Pride of the Nation

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I remember a famous quote of Campbell’s Soup CEO Doug Conant from my school days. “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” That is something I have tried to bring to every endeavour I have been involved in.

It has certainly been noticeable in the Nation over the years as we strived to make the best magazine we could to serve our readers. You may have noticed the bright, photo-rich design we have introduced over the past year or so to great response.

This is due to the great team we have here. Their commitment to quality is obvious, from the writing, photos and design. Having the readers tell us we had done a great job is a great source of pride for all of us.

The icing on the cake was spread at this year’s QCNA awards. The awards recognize writers, photographers, sales people and designers in a variety of categories. The Nation is one of the few that consistently wins awards. This year was no different as we were honoured 13 times, including three first-place finishes, six in second place and four who received third-place honours.

This shows that Nation staff members are dedicated individuals who push past mediocrity who have a personal commitment to excellence. When others will rush headlong into new undertakings, whether a story or other duties, they remain mindful of the finishing touches that make a good job a superior job.

The mutual effort and dedication of all of us here at the Nation contributes to our success and survival. I look forward to seeing all the great things we will accomplish together in the coming years.

The Nation printed its first issue almost 25 years ago on a shoestring budget. No one received a salary for the first 10 months. We couldn’t even afford one colour let alone full colour in the magazine. Still we were welcomed with open arms by Eeyou Istchee.

There were ups and downs through the years. One incident I remember from the early days was a phone call I received while in Mistissini for Goose Break. I was informed that our office had been broken into and that the thieves made off with all of our computers, tape recorders, camera, printer and other tools of the trade. I was crushed and shared my tale of woe at the blind with the other hunters, including the fact that we didn’t have insurance. To my surprise the Mistissini Band handed me a cheque for $10,000 to cover the losses. I am forever grateful for their assistance in our time of need. The Nation might not have survived without them.

There have been many throughout the years in the Cree world who have shown their support in different ways, such as Air Creebec, which gets our journalists to where they need to go and takes the Nation to some of the more inaccessible communities we serve.

A community newspaper/magazine such as ours has always depended upon the support of the communities we serve and the job the Nation staff does shows they understand that.

We are proud to serve our communities and I am proud of all the staff who make this possible. Because of them we are winning in the workspace and thriving in the marketplace.

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