NEMASKA, EEYOU ISTCHEE (QUEBEC), March 3, 2014: The James Bay Cree Nation welcomes the announcement made today by Quebec Environment Minister Yves-François Blanchet of the mandate granted to the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) to conduct province-wide public hearings regarding the uranium sector in Quebec.
Once again, Thomas Berger is at the centre of a case that questions whether only one understanding of development will rule, or whether justice demands negotiation among alternatives. In the 1970s Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry that he chaired, Berger balanced the realities and priorities of the petroleum industry against those of people still living in direct relations with the land. The details in this case, involving the Peel River watershed in the Yukon, are different. But the principles at stake are the same, and bear on all Canadians -- even the world as a whole, facing environmental distress.
Today the World Resources Institute (WRI), Google, and a group of more than 40 partners, including Global Forest Watch Canada, launched Global Forest Watch (GFW), a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites the latest satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests.
Abel Bosum, Cree Negotiator states, "The discussions were on the Governance Agreement, extension of Cree Nation jurisdiction through this agreement, boundaries for Cree Nation, implementation issues for the Eeyou Istchee
James Bay Regional Government, BAPE review process agreement on uranium, BallyHusky Impact Benefit Agreement with BlackRock Metals, Mistissini Agreement, Ouje-Bougoumou land transfer. These files were reviewed and which were mostly discussed and resolved in 2013".
"This Regional Government which we are inaugurating today reflects a vision of a new path for this region which was based on the noble principles of inclusiveness, democracy and social harmony. We all recognized the need for change in the way in which our region was governed so that all of us, together, would be able to see our communities grow, thrive and prosper. Our vision was to put into place a system of governance which was founded on the view that those of us living in this rich and diverse region have more in common with each other than there are things which divide us. Indeed, we began to see clearly that it was those very divisions that prevented us from coming together to build a unified region which could be stronger, healthier and which could create a brighter future for us all. We realized that the health of our separate futures requires the health of our collective future as well."
The Regional Government has been established pursuant to the Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory signed by the Cree and Québec on July 24, 2012. The Regional Government offers a new model, for it is the first governance structure in Québec formally constituted with equal representation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. It will exercise powers of local and regional municipal governance, regional development and land and resource use planning over the Category III lands of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region.
Welcome to the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) Web site, where we share with the world our vision for our nation. Here we explain to interested observers our culture, values, problems and hopes and describe our many political, cultural, social, economic and spiritual activities. In addition we offer readers links to major stories of aboriginal interest in other parts of Canada and around the world.
Nishiyuu Walk from Whapmagoostui to Ottawa
A group of young men came together within the community of Whapmagoostui, on the east coast of Hudson Bay, to embark on a difficult journey.
They joined together in solidarity with other First Nations in Canada to express to the world their resolve to make a difference in support of better conditions for Aboriginal people in Canada and globally. They came together to promote protection of the environment and stewardship of the land for future generations of all descent, all around the world.
The young men were inspired by David Kawapit to walk a great distance across foreign terrain, facing extreme weather conditions along the way. They started from Whapmagoostui and walked 1,700 kilometers to Canada's National Capital of Ottawa. The group set out as just seven walkers and arrived in Ottawa weeks later with over 4,000 people who joined in support of their cause.
The Nishiyuu Walkers, through their heroics and leadership, inspired many Canadians from all walks of life to come together and express their solidarity, intent on creating a better future.
"The Cree of Eeyou Istchee welcome the opportunity to provide our perspective on the Plan Nord. The Cree welcome responsible, sustainable development of our traditional lands, Eeyou Istchee. We want to be real partners in the development of our territory's vast potential. At the outset, one should recall certain key principles." - Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come