The Grand Council of the Crees

Commerce & Industry

Related Files »

Related PDF Files »

  • Stronger Together Final Report
    Eeyou-Eenou Economic Development Conference Reflecting on the Kind of Development We Need, and How We Can Achieve It. Held on November 10-11, 2015, Neoskweskau Sports Complex, Mistissini (Eeyou Istchee)
  • Principle Trades for Construction: EM1A Possibilities for Cree Employment
    Potential Annual Distribution of Cree Workforce Employment from 2002 to 2009, covering various trades and positions of employment related to the development of the Eastmain 1/A Rupert Powerhouse and Diversion Project (EM1A).


As Director of the Department of Commerce & Industry, or DCI as we like to call it, it is an honour to introduce ourselves. The DCI became the latest department of the Cree Nation Government on April 1, 2015. Our mission, in a few words, is to support the economic growth and well-being of Eeyou Istchee by ensuring all Eeyouch and Eenouch, who are our key partners, have the opportunity to benefit from economic growth while ensuring our culture and values are preserved and enhanced.

Our goal is to take on a strategic role in the development and implementation of economic initiatives throughout Eeyou Istchee by working with our key partners in the achievement of their visions and ensuring all other impacted partners and sectors are considered. The economic development of Eeyou Istchee must happen through a strong and vibrant Eeyou-Eenou Nation which is educated, healthy, diversified and not only proud of its heritage but is able to practice it as our ancestors have done, in a manner respectful of the world in which we live. A healthy and educated nation needs to grow and learn in a healthy environment, where growth and development of the nation is done in a holistic manner, aware of its identity, its heritage and commitment towards future generations and Eeyou Istchee. To do this, we must work closely and openly with our many partners throughout Eeyou Istchee, not just in the economic development sectors but also in the education, health, cultural sectors.

The DCI will be responsible for the development and implementation of an integrated approach towards economic development. What does this mean? Basically, starting from the spirit of our agreements and programs, we must ensure every sector of our society is involved in our economic development, we will work towards having strong and diversified economic activities that consider who we are and where we want to be as a Nation, as communities, as parents and as individuals. Our role will be to work with the economic, social and political sectors to gather their visions and help the Cree Nation become what it can and must.

Our Nation, Our Economies

For our department slogan, we have chosen “Our Nation, Our Economies”. Some wonder why we use the word “Economies” instead of “Economy”. It is true that that “Economy” does include all economic sectors. However, for the DCI, it is at the heart of our mission that we always remember that our Nation is made up of many economies. We must especially consider those economic sectors which are smaller and who define and make us who we are as a Nation. They can often be forgotten as we focus on larger economic activities and we must never forget them. These smaller economies include our hunters and trappers, tourism, cooperatives, involving more women in business and other newer or alternative economies.

To ensure a better delivery of support, we have focused all economic activity into three larger categories.

  1. Natural Resources This category includes industrial activities related to mining, forestry, hydro-electricity, wind energy and other major activity occurring or which may occur throughout Eeyou Istchee.
  2. Eeyou and Eenou-Owned Enterprises Eeyou and Eenou-owned enterprises are major corporations such as Air Creebec, Cree Construction and Development Company, Band-owned companies and even small and medium individually-owned businesses in our communities. They are major partners in the economy of not just Eeyou Istchee but in other regions as well.
  3. Cooperative and Sustainable Economies These economies include smaller economic activities, who are often at the heart of a Nation’s identity. They include the arts, tourism, cooperatives, hunting and trapping, gaining a more diversified business community such as finding ways to help more women enter into business. They also include newer emerging economies.

For the Natural Resources Development economies, we will be working on the implementation of our various agreements in order to open up more opportunities for our Eeyouch and Eenouch and ensuring development in Eeyou Istchee is done in a way that is respectful of our rights and visions for our future generations. We will also work closely with communities and companies to address impacts and minimize negative impacts.

Eeyou and Eenou-owned Enterprises will continue to require our support in helping them grow and become more competitive so they can not only improve services in our communities but access opportunities throughout Eeyou Istchee and beyond.

Though they are often smaller in terms of economic activity, the Cooperative and Sustainable Economies are and must remain at the heart of who the Eeyou-Eenou Nation is and wants to be. These economies define who we are and what we strive to protect, promote and enhance. They will require a lot of support and involvement so that they continue to enrich our identity as Eeyouch and Eenouch. These three economic categories must be considered as whole and one’s impact on another must be seen in all facets, whether positive or negative so that economic activity in Eeyou Istchee is done in a respectful and sustainable manner, respectful of our rights, our needs for today and especially for the needs of our future generations.

What is next for us?

Having just started, the next year will be a very busy one for the DCI team as we get to know our partners and define our goals for the years ahead. Our main activities for 2015-2016 will include:

  1. Redefining the roles and format of our support programs. We administer a programs but work on ways to take on a more strategic role in helping
  2. Community tour. With our partners, we will undertake a community tour
  3. Development of an Eeyou-Eenou Nation Trade and Commerce Agreement.
  4. The “Stronger Together” Economic Development Conference. This number of programs aimed at business people. We will continue these our business people and working with other resource people. beginning in the fall so that we can get to know and gain a better understanding of the needs, visions and aspirations of Eeyouch and Eenouch throughout Eeyou Istchee. Under the guidance of Deputy Grand-Chief, Rodney Mark, we will work towards developing a trade and commerce agreement for the Cree Nation. conference, being held in Mistissini in November 2015, will be a unique opportunity for the Cree Nation to come together and define its economic future.
Stronger Together Economic Development Conference

We have many other projects we are working on and we do hope you will contact us to learn more and even share some suggestions you might have to help us better serve Eeyou Istchee.

The DCI Team

We are a small team with a lot of work ahead of us but we are also a team with many ideas on how we can contribute towards advancing economic development in Eeyou Istchee to its potential. Our success depends on all of us working together for the growth, prosperity and continuity.

Feel free to contact us!

In Montreal: Department of Commerce & Industry
Eli Moore, (514) 861-5837 or
Melinda Martin, (514) 861-5837 or
Frederic Moar, (514) 220-8421 or

In Mistissini Department of Commerce & Industry
Andy Baribeau, (418) 923-2901 or
Suzanne Kitchen, (418) 923-2901 or

Andy Baribeau,
Department of Commerce and Industry