The Grand Council of the Crees

Press Release: Opinagow Collaboration Agreement Signed for the Development and Operation of the Éléonore Gold Project in Cree Territory

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority, the Cree Nation of Wemindji and Goldcorp Sign Agreement

Posted: 2011-02-25

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority, the Cree Nation of Wemindji and Goldcorp Sign the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement for the Development and Operation of the Éléonore Gold Project in Cree Territory

Nemaska, Eeyou Istchee (February 23, 2011 ) --- The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority, the Cree Nation of Wemindji and Goldcorp Inc. announce that they have entered into the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement on February 21, 2011 regarding the development and operation of Goldcorp’s Éléonore Gold Project in Eeyou Istchee.  Les Mines Opinaca Ltée, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldcorp, owns the Éléonore Gold Project and is the signatory to the Collaboration Agreement with the Crees.

With the support from the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the community approved the agreement on January 26, 2011 through their Chief and Council. The approval of the agreement by the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Cree Regional Authority on February 3, 2011 represents the support of the Cree Nation as a whole, and ensures a stable regional environment for the development and operation of the Éléonore Gold Project.

The official signing ceremony took place in Wemindji, Québec on February 21, 2011. Through this agreement, the Crees have demonstrated their commitment to collaborate with Goldcorp and Opinaca with respect to this new gold mine in Eeyou Istchee territory. The agreement, which will be in effect for the life of the mine, contains various provisions regarding Cree involvement in the development of the Éléonore Gold Project, including employment and business opportunities and training and education initiatives.

Moreover, the agreement aligns the parties’ respective interests in the economic success of the project and ensures that the Crees will receive financial benefits through different payment mechanisms and participation in the profitability of the mine.

“This Collaboration Agreement is a vibrant example where, with the participation of the Crees, mining development can take place and prosper in Eeyou Istchee,” said Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). This agreement marks the beginning of a collaborative and fruitful relationship between the Crees, Les Mines Opinaca Ltée and Goldcorp, a relationship based on respect for Cree rights and environmental and economic sustainability. In accordance with the principles of our Cree Nation Mining Policy, the Crees and Goldcorp have ensured that our traditional rapport to the land remains intact. This agreement sets the new standard for mining proponents seeking to do business in Eeyou Istchee.”

About the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee):

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the political body that represents the approximately 18,000 Crees or “Eeyouch” (“Eenouch” – inland dialect).  The Council is constituted of twenty (20) members including: a Grand Chief and Deputy-Grand Chief elected at large by the Eeyouch, the chiefs elected by each of the nine (9) recognized Cree communities, and one (1) other representative elected by each community.

About the Cree Regional Authority:

The Cree Regional Authority (CRA) was set up by virtue of the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement as the administrative arm of the Cree Nation Government. It has responsibilities in respect to environmental protection, the hunting, fishing and trapping regime, economic and community development, Cree governance and other matters as decided by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors of the CRA is the same joint governing body that manages the Grand Council of the Crees and is referred to as “Council/Board”.

For further information please contact:

Abel Bosum, Negotiator, Cree-Quebec Relations
Telephone:  (514) 774-7077