The Grand Council of the Crees

Eeyou Estchee Declaration of Principles

Since 1991 the Eeyou of Eeyou Istchee have been working towards establishment of a Cree Legislature. The first, special sitting of this Legislature was held October 17-19, 1995, and approved the following Eeyou Istchee Declaration of Principles:

Traditional Cree Snowshoes

We are Eeyou.

We are a sovereign Peoples.

We are the original inhabitants of Eeyou Estchee and are one with Eeyou Estchee. Our power derives from the Creator, from the Eeyou and from the living spirit of the land and waters.

Eeyou Estchee comprises the ancestral and traditional lands which have sustained us and which we have occupied since time immemorial. It extends into other waters, territories and borders.

We are the caretakers of Eeyou Estchee which has been given to us by the Creator. We have the stewardship to protect and preserve the land for future generations.

We have the right to develop the resources on Eeyou Estchee in accordance with the Eeyou traditional principles of sustainable development. We have the right to harvest the wildlife resources of Eeyou Estchee in accordance with the Eeyou way of life.

All the resources, including the land, water, air, animals and Eeyou of Eeyou Estchee, must be protected from unilateral decisions by external forces.

We have the inherent right to self-determination and the right to govern ourselves. We have a distinct identity reflected in a distinct system of laws and government, philosophy, language, culture, heritage, values, customs, traditions, beliefs and territory.

Eeyou Estchee transcends the territorial boundaries of the Province of Quebec, extending into other borders.

We do not accept the status quo regarding our present relationships with Quebec and Canada. Cree consent is required and mandatory for any changes to our status as Eeyou or to the status of Eeyou Estchee.

As Peoples with a right to self-determination, we shall freely decide our political status and associations and freely pursue our future as a people.

We will assert and defend our inherent right of self-determination and the protection of Eeyou and Eeyou Estchee.