The Grand Council of the Crees

Cree Offshore Agreement Referendum


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Bear Island Presentation to the Nunavik Marine Region Impact Review Board December 16, 2009 by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada »

The Cree Nation Approves the Eeyou Marine Region Agreement

Grand Chief CoonCome congratulates the Cree Nation for their participation in the referendum.  In particular he stated: "The Cree youth came out in great numbers to support their Nation and I am very proud to see the next generation of Cree leaders coming forth to exercise their right to self-determination.  I will never forget the messages that were twittered among the youth around the Nation encouraging others to vote and to get involved.  I am also grateful for the creative efforts of Christopher Herodier and Paul Napash who collaborated in writing and performing the James Bay Island Song.  Our "islands of hope" are part of our Nation of hope. Official results are available here.


Message From Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come

Kwey Kwey Watchia!

On June 29, 2009, Cree and Canada negotiators initialled the proposed Cree Offshore Agreement.

Under this proposed treaty, Cree rights to continue to occupy and use the offshore area will be offcially recognized by the Constitution of Canada.

As the world population and the need for commodities increase and as northern waters become used for the transportation of goods, the Crees will be provided in this Agreement with the means to ensure that they can protect their traditional land use and also that future development benefts our people to the maximum extent possible.

This is an important and historical agreement and I will be coming to the Cree communities to inform you of its content and to hear your views.

Through a Cree referendum process, from January 18 to March 26, 2010, you will decide on the acceptance of this Agreement. Because of its importance to the Cree Nation, all communities, inland and coastal, will be asked to vote in the referendum.

For this Agreement to be approved, over 50% of all Cree benefciaries eligible to vote must have voted in favour of it.

Therefore, I ask all of you who are old enough to vote (18 years as of March 26, 2010) to exercise your right to decide on this Cree Offshore Agreement.

Why This is a Good Agreement for the Cree Nation

Among other benefts, the Cree Offshore Agreement includes:

The Referendum Question

Eligible voters will have to answer "YES" or "NO" to the following question:

Do you approve the proposed Agreement between the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and Her Majesty the Queen in the right of Canada concerning the Eeyou Marine Region?

Offshore Agreement Information Sessions to Be Held in the Following Communities

IMPORTANT: The community tour will take place between January 18 and March 12, 2010. Specifc date, time and place will be announced by your local Band Council. You can also check this and other information with the offce of the Chief Referendum Offcer toll-free 1-888-761-1655. There is also a calendar of events available online.

How To Vote in the Cree Referendum Agreement

Every Cree benefciary of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement residing in or outside an Eeyou Istchee Cree Community who will be 18 years old as of March 26, 2010, is an eligible voter in the referendum

There are 3 ways to vote:

Questions and Information

If You Want to Know

You Can

  1. Call the offce of Mr. Lawrence Jimiken, the Offshore Agreement Chief Referendum Offcer, during normal business days and hours, at the following toll free number:
  2. Consult this website.