An agreement, struck between the Cree Nation of the James Bay region and Quebec Premier Jean Charest, initiates the formation of a new regional government that will supersede the existing municipality of James Bay.
In a report by The Globe and Mail, "Cree and James Bay residents will be equally represented and have an equal share of votes."
The agreement will also give the Cree more control over the management of land and resources under their control. Specifically, "exclusive jurisdiction over hydroelectric projects of 50 MW or less and wind projects in certain parts of the territory." says the report.
The agreement, signed by Charest and Matthew Coon Come, the grand chief of the Grand council of the Crees, comes in light of Charest's multibillion-dollar 'Nord' development plan for northern Quebec.
“The signing of this agreement demonstrates that together we can achieve major projects and that we share a common will to implement the Plan Nord in harmony and with respect for the needs and interests of each,” Mr. Charest said in talking to The Globe and Mail.
Earlier this year the Quebec Cree had signed an agreement with Goldcorp over the Éléonore gold project in the province.
The agreement signed in late February recognized the Cree rights in the area surrounding the project and acknowledged Cree support for Goldcorp's development in the traditional Cree territory.
The life-of-mine agreement included provisions for Cree participation in the mine, including employment, business opportunities and training initiatives.
The territory involved in the James Bay agreement covers 330,000 square kilometers.
Read more on the Quebec Cree's agreement with Goldcorp >>