Today, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) instituted legal proceedings before the Québec Superior Court in order to suspend forestry management plans approved by the Minister of Natural Resources that authorize illegal logging operations on Cree family hunting territories east of the Mistissini and Oujé-Bougoumou height of land. The motion also includes a request for the Court to order the Québec Government to provide more than $13 million in past damages.
In their motion, the Crees insist that approved forestry management plans since 2010 have permitted logging operations in breach of the 2002 Baril-Moses Agreement. Signed by Québec’s Minister of Natural Resources, Gilles Baril and Grand Chief Dr. Ted Moses on the same day as the Paix des Braves Agreement, the Baril-Moses Agreement extends many of the forestry provisions of the Paix des Braves to Cree family hunting territories (traplines) east of the Mistissini and Oujé-Bougoumou height of land (see enclosed map). These breaches are ongoing through Québec continuing authorization of the cutting operations of a number of forestry companies.
Bill Namagoose, the Executive Director for the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) said: “With the blessing of the Government of Québec, clear-cut is ongoing on broad tracts of Cree traplines reminiscent to the destruction of our lands in the 1990s. There is nothing progressive or eco-systemic in this as confirmed by Resolute’s loss of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.”
Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) stated: “Although mindful of our productive relationship with Québec, the Crees must take action in support of all agreements made with Governments, otherwise we risk the integrity of this nation to nation relationship.”