The Grand Council of the Crees

Government of Québec Announces Secretariat for Northern Development

Posted: 2013-05-07

NEMASKA, EEYOU ISTCHEE, May 7, 2013 - Today Premier Pauline Marois, accompanied by Ministers Martine Ouellet, Sylvain Gaudreault, Alexandre Cloutier and Élizabeth Larouche, announced in Chibougamau the establishment of the Secretariat for Northern Development.

The Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee supports the sustainable development of the North. We have made, and will continue to make, efforts to build partnerships with Québec, our neighbours, the Jamésiens and industry for the orderly development of Eeyou Istchee, for the benefit of all.

The Cree Vision of Plan Nord sets out certain key principles regarding northern development and governance:

  1. Northern development must respect Cree rights, including those provided for in the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement Treaty and the Paix des Braves.
  2. All development projects in Eeyou Istchee will affect Cree rights and interests. They will therefore require consultation and accommodation of the Cree.
  3. These projects must provide for meaningful Cree participation and benefits through direct investments, partnerships, contracting and employment.
  4. All development projects situated in Eeyou Istchee must comply with the environmental and social protection regime provided for the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Proponents must demonstrate that these projects are environmentally and socially acceptable.

Further, as stated in the Cree Nation Mining Policy, the Cree support resource development within our traditional territory, provided that (i) our rights are respected, (ii) appropriate measures are taken to protect the environment and our traditional activities and (iii) benefits flow to our communities.

Economic development and governance are closely linked for the Crees. For development to succeed in Eeyou Istchee, the Crees must be fully involved in its governance. This requires, among other things, implementation of the Agreement on Governance signed by the Crees and Québec in July 2012. The Cree Nation looks forward to the speedy implementation by Québec of this Agreement.