The Cree And James Bay Agreement


Finally, in 2002, the Grand Council of Crees of Quebec and the provincial government of Bernard Landry signed the peace of the brave agreement, which ended a period of tension between the two interest groups in the region. In exchange for a considerable amount of money and greater independence, the Crees agreed to end their opposition to the JBNQA and to communicate in good faith with Quebec. Canada`s Aboriginal Human Resources and Skills Development Strategy (HRSDC) enables Aboriginal organizations in Quebec that have signed human resource development agreements to implement their own employment programs that help integrate their clients into employment. In 2008-2010, HRSDC provided a total of $39,560,500 to Cree, Inuit and Naskapi to implement this strategy. The resources allocated to Cree, Inuit and Naskapi have made available to their respective clients various employment measures, including encouraging return to work or school for more than 4,603 Inuit and more than 4,449 Cree. The James Bay Agreement addresses a number of issues and is the first Canadian-indigenous treaty since the 1920s to have few similarities to previous treaties, but it has become the prototype of the many agreements reached since then. It has defined a number of provisions, mainly in the following areas: dispute resolution mechanisms are included in the two implementation agreements with Naskapi and Inuit (NEQA and JBNQA) and in the “New Relationship Agreement” with Cree. Parties may use dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve or as stated issues relating to the interpretation, management or implementation of the JBNQA and NEQA. These mechanisms are usually initiated by a two- or three-part consultation phase.

If a satisfactory solution is not found for all parties to the dispute, a mediation procedure and a possible arbitration procedure will follow in the initial phase. The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement is an Aboriginal settlement that was approved in 1975 by the Cree and Inuit in northern Quebec and slightly amended in 1978 by the agreement in northeastern Qu├ęben. The agreement covers economic development and property issues in northern Quebec, as well as the establishment of a series of cultural, social and governmental institutions for Aboriginal peoples who are members of treaty communities. On March 24, 2010, the governments of Quebec and Canada and the Inuit renewed a tripartite housing agreement in Nunavik. This new 5-year agreement will allow the construction of some 340 social housing units in Nunavik. As outlined in this agreement, the Government of Canada will finance the construction of housing units, while the Quebec government will assume the operating deficit over a 15-year period. Makivik Corporation will be the main contractor for building construction and the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau will be owner and manager. In 2008-09, INAC contributed a total of $13,802,900 to Makivik Corporation and $14,221,000 in 2009-10.

Significant difficulties hampered a definitive solution between the Cree, the Inuit and the Quebec government. For example, the IQA, which represented Quebec`s other Aboriginal nations in the negotiations, demanded full payment of land rights across the province.

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