Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come and Premier Pauline Marois met today for the first time since the election of the new Government of Québec. The focus of the meeting was the renewal of Cree-Québec relations, building on the successful partnership of the Paix des Braves of 2002, and the shared determination to implement the new Agreement on Governance signed last July.
Grand Chief Coon Come stated that he was very pleased with the meeting. "I have known Premier Marois for many years. I know that she is a friend of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. She played an important part in the Paix des Braves, which marked a turning point in Cree-Québec relations, and one for the better. The Paix des Braves created a new partnership between the Crees and Québec in the economic development of Eeyou Istchee. It was, and is, a landmark agreement, without equal in Canada."
The Grand Chief continued: "The Premier and I agreed to bring the same spirit of innovation and mutual respect to strengthening our Nation to Nation relationship. We also agreed that our first priority will be the implementation of the new Agreement on Governance, signed last July. This Agreement will foster greater autonomy and responsibility for the Crees in the governance of Category II lands. At the same time, it will create a new partnership between the Crees, the Jamésiens and Québec in the governance of Category III lands in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory."
Grand Chief Coon Come welcomed the appointment of Madame Martine Tremblay as Québec's senior negotiator for the implementation of Paix des Braves and the Agreement on Governance. He stated, "Madame Tremblay brings to her new responsibilities a wealth of experience in the Government of Québec and a close working relationship with Premier Marois. We are very pleased with the appointment of Madame Tremblay, as it testifies to the importance that Premier Marois accords to Québec's relations with the Crees."
The Premier and the Grand Chief agreed on the strategic importance of responsible northern development for the common benefit of the Crees and all Québeckers. The Cree vision of northern development supports sustainable resource development that respects Cree rights, respects the environment and provides tangible benefits to the Cree communities.