The Grand Council of the Crees

The Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee Congratulates the Nunavik Inuit and Canada on Offshore Agreement

The Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee Congratulates the Nunavik Inuit and Canada on Offshore Agreement

Posted: 2005-11-15

Nemaska, Eeyou Istchee --- Grand Chief Matthew Mukash, on behalf of the Cree Nation congratulates Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation and for Canada, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Andy Scott on the initialing of their final agreement on Nunavik Inuit Rights to Areas and Islands Offshore from Northern Quebec. “I believe that this Agreement, if it is ratified by the Inuit People, will help the Nunavik Inuit communities and the Government of Nunavik to continue to use the off-shore area for traditional land use and future economic development purposes. We have signed an overlap agreement with the Inuit and this will form an integral part of the agreement signed today. The over-lap agreement recognizes collective and joint ownership of certain islands by the Inuit and Crees and also recognizes Inuit and Cree hunting rights to the islands and other areas. The Inuit and Cree negotiators and leaders are to be congratulated on reaching a mutually beneficial outcome to the question of overlapping interests”, stated the Grand Chief.

Background: The negotiation of Inuit and Cree interests in the offshore and to offshore islands is an outstanding commitment of Canada that pre-dates the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975. The original negotiations were suspended in 1978 due to the lack of agreement on certain issues. The Crees and Canada have been negotiating settlement of the Cree and Canada’s rights and interests in the off-shore and are approaching the stage of an agreement in principle, a step that the Inuit reached two years ago.

“The outstanding issues are concerned primarily with the governance regime on the islands. We hope to resolve the outline of these issues in the next few months so we can proceed to a final agreement soon”, stated Grand Chief Mukash

Boundaries of the Cree and Inuit Offshore Agreements with the Government of Canada Map
Click to view map (824 KB)
Boundaries of the Cree and Inuit Offshore Agreements with the Government of Canada: A map illustrating the boundaries of the Eeyou and Inuit Marine Regions, and the different zones within the area of the Cree: Inuit Overlap Agreement.

For further information please contact:
Bill Namagoose, Executive Director: (613) 725 7024
Grand Chief Matthew Mukash: (514) 861 5837