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.