Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
Description: The Grand Council of the Crees is the elected political body that represents the approximately “Eeyouch” (“Eenouch” – Mistissini dialect), the 18,000-strong James Bay Cree Nation of eastern James Bay and Southern Hudson Bay in Northern Quebec. The Council’s head office is in the Cree community of Nemaska, and it also has Embassies in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa.
The Cree Nation Government is the administrative arm of the Cree government. It has responsibilities for environmental protection, land use planning, the hunting, fishing and trapping regime, education, health and social services, economic and community development, the Board of Compensation and other matters as determined by the Board of Directors.
The GCC and the Cree Nation Government are two distinct legal entities, however they have a common Board of Directors, governing structures and are managed and operated as essentially one organization by the Cree Nation.
Treaty / Land Claim Agreement: James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, Eeyou Istchee Marine Region Land Claims Agreement
Signatories to the Agreement: Grand Council of the Crees, Government of Quebec, James Bay
Energy Corporation, James Bay Development Corporation,
Quebec Hydro-Electric Commission (Hydro-Québec), and the Government of Canada, Grand Council of the Crees, Government of Canada, Government of Nunavut
Key Dates: James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement signed: November 11, 1975
Legislation (Canada and Quebec): 1976
Paix des Braves Agreement with Government of Quebec: 2002
New Relationship Agreement with Government of Canada: 2008
Agreement signed: July 7, 2010
Agreement concerning the Eeyou Marine Region: signed July 7, 2010
Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement Act (Canada): 2011
Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory: 2012
An Act establishing the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government (Quebec): 2013
Brief description of the region covered by claim: Eastern James Bay and Southern Hudson Bay in Northern Quebec, Eeyou Marine Region (EMR), the area along the Quebec shore in James Bay and south-eastern Hudson Bay
Total Land Area: 61,270 sq kms.
Estimated value to Canada of resources and revenues extracted from Aboriginal signatory’s traditional lands: Over $5 billion per year (2003), from hydro-electric dams, forestry, mining, industry, tourism, and taxation of non-Aboriginal businesses and workers
# of Beneficiaries: 18,000 Beneficiaries
Languages Spoken: Cree, English, French