Nemaska (Québec), November 7, 2014 – The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Nation Government, the Cree Nation of Nemaska and Nemaska Lithium Inc. announce that they have entered into the Chinuchi Agreement on November 7, 2014 regarding the development and operation of Nemaska Lithium’s project in Eeyou Istchee, a lithium open-pit mine in the traditional territory of the Cree Nation of Nemaska.
Community approval was expressed through the support of the Chief and Council of the Cree Nation of Nemaska Council on September 18, 2014. The approval of the Chinuchi Agreement by the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government on September 23, 2014 represents the support of the Cree Nation as a whole, and ensures a stable regional environment for the development and operation of Nemaska Lithium’s project.
The official signing ceremony took place in Nemaska on November 7, 2014.
After extensive and cooperative negotiations, the Cree are satisfied that concerns expressed regarding a range of issues, including business opportunities, training and employment, as well as other matters, will be addressed by Nemaska Lithium. The Agreement, which will be in effect throughout the life of the mine, contains provisions regarding Cree involvement in the development of the project, including employment and business opportunities as well as training and education initiatives. In addition, the parties have established a framework to ensure Cree involvement and participation in environmental matters, such as monitoring, mitigation and closure. The Chinuchi Agreement reflects the commitment of the Crees to collaborate with Nemaska Lithium during the development and operations of this new mine in the Eeyou Istchee territory. 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.
"Through the conclusion of the Chinuchi Agreement with Nemaska Lithium, the Crees have proven once again that they can be excellent partners in natural resources development.” said Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). “Nemaska Lithium should be commended in recognizing and ensuring that this partnership is founded on mutual trust, protection of the environment and respect of Cree rights and traditional way of life.”
“The Chinuchi Agreement ensures that we, the Cree Nation of Nemaska, will actively participate and collaborate in the decision-making process for all important issues deriving from the development and exploitation of the Whabouchi Project including employment and business opportunities as well as social, cultural and environment matters,” said Chief Matthew Wapachee of the Cree Nation of Nemaska. “Such partnerships and cooperation shall ensure the balanced life and prosperity of the community without sacrificing our traditional values and pursuits.”