Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Text Size

Bill creates Cree Nation government

BY KEVIN DOUGHERTY, GAZETTE QUEBEC BUREAU CHIEF

Montreal Gazette

QUEBEC — “The days of exclusion are over,” Cree Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come said Thursday, heralding a new era in co-operation between his people and the non-aboriginals of northern Quebec.

Coon Come said the unanimous adoption of Bill 42 Thursday by the Quebec National Assembly, creating a new “Cree Nation Government,” with a greater say in developing lands now reserved for Cree hunting, fishing and trapping, and a new “Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government,” truly is historic.

“The word historic is sometimes overused,” Coon Come added. “But not today.

“For with the adoption of Bill 42, a formal partnership in governance is being born between an aboriginal people and a non-aboriginal people.”

Gaétan Lelièvre, who as Quebec’s minister of regions, piloted the bill — his first as a minister — through the assembly, explained the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government, coming into existence Jan. 1, 2014, will be composed of 11 Cree representatives and 11 elected officials from non-aboriginal settlements.

“For the first time in the history of North America, we will succeed in putting in place a regional government of those who occupy this territory, the James Bay (non-native) community, but equally composed of an aboriginal nation, the Cree nation,” Lelièvre said.

Manon Cyr, mayor of Chibougamau, the largest non-native town in the region, said it is essential that the two communities work together.

“We cannot avoid being at the same table with those who control 75 per cent of the territory,” Cyr said. “That makes no sense.”

On the issue of developing uranium mines in the region, the Crees and “Jamesians,” as the non-aboriginals call themselves, have divergent views, with the Crees overwhelmingly opposed and the Jamesians, whose livelihood is more-closely linked to mining, split.

“If we had been sitting at the same table, we could have addressed this issue together,” Cyr said. “We have plenty of files of common interest.”

The Quebec government has imposed a moratorium on uranium development, pending an environmental assessment of whether the radioactive mineral should be mined at all in the province.

The genesis of Bill 42, explained Geoffrey Kelley, at the time aboriginal affairs minister in the Liberal government of Jean Charest, was a sense of exclusion among the Cree, who were shut out by the province in its dealings with the James Bay Municipality government.

Coon Come would tell Charest “think outside the box,” Kelley said, and that led to a new agreement on Cree governance signed last July 24, just before the election that brought the Parti Québécois to power.

Pauline Marois, the new PQ premier, agreed to implement the agreement Charest signed.

Coon Come said this is the next step in the Cree-Quebec relationship, expressing “profound satisfaction.”

“We now are going down a path of working together, and it’ll be a challenge,” he said. “I am not afraid. I trust in my leadership, I trust in my people that we will do everything we can to be able to work together, to make this agreement work, so that we will no longer, in the North, be seen as ‘us’ and ‘them.’

“We are working together to build a future for the people of the North, and I think that’ll be good for Quebecers.”

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

JOBS

First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON

Responsibilities

Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014

EVENTS

September 2014
S M T W T F S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday

 

Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins