The Grand Council of the Crees

Québec Relations

Related Files »

Related PDF Files »

The Government of Quebec is a signatory of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) (1975). The Crees and Inuit of Northern Quebec were the first Aboriginal Nations to accept in their treaty, provisions for education and health and social services provided by Cree institutions set up under Quebec Law. The Cree communities, unlike the Inuit, have local governments established under federal law by virtue of the 1975 JBNQA and through the Cree/Naskapi (of Quebec) Act, but also have local governments under the Quebec Government's Cree Villages Act. In addition to this, the Crees have local and regional police services and a complement of Cree game wardens set up in cooperation with Quebec, a Quebec Income Security Program for Cree Trappers, and a register of Cree beneficiaries of the JBNQA, maintained by Quebec.

Most importantly, the Crees signed the "Agreement Respecting a New Relationship Between the Cree Nation and the Government of Quebec" [PDF, 782 kb] on February 7, 2002 that implements certain obligations of Quebec to the Cree People for community and economic development under section 28 of the JBNQA. While Canada has similar and sometimes joint obligations with Quebec under the same section, Canada has yet to sign a similar agreement to implement its obligations.

This historic Agreement implements with respect to Quebec recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and provides for the sharing of revenues derived from mining, hydroelectric development and forestry carried out on the traditional lands of the Cree People. This includes all Category 1, 2 and 3 lands in the area under the Agreement. The Agreement, and related agreements with Hydro Quebec, are designed to address historic problems in achieving equitable participation of the Cree people in the employment opportunities and revenues created by development on the traditional Cree territories.