Montreal, Grand Chief Ted Moses and the President of Hydro-QuÃ©bec, Mr. AndrÃ© CaillÃ©, are pleased to announce that a new agreement was signed earlier today between the Cree Nation, Hydro-QuÃ©bec and SociÃ©tÃ© d'Ã‰nergie de la Baie James, putting an end to close to twenty years of litigation between the Crees and Hydro-QuÃ©bec.
The "Agreement concerning a New Relationship between Hydro-QuÃ©bec/SEBJ and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee" states that the parties have agreed to maintain a relationship based on mutual respect, good faith, reconciliation, partnership, meaningful participation and mutually beneficial economic and social arrangements. In particular, Hydro-QuÃ©bec and SEBJ have agreed to facilitate the participation of the James Bay Crees in hydroelectric development through partnership, employment and contracts.
The principal purposes of the new Agreement are:
The Agreement is the result of the mediation process initiated by the Crees and Hydro-QuÃ©bec two years ago, as an undertaking under the "Paix des braves" Agreement reached between the Cree Nation and the Government of QuÃ©bec.
The mediation process was conducted by the former Premier of QuÃ©bec, Me Lucien Bouchard. The representatives of the James Bay Crees in the mediation process included Mr. Roderick Pachano, Mr. Philip Awashish, Me Robert Mainville and Me John-Paul Murdoch. Hydro-QuÃ©bec was represented by Mr. Thierry Vandal, Mr. Armand Couture and Me Gilles Marchand.
The Agreement was recently approved by the Government of QuÃ©bec and it will also be signed by the Ministre dÃ©lÃ©guÃ© aux Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes et aux Affaires autochtones, Mr. Benoît Pelletier.
"I am very pleased to finally see Hydro-QuÃ©bec and the Cree Nation putting aside their past differences" , stated Grand Chief Ted Moses. "I expect this agreement to result in concrete benefits, contracts and employment for the Crees. I see it as particularly beneficial to the affected Cree trappers and to the Cree youth" , he added.
"I see this agreement as opening a new phase in the relationship between Hydro-QuÃ©bec and the Crees, a relationship based on mutual respect, good faith and partnership" , said the President of Hydro-QuÃ©bec, Mr. AndrÃ© CaillÃ©.
The signing ceremony took place today in the Cree community of Chisasibi, located at the mouth of the La Grande RiviÃ©re.
For more information, contact:
Bill Namagoose, Executive Director
Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee): (613) 725-7024
Rom?o Saganash, Director of QuÃ©bec Relations
Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee): (418) 564-1598
Christine Martin, Press Officer
Hydro-QuÃ©bec and SEBJ (514) 289-2289