiskat First Nation were he was born and raised. His stories provide images of the Canadian Indian and his people who once roamed the land freely. He writes about topics that are close to the heart of the Cree people such as the canada goose and the snow goose. These birds are an integral part of the James Bay Cree culture and spirituality. His stories touch on life in the past and today and relates to the Cree, Ojibway (Ojibwe) and Oji-Cree peoples of Northern Ontario.
Kataquapit’s writing has served to open the lines of communication between First Nation and non native peoples in the Canadian north. His column, Under The Northern Sky, has also given his people a voice. In addition he has put a positive, strong and hopeful face on the people of the James Bay Coast. Non-Natives have benefited through the column by learning about the Cree Indian culture and Native culture in general in Northern Ontario and this has led to more understanding between the First Nations people and non-Native peoples.
“I did not realize the impact that my writing would have. Many people write, email or call me to thank me for telling the stories of the James Bay Cree. I feel very good about this journey and it has had a very positive affect on my own life,” said Xavier.