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Billy Diamond (born May 17, 1949) was the chief of the Waskaganish, Quebec Cree in 1970, and grand chief of the Grand Council of the Crees from 1974 to 1984. [1] [2]

He was born on May 17, 1949 in a tent near Rupert House, Quebec, on the shore of James Bay. [3] In 1970 he became chief of the Waskaganish, Quebec Cree. [4] On November 11, 1975, he signed the The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement with the Canadian government. [5]


  1. ^ MacGregor, Roy (1989). Chief: The Fearless vision of Billy Diamond. Viking Press. ISBN 0670827355. 
  2. ^ "Chief Billy Diamond, Business and Commerce". National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-03. "A journalist once called Chief Billy Diamond the Lee Iacocca of the North. Indeed, it is hard to visit Northern Québec without being touched by the work of this Cree business and political leader. You can fly in on Air Creebec, the airline he founded; stay in a home built by the Cree Construction Company Limited, which he started; or drop by Cree Yamaha Motors to test-drive a boat. He was born in 1949, in the bush just outside the Waskaganish First Nation in Québec that he now heads." 
  3. ^ Champagne, Duane (1994). Chronology of Native North American History. Gale Research. ISBN 0810391953. 
  4. ^ "Billy Diamond". Power To Change. "I became chief of our Cree community when I was 21. ... Four years later I became the first Grand Chief of the Cree Grand Council. I used this position to help my people develop. We modernized the villages, built housing and schools and encouraged health and economic development. I was very successful in this position. But like all successes, it had it's drawbacks, especially in my personal life." 
  5. ^ "Interview with Billy Diamond and Roy MacGregor". CM Archive. "Billy Diamond, chief of Waskaganish (then Rupert House), had never met the chiefs from the other villages. His only network outside his village was made up of young Cree from the other James Bay communities with whom he had attended residential and secondary school in Ontario. They were bright young men like himself and when they finally learned of the giant hydroelectric project that would destroy their traditional hunting and trapping lands they knew that they had to do something. However, their isolation left them unable to gather and to discuss possible solutions."