“We are taking yet another significant step today in the Nation-to-Nation relations between Québec and the Cree.” Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec.
It is in these terms that Québec Premier Philippe Couillard welcomed Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) Matthew Coon Come at the ceremony at which a new partnership and collaboration agreement was signed.
“The Québec government is firmly determined to maintain harmonious, respectful relations with First Nations and Inuit. Based on this agreement, we are enhancing our relationship with the Cree. Moreover, I welcome Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come as a key partner for the development of Northern Québec, the protection of the territory and the collaboration with local and Aboriginal communities,” the Premier noted.
The agreement signed today covers specific objectives such as forestry harmonization in the territories defined by the Baril-Moses document, which also concerns hunting, fishing and trapping activities, in addition to facilitating the harmonization of the adapted Forest regime.
The Québec government and the Cree Nation undertake to establish a common task force comprising the Cree, the Innu and the Québec government in order to propose as quickly as possible consensual measures concerning forest management standards in the Baril-Moses territory.
By December 1, 2015 at the latest, an agreement on the harmonization of the adapted Forest regime and the Sustainable Forest Development Act must be concluded between the Cree Nation and the Québec government.
Conservation and the environment
Pursuant to the agreement, Québec undertakes to designate as a protected area and a biodiversity reserve the Broadback River sector, which would cover a total area of 9 134 km2, i.e. the existing Dana Lake and Les Tourbières-boisées-du-Chiwakamu proposed biodiversity reserves (505 km2), the Assinica National Park reserve (3 193 km2) and the new territories that will be protected east of the Assinica National Park reserve at Waswanipi Lake and in the Evans Lake area and the Broadback River (5 436 km2).
The Québec government undertakes to implement measures to promote the restoration of woodland caribou in Québec. To this end, it will promptly contact experts and users of the territory.
Through the signing of the agreement, the Québec government undertakes to establish a joint Cree-Innu-Québec government working group on forestry to propose consensual measures in forest management in the territory. This will enhance and adjust the forest regime and standards stipulated in the Baril-Moses document. Moreover, the Cree and the Québec government will pursue discussions in order to conclude an agreement focusing on the harmonization of the adapted Forest regime and the Sustainable Forest Development Act.
The unabridged document and the maps in the Agreement can be consulted here.