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wayne albertson articles

 Air Creebec's Inspirational Message

Air Creebec was established in 1982 by the then chief of the Waskaganish Quebec Cree, Billy Diamond.

The Cree nation owned 51% of the company in partnership with Austin Airways, who owned the other 49%, until 1988 when the Cree negotiated a deal to purchase all company assets. The airline remains wholly aboriginal owned today and continues to provide vital service to the north from its base at Val d’Or, Quebec.

The airline is only one of Billy Diamond’s many accomplishments in a remarkable life.

Born in a tent near Rupert House, Quebec, he was forced to attend a residential school in Moose Factory, Ontario. Despite his situation, he displayed leadership skills and organized an Indian Student Council while in high school in Sault Ste. Marie.

He returned to Waskaganish after graduation where he was elected Chief in 1970 at the age of 21, the youngest Chief in Canada. He was later elected Grand Chief of the Cree in 1974 and would represent the Cree at the Assembly of First Nations. He later helped negotiate sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

My interest in Air Creebec and its origins for this edition began when I received a notification of the video below posted by Mark Brandon.

Painted on the fuselage of a Dash 8 are the words:
“Ça va bien aller”, “It’s going to be ok”.

As Mark mentions in his description, this is a very nice touch for these tough times.

Considering the humble beginnings and accomplishments of the airline’s founder, it is also a very inspirational message.

References:

Air Creebec at Wikipedia

Billy Diamond at Wikipedia

tmb 550 air creebec video

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