French
 

 

LAYMAN VERSION OF THE AGREEMENT
CONCERNING A NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND THE CREE OF EEYOU ISTCHEE

 

Prepared by the Cree-Naskapi Commission

 

 

Layman Version of the Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between the Government of Canada and the Cree of Eeyou Istchee

INTRODUCTION

On February 21, 2008, in Mistissini, Eeyou Istchee, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Regional Authority and the Government of Canada signed the Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between the Government of Canada and the Cree of Eeyou Istchee for the principal purposes set out in Chapter 2 of the said Agreement.

PREAMBLE

The Preamble sets out the context under which the Agreement concerning a New Relationship between the Government of Canada and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee (the Agreement) was negotiated including the following intentions of the parties:

  1. to resolve differences between them as to the implementation by Canada of the James Bay and Northern Qubec Agreement (JBNQA) and claims, grievances and other matters, including the resolution of litigation, so as to embark upon a new and positive relationship;
  2. to improve implementation of the James Bay and Northern Qubec Agreement, to provide for the assumption by the Cree Nation of greater responsibility for Cree economic and community development, to provide for the achievement of increased autonomy, and to better respond to the traditions and needs of the Crees by ensuring that decisions respecting the Cree Nation will be made at a regional level; and
  3. to work cooperatively towards an agreement and conforming federal legislation relating to a Cree Nation Government with powers and authorities, to be negotiated, beyond the scope of the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act (CNQA).

Chapter 1 – DEFINITIONS

The terms used in the Agreement are defined in this chapter.

Chapter 2 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Principal Purposes

This Agreement has the following principal purposes:

Agreement Does Not Amend the JBNQA

This Agreement does not amend the JBNQA, the James Bay and Northern Qubec Native Claims Settlement Act or any other related legislation.

Existing Legislation and Qubec’s Responsibilities.

This Agreement does not alter the Constitution of Canada, including the distribution of powers set out therein. It does not affect the responsibilities of Qubec towards the Cree Nation or towards Crees under the JBNQA.

Status of this Agreement

This Agreement is neither a treaty nor a land claim agreement within the meaning of sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Rights and Access to Programs

Nothing contained in this Agreement shall prejudice, detrimentally affect, limit or restrict the rights and access to programs of the Crees.

Acknowledgement Regarding Funding for New Cree Bands

Canada confirms, and the GCC(EI)/CRA acknowledge, that no additional funding will be provided by Canada, for the Term of this Agreement, with respect to additional costs which may be associated with the recognition and establishment of any new Cree band located in the Territory.

Term

This Agreement shall come into force upon the fulfillment of all of the conditions set out in this Agreement and shall end at midnight on the twentieth (20th) anniversary of its coming into force (the “Term’). The various agreements contemplated herein shall come into force at dates to be agreed upon in such agreements.

Validity of this Agreement

No Party will challenge, and no Party will encourage or support any challenge to the validity of this Agreement or to any provision of this Agreement.

Chapter 3 - CREE NATION GOVERNANCE

Purpose

The purpose of this Chapter is twofold:

As a first step, in Part 1, in order to better enable the CRA to receive and carry out the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities, to equip the CRA with by-law-making powers similar to those of the Cree bands under the CNQA, through proposed amendments to that Act;

As a second step, in Part 2, to set out a process for negotiations leading to a Governance Agreement, Governance Legislation and possible amendments to the JBNQA and to the CNQA concerning a Cree Nation Government with powers and authorities beyond the scope of the CNQA and its amendments in Part 1 of this Chapter. Such negotiations, if successful, would expand Cree Nation governance beyond the CNQA powers by establishing the structures and powers of a Cree Nation Government and the relationship of such Government with Cree bands and federal and provincial governments.

PART 1: AMENDMENTS TO THE CREE-NASKAPI (OF QUEBEC) ACT

Recommendation to Parliament

Canada will recommend to Parliament the amendments to the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act described in this Part.

Description of Amendments

The amendments to the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act will reflect the understandings between the Parties as described in section 3.3 a) to x) of this Agreement.

Consultations on Proposed Legislation Amending the CNQA

Canada will consult with the GCC(EI)/CRA during the drafting of the amendments to the CNQA.

The GCC(EI)/CRA and Canada agree to consult, during the drafting of the amendments, with the Inuit of Fort George through the Makivik Corporation and the Band Council of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach regarding the proposed amendments to the CNQA.

PART 2: PROCESS LEADING TO A CREE NATION GOVERNANCE AGREEMENT

Definitions

For the purpose of this Part2, “jurisdiction” means law-making authority (hereinafter “Jurisdiction”), and “authority” means any authority, other than law- making, such as the power to deliver or administer federal programs and services (hereinafter “Authority”).

Subject of Negotiations

The subject areas to be negotiated in relation to Jurisdiction and Authority of the Cree Nation Government and to be incorporated in the Governance Agreement will be determined by the GCC(EI)/CRA, Canada and Qubec as the first item in the negotiations process leading to the Governance Agreement.

Federal Policies

Canada will be guided by existing legislation, policies, guidelines and procedures in conducting negotiations under this Part.

Development of a Cree Constitution

The Cree Nation will develop a Constitution which shall reflect its values and beliefs, be effective as the fundamental law of the Cree Nation, and be consistent with the Governance Agreement. Such Constitution must be ratified prior to or concurrently with the ratification of the Governance Agreement but will come into force at the same time as the Governance Agreement. The Cree Constitution shall provide for the following essential matters:

  1. law enactment procedures, including publication;
  2. leadership selection;
  3. political accountability of leaders to their members;
  4. financial management and accountability;
  5. internal appeal and redress mechanisms;
  6. structures and procedures of government;
  7. conflict of interest;
  8. public consultations;
  9. voting and referenda;
  10. access to information;
  11. amending formula; and
  12. other essential matters as negotiated.

Other Matters to be Addressed

Section 3.11 of the Agreement lists the other issues that the Parties agree to address during the negotiations process leading to the Governance Agreement. The list is not exhaustive and, where the parties to those negotiations agree, items may be added or deleted as a result of on-going governance negotiations. The list includes:

  1. fiscal relations between Canada and the Crees, including financial reporting to Canada;
  2. tax treatment matters;
  3. annual report by the Cree Nation Government;
  4. delegation of powers;
  5. legal status and capacity;
  6. exemption from seizure of assets;
  7. own source revenues; and
  8. a review of the role of the Cree-Naskapi Commission, and particularly having regard to avoiding duplication with processes or bodies provided for under this Agreement or the Governance Agreement.

Participation of Qubec

Qubec has been invited to be a party in the negotiations leading to the Governance Agreement, insofar as areas of jurisdiction of Qubec are involved.

Time Frame

With the participation of Qubec, the Parties are committed to making best efforts to conclude negotiations of a governance agreement-in-principle within three (3) years of the coming into force of this Agreement and a Governance Agreement within five (5) years of the coming into force of this Agreement, or within such longer period as the GCC(EI)/CRA, Canada and Qubec may agree to in writing.

Governance Legislation

The Governance Agreement will form the basis for the Governance Legislation. In the Governance Agreement, Canada will commit to recommend the Governance Legislation to Parliament. The Governance Agreement will be made to prevail over the Governance Legislation in the event and to the extent of conflict or inconsistency.

Consultations on Governance Legislation

Canada will consult with the GCC(EI)/CRA during the drafting of the Governance Legislation.

The GCC(EI)/CRA and Canada agree to consult, during the drafting of the Governance Legislation, with the Inuit beneficiaries under the JBNQA through the Makivik Corporation and with the Band Council of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach in regard to the Governance Legislation. Qubec will be invited to participate in these consultations.

Funding for Governance

Funding is provided by Canada within the Payments described in this Agreement to assist the GCC(EI)/CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government:

  1. to participate effectively in the consultations, negotiations and processes contemplated by Parts 1 and 2 of this Chapter, including ratification of the Governance Agreement; and
  2. to cover, during the Term of this Agreement, any additional costs incurred by the Cree Nation Government for the implementation of the Governance Agreement and for on-going expenses and functions of the Cree Nation Government pursuant to the Governance Agreement.

The provisions of this Agreement do not preclude the transfer or delegation of federal programs, services and administration and the funding related thereto to the CRA or, subsequently, the Cree Nation Government.

For greater certainty, nothing in this Section is intended to impact the funding provided to the CRA for centralized support services under the Operations and Maintenance Transfer Payment Agreement.

Chapter 4 - ASSUMPTION OF CERTAIN FEDERAL JBNQA RESPONSIBILITIES

Assumption of Responsibilities

For the Term of this Agreement, the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, shall assume the responsibilities of Canada to the Cree Nation and the Crees under the provisions of the JBNQA set forth in this Chapter (herein the “Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities”).

Condition for Assumption

The assumption of responsibilities is made on and subject to the condition of the fulfillment of this Agreement by Canada, including the Payments by Canada as set out in this Agreement.

List of Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities

The Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities comprise the federal share of capital costs, operations and maintenance (including insurance), and programs and services, as applicable, for the Term of this Agreement respecting the items listed under the following provisions of the JBNQA and described in section 4.3 a) to j) of this Agreement.

Section 18 Related Matters

The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, shall not assume any federal responsibility regarding the appointment of justices of the peace, as provided in paragraphs 18.0.8 and 18.0.9 of the JBNQA.

In regard to the establishment and operation of facilities for the imprisonment, committal or detention of Crees and the staffing of institutions, penitentiaries and places of detention as contemplated by paragraphs 18.0.26, 18.0.27 and 18.0.29 of the JBNQA, the CRA shall not assume any federal responsibility.

For greater certainty, the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under this Chapter include post-detention rehabilitation institutions, almshouses, workhouses and refuges for women as contemplated in sub-paragraph 18.0.29 e) of the JBNQA as well as special programs after release as contemplated in sub-paragraph 18.0.29 g) of the JBNQA.

Maintenance

The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, undertakes to provide for the adequate maintenance of the facilities contemplated in this Agreement and which are built during the Term of this Agreement.

Undertaking Regarding Certain Facilities and Services

The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, undertakes for the Term of this Agreement, to allocate funding to the Cree bands with respect to the provision of the following facilities and services in their communities:

  1. a community centre in each Cree community;
  2. essential sanitation services, which include water and sewer services, drainage and solid waste management;
  3. fire protection, including training of Crees, the purchase of equipment and the construction of expansions to fire-fighting facilities; and
  4. in the event generally applicable federal or provincial standards relating to essential sanitation services or fire protection should be substantially modified during the Term of the Agreement leading to additional costs for the provision of related facilities and services as contemplated by this Section, then Canada agrees to negotiate with the CRA or, as the case may be, the Cree Nation Government, additional funding so as to cover such additional costs.

Regional Training and Vocational Centre in Waswanipi

The assumption of responsibilities by the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, contemplated by this Agreement with regard to paragraph 28.9.1 of the JBNQA regarding training facilities does not include any assumption of responsibilities with regard to the Regional Training and Vocational Centre in Waswanipi which is managed by the Cree School Board and funded pursuant to Section 16 of the JBNQA.

Operations and Maintenance Funding

For greater certainty, the additional operations and maintenance funding required during the Term of this Agreement for new facilities contemplated in this Chapter is included in the Payments provided in this Agreement.

Management of Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities

Subject to this Chapter, the Parties recognize and accept that the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, shall have full and complete discretion to implement the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities in the manner, according to the priorities, in the timeframes and to the extent it deems appropriate.  Implementation of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities beyond the Term of this Agreement will be determined in accordance with this Agreement.

Funding for Certain Cree Associations

The assumptions regarding the CTA, COTA and CNACA are premised on continued annual funding from Canada to the said associations for the Term of this Agreement. In the event such annual funding is not continued for any reason whatsoever, then the assumption of the said undertakings shall cease as of the date such annual funding is not continued, and such undertakings shall be assumed by Canada from that date onward and shall no longer form part of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities.

Training Courses, Job Recruitment and Placement

The assumption in relation to paragraphs 28.9.1 and 28.9.2 of the JBNQA contemplated by this Agreement is premised on the maintenance or continuation by Canada for each year of the Term of this Agreement of the additional funding for training programs and facilities and of job recruitment and placement services in the Territory.In the event that such funding is not maintained or continued for the Term of this Agreement for any reason, then the assumption of the said undertakings contemplated by this Agreement shall cease as of the date the funding is not maintained or continued, and such undertakings shall be assumed by Canada from that date forward and shall no longer form part of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities.

Annual Reporting to Canada

The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, will provide to Canada an annual report on the implementation of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities.

Chapter 5 - RESOLUTION OF CLAIMS, GRIEVANCES AND OTHER MATTERS

Purpose

The purpose of this Chapter is for the Parties to resolve the claims, grievances and the other matters set out in this Chapter, whether related or not to JBNQA, in order to fully embark on a new relationship.

Associated Costs

The Parties and the Cree bands agree that the costs associated with the claims, grievances and other matters described in this Chapter are included within the Payments provided under this Agreement, except where specifically excluded.

Claims and Grievances

The Parties and the Cree bands agree that the claims and grievances against Canada relating to the following are hereby fully resolved between them:

  1. reimbursement relating to past construction and past maintenance of the Nemaska access road;
  2. any past relocations of the Cree Nation of Nemaska and the Waswanipi Band;
  3. past housing and related infrastructure funding in any of the Cree communities; and
  4. past constructions, past upgrades, past improvements, past repairs and past replacements of Band Facilities in any of the Cree communities.

Washaw Sibi Eeyou

The Washaw Sibi Eeyou have expressed a desire to be recognized as a separate Cree band. The Parties agree that this matter is fully resolved as between them by the following. Immediately following the coming into force of this Agreement, the CRA undertakes to initiate exploratory discussions with the Washaw Sibi Eeyou in order to identify possible options for the Washaw Sibi Eeyou. The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, is responsible for any costs associated with implementing an option agreed on by the CRA and the Washaw Sibi Eeyou. If the CRA and the Washaw Sibi Eeyou decide to proceed with negotiations regarding recognition of the Washaw Sibi Eeyou as a separate Cree band, Canada and Qubec will be invited to participate, subject to this Agreement.

Chisasibi Block “D”

Canada agrees, in principle, to accept the transfer of the lands known as Block “D” in the community of Chisasibi, subject to certain issues related to the restoration of these lands. The Parties agree that Canada shall not be responsible for any costs associated with the land transfer of Block “D”, save and except land survey costs.

Ouj-Bougoumou

As soon as possible following the coming into force of this Agreement, the Parties to this Agreement will sign a Complementary Agreement regarding the establishment of the Ouj-Bougoumou Band and its Category 1A land through amendments to the JBNQA and to the CNQA. 

Band Facilities during the Term of this Agreement

  1. The costs associated with the construction, replacements and expansions of Band Facilities for the Term of this Agreement are assumed by the CRA, and subsequently by the Cree Nation Government. Funding related thereto is included in the Payments provided in this Agreement.
  2. The operations and maintenance funding (including insurance and other related costs), for the Term of this Agreement and which is related to new Band Facilities constructed during the Term of this Agreement and that portion related to expansions of Band Facilities carried out during the Term of this Agreement, is assumed by the CRA, and subsequently by the Cree Nation Government, and is included in the Payments provided in this Agreement.
  3. The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, undertakes to provide, during the Term of this Agreement, for the adequate maintenance of the Band Facilities constructed and expanded during the Term of this Agreement.
  4. The operations and maintenance funding (including insurance and other related costs) related to Band Facilities, which already exist at the time this Agreement comes into force, is provided by Canada under the Operations and Maintenance Transfer Payment Agreement.
  5. The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, will provide to Canada an annual report on the Band Facilities constructed, replaced, expanded or funded during the Term of this Agreement.

Other Amendments to the JBNQA

Canada and the CRA will each appoint their representatives forthwith upon the coming into force of this Agreement in order to discuss Complementary Agreements to the JBNQA dealing with the subjects described in section 5.8 (i) to (iii) of this Agreement. These changes to the JBNQA deal with the amendment provisions to the JBNQA, eligibility and the final territorial descriptions of the Category I lands of the Crees.

CEPA, SARA and Fisheries Act

Canada and the CRA shall each appoint their representatives forthwith upon the coming into force of this Agreement, in order to address the issues described in section 5.9 (i) to (iv) of this Agreement with the objective of reaching a conclusion on these issues within three (3) years of the coming into force of this Agreement.

Criminal Code of Canada and Canada Evidence Act

Canada and the CRA will each appoint representatives forthwith upon the coming into force of this Agreement, to discuss paragraph 18.0.19 of the JBNQA as concerns any amendment, as the case may be, to the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act with the objective of reaching an agreement, within three (3) years of the coming into force of this Agreement.
 
Chapter 6 - PAYMENTS BY CANADA

General

The "Recipient of Payments" shall be a non-profit corporation, partnership, foundation or trust designated by the CRA to receive and hold the payments made by Canada pursuant to this Chapter, or failing such designation, the Recipient of Payments shall be the CRA or the Cree Nation Government.

Payments

Canada shall pay to the Recipient of Payments the following lump-sum amounts (collectively the “Payments”), by means of direct electronic bank transfer to the account designated for this purpose by the Recipient of Payments:

  1. upon coming into force of this Agreement, an amount of ONE BILLION AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS ($1,050,000,000) (the “First Payment”);
  2. within thirty (30) days of Royal Assent of the amendments to the CNQA contemplated in Part 1 of Chapter 3 of this Agreement, an amount of ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS ($100,000,000) (the “Second Payment”); and
  3. within thirty (30) days of Royal Assent of the Governance Legislation contemplated in Part 2 of Chapter 3 of this Agreement, an amount of TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS ($200,000,000) (the “Third Payment”).

Acknowledgments
In the event that the condition for the Second Payment does not occur, Canada shall not be obliged to provide the Second Payment.

In the event that the condition for the Third Payment does not occur, Canada shall not be obliged to provide the Third Payment.

The non-payment by Canada of the Second and/or Third Payment, in the event that the respective conditions are not realized, shall not constitute the non-fulfillment by Canada of this Agreement and, in particular, shall not affect the assumption of the Federal JBNQA Responsibilities by the CRA in Chapter 4 hereof, the resolution of claims, grievances and other matters described in this Agreement or the releases and indemnifications given in Chapter 7 hereof.

Use of Payments

  1. The Recipient of Payments may hold, manage, invest, spend, allocate or otherwise use the Payments and any revenues or gains accrued thereon in the future, for one or more of the following general purposes:
  1. to fund, for the Term of this Agreement, the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities listed in Chapter 4 of this Agreement;
  2. to promote, fund or carry out the social, community and economic development of the Crees;
  3. to supplement the funding received by the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, to carry out its functions; and
  4. any other purposes consistent with this Agreement.

Specific Considerations

For greater certainty, the Payments are made by Canada in consideration of, and subject to the covenants and undertakings of the GCC(EI)/CRA set out in this Agreement, including:

  1. the assumption by the CRA, and subsequently by the Cree Nation Government, of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities as set out in this Agreement;
  2. the resolution of the claims, grievances and other matters as set out in this Agreement;
  3. the resolution of the litigation described in this Agreement; and
  4. to cover all costs incurred by the GCC(EI)/CRA and the Cree Nation Government as set out in this Agreement.

Reports and Financial Statements

Regarding the Payments provided this Agreement and any revenues or gains accrued thereon, the Recipient of Payments will provide to Canada the copies of the reports and audited financial statements presented to the annual general assembly of the GCC(EI) and, thereafter, the annual general assembly of the Cree Nation.

Unforeseen Events

Funding in addition to that provided for in this Agreement may be provided to the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, to assist them in defraying significant costs which are beyond their powers to control and absorb financially and which arise in the event of force majeure, fire, flood or other natural disasters or from new governmental initiatives of Canada that create new responsibilities for the CRA, and subsequently for the Cree Nation Government.

Parliamentary Appropriations

The Payments referred to in this Agreement are subject to there being an appropriation by Parliament for the fiscal year in which any such payment is made. Canada will recommend to Parliament such appropriations.

Chapter 7 - LITIGATION AND RELATED ISSUES

Specific Considerations

For greater certainty, the releases are provided by the GCC(EI)/CRA to Canada and the resolution of the litigation referred to in this Chapter is made in consideration of, and subject to, the covenants and undertakings of Canada set out in this Agreement.

General

  1. Canada and the GCC(EI)/CRA maintain their respective legal positions regarding the JBNQA and its interpretation.
  2. Nevertheless, Canada and the GCC(EI)/CRA agree to set aside their legal differences and to resolve outstanding matters between them, to the greatest extent possible, as provided for in this Agreement.
  3. Canada and the GCC(EI)/CRA agree to take the measures specified in this Chapter to bring an end, to the greatest extent possible, to the pending litigation between them described in this Chapter, so as to pave the way to a new era of cooperation.

Court Proceedings

In order to meet the purposes of this Agreement and to facilitate the renewed relationship referred to herein, Sections 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, and 7.6 of this Agreement describes the court proceedings and measures such as discontinuances and negotiations to be undertaken for the said court proceedings.

Past Implementation

For the purposes of this Chapter, “past implementation of the JBNQA by Canada” means any act or omission of Canada, its Ministers, officers, directors, employees, servants and agents, or their successors and assigns, affecting the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees that occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, in the Territory, during the period between November 15, 1974 and the date of the coming into force of this Agreement.

GCC(EI)/CRA’s Undertaking respecting Past Implementation

The GCC(EI)/CRA undertake never to institute any new legal proceedings against Canada with respect to the “past implementation of the JBNQA by Canada”, nor to encourage or support any third party to institute any such new legal proceedings.

Release regarding Past Implementation

Subject to this Chapter, the GCC(EI)/CRA give, with respect to “past implementation of the JBNQA by Canada”, full, final and complete release to and forever discharge Canada from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands for damages, indemnity, costs, interest and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising, which the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees now have, may have had or may hereafter have, in respect of “past implementation of the JBNQA by Canada”, against Canada.

For greater certainty, the Parties acknowledge that the consideration for the resolution of the Wemindji Access Road issue and for the issue respecting the conversion of the electrical supply to the community of Waskaganish is to be provided under the proposed Agreement Regarding Certain Community Specific Issues.

Indemnification regarding Past Implementation

The GCC(EI)/CRA will indemnify and hold Canada harmless against any and all claims, demands, actions, damages, liabilities or costs to which Canada may become subject, under a Court judgment which has become final, in relation to the “past Implementation of the JBNQA by Canada”. For greater certainty, this section does not apply to the claims set out in the Superior Court case number 500-17-017876-031 (“Mocreebec litigation”), nor does it apply to any claims made by any non-Cree aboriginal group or non-Cree individual asserting any aboriginal, treaty or other rights in the Territory.

Responsibilities of Canada

Subject to this Chapter, Canada shall remain fully responsible and accountable to the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands and the Crees from the date of the coming into force of this Agreement for the delivery of the responsibilities of Canada and the discharge of all obligations that Canada has or may have under:

  1. the JBNQA, the Agreement-in-Principle of November 15, 1974 and any Complementary Agreement to the JBNQA;
  2. the letters of undertaking and the other existing agreements; and
  3. any trust or fiduciary obligations of Canada relating in any way to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Native Claims Settlement Act, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act.

Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under Chapter 4

The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, will be fully responsible and accountable to the GCC(EI), the Cree Nation, the Cree bands and the Crees for the delivery of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement for the Term of this Agreement.

GCC(EI)/CRA’s Undertaking respecting Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under Chapter 4

In relation to the period represented by the Term of this Agreement, the GCC(EI)/CRA undertake never to institute legal proceedings against Canada with respect to any of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement, nor encourage or support any third party to institute any such legal proceedings.

Deemed Implementation of Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under Chapter 4

At the end of the Term of this Agreement, the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement will be deemed to have been implemented by the CRA, and subsequently by the Cree Nation Government, for that Term, regardless of whether or not they were in fact so implemented. No recourse against Canada in relation to the implementation of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities for the Term of this Agreement shall be allowed either during or after that Term.

GCC(EI)/CRA’s Release of Canada regarding Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under Chapter 4

The GCC(EI)/CRA give full, final and complete release to, and forever discharge Canada from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands for damages, indemnity, costs, interest and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising which the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees now have, may have had or may hereafter have arising directly or indirectly from, or in any way related to, the assumption and delivery for the Term of this Agreement of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement by the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government.

Canada’s Release of the CRA

Subject to this Chapter:
(i) Canada gives full, final and complete release to and forever discharges the CRA or the Cree Nation Government from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands for damages, indemnity, costs, interest and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising which Canada may have, may have had or may hereafter have arising directly or indirectly from, or in any way related to, the assumption and delivery by the CRA, and subsequently by the Cree Nation Government, for the Term of this Agreement, of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement;

(ii) for greater certainty, Canada shall have no claim of whatever kind or nature with respect to any payment made by Canada under this Agreement.
In addition, Canada shall have no claim of whatever kind or nature against the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees in respect of any payments made to any of them by Canada, or program or service provided to any of them by Canada, prior to this Agreement and concerning “past implementation of the JBNQA by Canada”. This provision does not apply to loans made by Canada to any of the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees and which are still outstanding at the time this Agreement comes into force.

Indemnification regarding Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under Chapter 4

The GCC(EI)/CRA will indemnify and hold Canada harmless against any and all claims, demands, actions, damages, liabilities or costs to which Canada may become subject, under a Court judgment which has become final, in relation to the assumption or delivery for the Term of this Agreement by the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement.

Release related to Places of Incarceration

The GCC(EI)/CRA give full, final and complete release to, and forever discharge Canada from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands, for damages, indemnity, costs, interest and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising which the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees now have, may have had or may hereafter have arising directly or indirectly from, or in any way related to, for the Term of this Agreement, paragraphs 18.0.26, 18.0.27 and 18.0.29 of the JBNQA as they relate to the establishment and operation of facilities for the imprisonment, committal or detention of Crees and the staffing of institutions, penitentiaries and places of detention.

GCC(EI)/CRA’s Undertaking regarding Places of Incarceration

The GCC(EI)/CRA undertake never to institute any new legal proceedings against Canada with respect to paragraphs 18.0.26, 18.0.27 and 18.0.29 of the JBNQA as they relate, for the Term of this Agreement, to the establishment and operation of facilities for the imprisonment, committal or detention of Crees and the staffing of institutions, penitentiaries and places of detention, nor to encourage or support any third party to institute any such new legal proceedings.

Indemnification regarding Places of Incarceration

The GCC(EI)/CRA will indemnify and hold Canada harmless against any and all claims, demands, actions, damages, liabilities or costs to which Canada may become subject, under a Court judgment which has become final, in relation to paragraphs 18.0.26, 18.0.27 and 18.0.29 of the JBNQA as they relate, for the Term of this Agreement, to the establishment and operation of facilities for the imprisonment, committal or detention of Crees and the staffing of institutions, penitentiaries and places of detention.

Crees’ Release of Canada regarding Payments under Chapter 6

The GCC(EI)/CRA give full, final and complete release to, and forever discharge Canada from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands, for damages, indemnity, costs, interest and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising which the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees may have arising directly or indirectly from, or in any way related to the use, management, administration and investment of the Payments under Chapter 6 of this Agreement by the CRA or the Recipient of Payments.

Indemnification regarding Payments under Chapter 6

The GCC(EI)/CRA will indemnify and hold Canada harmless against any and all claims, demands, actions, damages, liabilities or costs to which Canada may become subject, under a Court judgment which has become final, in relation to the use, management, administration and investment of the Payments under Chapter 6 of this Agreement by the CRA or the Recipient of Payments.

GCC(EI)/CRA’s Undertaking respecting Claims, Grievances and Other Matters Resolved under this Agreement

The GCC(EI)/CRA undertake never to institute legal proceedings against Canada with respect to the claims, grievances and other matters resolved under this Agreement, nor encourage or support any third party to institute any such legal proceedings.

No Admission regarding the Claims, Grievances and Other Matters Referred to in this Agreement

The claims, grievances and other matters referred to in this Agreement are resolved without any admission by any Party regarding such claims, grievances and other matters.

Release regarding Claims, Grievances and Other Matters Referred to this Agreement

The GCC(EI)/CRA give full, final and complete release to and forever discharge Canada from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands for damages, indemnity, costs, interest and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising, which the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees now have, may have had or may hereafter have against Canada with respect to the claims, grievances and other matters referred to in this Agreement.

Indemnification regarding Claims, Grievances and Other Matters Referred to in this Agreement

The GCC(EI)/CRA will indemnify and hold Canada harmless against any and all claims, demands, actions, damages, liabilities, or costs to which Canada may become subject, under a Court judgment which has become final, in relation to any of the claims, grievances and other matters referred to in this Agreement.

Release regarding Band Facilities contemplated in this Agreement

The GCC(EI)/CRA give full, final and complete release to, and forever discharge Canada, from any and all actions, causes of action, claims and demands, for damages, indemnity, costs, interests and loss or injury of whatever kind or nature howsoever arising which the GCC(EI), the CRA, the Cree Nation, the Cree bands or the Crees may have or may hereafter have arising directly or indirectly from, or in any way related to, the Band Facilities contemplated in this Agreement.

Indemnification regarding Band Facilities contemplated in this Agreement

The GCC(EI)/CRA will indemnify and hold Canada harmless against any and all claims, demands, actions, damages, liabilities or costs to which Canada may become subject, pursuant to a Court judgment which has become final, in relation to the Band Facilities contemplated in this Agreement.

Not an Agent

For greater certainty, the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, shall not be an agent or mandatary of Canada or otherwise subject to the supervision, direction or control of Canada in respect of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities under Chapter 4 of this Agreement or in respect of the claims, grievances or other matters referred to in this Agreement.

Residential Schools Claims

The provisions of this Agreement shall in no way affect the rights or interests of any Crees with respect to residential schools claims, including any settlement or proceedings related thereto.

Application of Indemnity Provisions

Section 7.31 of this Agreement deals with the application of indemnity provisions of this Agreement.

Chapter 8 - CREE – CANADA STANDING LIAISON COMMITTEE

Creation of Standing Liaison Committee

The Parties hereby create a Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee, to be made up of representatives designated, as set out herein, by Canada and by the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government.

Federal Representatives

The federal delegation to the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee will comprise:

  1. the Lead Federal Representative at an Assistant Deputy Minister level designated by the Minister; and
  2. other representatives from DIAND and other federal departments or agencies who may participate from time to time, as determined by the Lead Federal Representative, to address any matters relevant to their respective departments.

Cree Representatives

The Cree delegation to the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee will comprise:

  1. the Lead Representative of the Cree Nation, designated by the CRA, and subsequently by the Cree Nation Government; and
  2. other representatives from the CRA, and subsequently from the Cree Nation Government, who may participate from time to time, as determined by the Lead Representative of the Cree Nation.

Authorization of Representatives

The Parties shall make best efforts so that the federal and Cree representatives at any particular meeting of the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee shall, having regard to the proposed agenda, have sufficient authority to reach a resolution of the matters on the agenda or have ready access to such authority.

Meetings

The Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee will meet regularly, but the minimum number of meetings of the Committee in any given Financial Year shall not be less than two (2).
The first meeting of the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee must take place within four (4) months from the date of coming into force of this Agreement. At that first meeting, the Committee must review draft rules and procedures for the meetings.

Mandate

The Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee will have the following mandate:

  1. to act as a forum of exchange and coordination between the Cree Nation and Canada in order to strengthen relations between them;
  2. to ensure the harmonious implementation of this Agreement and of the JBNQA;
  3. to act as a forum between the Cree Nation and Canada in order to strive for mutually acceptable solutions to:
  1. any dispute arising out of the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement, or any other agreement as the parties to such agreement may agree in writing to be subject to this forum;
  2. any dispute involving Canada and arising out of the interpretation or implementation of the JBNQA; and
  3. any other matter which the Lead Federal Representative to the Committee and the Lead Representative of the Cree Nation to the Committee agree should be referred to the Committee.

Timing

Before referring matters to the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee, the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, and Canada shall make best efforts to resolve the dispute through cooperation and consultation between their appropriate line officers. If those officers are unable to resolve the dispute through such cooperation and consultation, the dispute may be referred by either the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, or Canada to the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee.

Implementation

The Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee members will attempt in good faith to find appropriate and mutually acceptable solutions with regard to any subject raised with the Committee and they will strive in good faith to ensure the implementation of such solutions by the GCC(EI)/CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, and Canada.

Expenses

Each Party will be responsible for its expenses related to the cooperation and consultation process described in this Chapter or to the participation of its representatives in the Cree -- Canada Standing Liaison Committee.

Coordination with Qubec

The CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, and Canada will seek annually to have one (1) of the meetings of the Cree – Canada Standing Liaison Committee as a joint meeting with the Qubec – Cree Standing Liaison Committee created under the Agreement Concerning a New Relationship entered into between the Crees of Qubec and Le Gouvernement du Qubec in 2002 in order to discuss matters that may affect Canada, Qubec and the Cree Nation.

Chapter 9 - DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS

General

The Parties agree to make every attempt through cooperation and consultation to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution of disputes regarding the interpretation and implementation of this Agreement or the JBNQA. To this end, the Parties shall apply the dispute resolution processes established under Chapter 8 and the present Chapter of this Agreement to resolve such disputes prior to initiating proceedings before courts, boards, commissions or other tribunals in regard thereto.

Preservation of Prescription Periods and Interim / Interlocutory Relief

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph of this Chapter, nothing in this Chapter prevents either Party from commencing judicial proceedings at any time:

  1. to avoid the expiration of a limitation period or to suspend a limitation period; or
  2. to obtain interlocutory or interim relief that is otherwise available pending treatment of the dispute under Chapter 8 or the present Chapter of this Agreement.

Authorized Parties

The only parties authorized to bring disputes for resolution under the present dispute resolution process are Canada and the GCC(EI) or the CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government.

Mediation

Sections 9.4 to 9.10 of the Agreement deal with the following matters respecting mediation:

  1. Matters that may be referred to mediation (Section 9.4)
  2. Timing of mediation (Section 9.5)
  3. Authorization of representatives in mediation (Section 9.6)
  4. Mediation notice (Section 9.7)
  5. Selection or appointment of mediator (Section 9.8)
  6. Mediation process (Section 9.9)
  7. Confidentiality of mediation (Section 9.10)

Arbitration

If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, Sections 9.11 to 9.13 of the Agreement deals with the following matters respecting arbitration:

  1. Referral to arbitration (Section 9.11)
  2. Arbitration (Section 9.12)
  3. Confidentiality of arbitration (Section 9.13)

Expenses of Mediation and Arbitration

The Authorized Parties and, in the case of arbitration, any intervener(s) allowed by the arbitrator(s), shall each be responsible for the costs of their own legal counsel, expert reports and travel respecting any of the dispute resolution processes in this Chapter.
Fees and expenses of the mediator or arbitrator(s) and all administrative costs of the mediation or arbitration processes, such as the cost of meeting rooms and the costs of communication, if any, shall be borne equally by the Authorized Parties and any intervener(s) allowed by the arbitrator(s), unless otherwise agreed by all of these parties.
The previous paragraphs of this Section do not apply in any arbitration under this Chapter where the arbitrator(s) make(s) a cost award that covers these items.

Written Agreement respecting Intervener(s) in Arbitration

The requirements in this Chapter respecting written confirmation from intervener(s) on their being bound by the decision in the arbitration that they have been allowed to join, on their adherence to the confidentiality provisions of this Chapter, and on expenses of arbitration, shall be confirmed by way of a written agreement satisfactory to the Authorized Parties, which shall be signed by the intervener(s) and the Authorized Parties, and a copy shall be submitted to the arbitrator(s).

Chapter 10 - FINAL PROVISIONS

Deemed Delegation under Paragraph 11A.0.6 of the JBNQA

Where Canada has, under this Agreement, delegated to the CRA the power to coordinate and administer a program, it is deemed to have been delegated by the Cree bands pursuant to paragraph 11A.0.6 of the JBNQA.

Complementary Agreement on Section 22 of the JBNQA

The CRA and Canada, subject to the consent of Qubec, undertake to execute a tripartite Complementary Agreement to the JBNQA to replace sub-paragraph 22.1.1 iii) of the JBNQA to provide that, in the case of proposed development in Category I, the Administrator responsible for the protection of the environment is designated by the Cree Native Party.

Complementary Agreement on Cree Police

The CRA and Canada, subject to the consent of Qubec, undertake to execute a tripartite Complementary Agreement to the JBNQA which will replace Section 19 of the JBNQA with a new section that will, among other things, replace the concepts of “Cree Units of the Qubec Police Force” and “Cree Local Community Police Force” as currently provided for in subsections 19.1 and 19.2 of the JBNQA by a new concept of “Cree Regional Police Force”.

Approval by Canada

This Agreement will be submitted to Cabinet for approval before it is submitted to the Crees for ratification.

Approval by Crees

This Agreement will be submitted to a referendum organized by the GCC(EI) and the CRA prior to the coming into force of this Agreement, which referendum shall be conducted in accordance with the Procedures agreed to by the Parties and found at Schedule A to this Agreement. This Agreement will be approved in that referendum if more than fifty percent (50%) of those who vote in that referendum vote in favour of ratifying this Agreement, and those voting in favour represent at least twenty-five percent (25%) plus one (1) of all Crees who are aged 18 years or more at the time the referendum is held.

Consent of Cree Bands

Each Cree band, acting through its representative duly authorized by appropriate Council Resolution, acknowledges by the execution of the Concurrence, attached to this Agreement, that it is represented by the GCC(EI) and the CRA in the making of this Agreement and that it is bound by the terms of this Agreement.

Coming into Force

This Agreement will come into force upon the completion of all of the following:

  1. Cabinet authorizes the Minister to execute this Agreement;
  2. the Board of the GCC(EI) authorizes the Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief to execute this Agreement;
  3. the Council of the CRA authorizes the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to execute this Agreement;
  4. each Cree band adopts a Council resolution in conformity with this Agreement;
  5. this Agreement is approved by the Crees in accordance with this Agreement;
  6. there has been an appropriation by Parliament for the First Payment referred to in this Agreement;
  7. each Cree band executes the Concurrence attached to this Agreement in accordance with this Agreement; and
  8. each of the Parties executes in fact this Agreement.

Notices

Any notices to be given pursuant to this Agreement shall be delivered personally or by courier, transmitted by fax, transmitted by e-mail or mailed by pre-paid registered mail.

Amendments

This Agreement may be amended from time to time with the consent of the GCC(EI)/CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, and Canada.

Delays

Any delays beyond the dates fixed in this Agreement for the carrying out of the provisions of this Agreement may be extended by mutual consent of the GCC(EI)/CRA, and subsequently the Cree Nation Government, and Canada.

Supersession

The Parties hereto acknowledge that this Agreement shall supersede and cancel the Statement of the Intentions of the Parties dated August 24, 2004 and the Outline for an Agreement dated June 30, 2005, and any other agreements entered into between the Cree Negotiator and the Federal Negotiator preceding this Agreement.

Successor Agreement

Not later than two (2) years before the end of the Term of this Agreement, the GCC(EI)/CRA or the Cree Nation Government, as the case may be, and Canada shall meet in order to negotiate a successor agreement to this Agreement.

These negotiations will focus principally on:

  1. extending beyond the Term of this Agreement the assumption by the CRA or the Cree Nation Government of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities;
  2. determining the funding required from Canada for such purposes during the term of the successor agreement; and
  3. determining the funding which may be required from the Crees for such purposes during the term of the successor agreement where contribution by the Crees is specifically contemplated under a provision of the JBNQA concerning the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities.

In determining funding levels, in relation to the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities for the term of the successor agreement, the Parties agree to take into account the following indicators:

  1. the capital facilities, operations and maintenance, and programs actually provided by or through the CRA or, as the case may be, the Cree Nation Government or the Cree bands, during the Term of this Agreement;
  2. the nature and extent of the responsibilities set out under the provisions of JBNQA related to the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities;
  3. the evolution of the socio-economic conditions of the Crees, of the Cree Nation and of the Cree bands during the Term of this Agreement and the projected evolution of these socio-economic conditions during the term of any successor agreement;
  4. the evolution of the demography of the Crees during the Term of this Agreement and the projected evolution of such demography during the term of any successor agreement;
  5. any other indicator that the Parties may agree to take into account.

If no successor agreement is reached by the end of the Term of this Agreement, and unless otherwise agreed to by Canada and the CRA or the Cree Nation Government, Canada shall, as of the date of the expiry of the Term of this Agreement, reassume all the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement. The Parties agree that in such event, the indicators listed in the previous sub-paragraphs will be used in determining funding levels for the fulfilment of the Assumed Federal JBNQA Responsibilities referred to in Chapter 4 of this Agreement.

Band Facilities after the Term

Not later than two (2) years before the end of the Term of this Agreement, the GCC(EI)/CRA, or the Cree Nation Government, and Canada shall meet to review the Band Facilities that were constructed, replaced, expanded or funded by the CRA or Cree Nation Government, during the Term of this Agreement to negotiate the funding needs with respect to capital costs, operations and maintenance (including insurance) and all other costs for Band Facilities beyond the Term. In those negotiations, the Parties agree to take into account the indicators, as applicable, described in this Agreement.

If no agreement regarding Band Facilities is reached by the end of the Term of this Agreement, and unless otherwise agreed to by Canada and the CRA or the Cree Nation Government, Canada shall, as of the date of the expiry of the Term of this Agreement, review the Band Facilities that were constructed, replaced, expanded or funded by the CRA or by the Cree Nation Government during the Term of this Agreement to ascertain the required level of funding to be provided by Canada with respect to capital costs, operation and maintenance (including insurance) and all other costs for Band Facilities beyond the Term. The Parties agree that in such event, the indicators described in this Agreement, as applicable, will be used in determining such funding levels.

 

SIGNATURES

IN WITNESS THEREOF,
the parties hereto have signed at Mistissini, this 21st day of February, 2008.

The GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

By: Chuck Strahl
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

The GRAND COUNCIL OF THE CREES (EEYOU ISTCHEE)

- and –

The CREE REGIONAL AUTHORITY

By: Matthew Mukash
Grand Chief and Chairman

By: Ashley Iserhoff
Deputy Grand Chief and Vice-Chairman

CONCURRENCE

Each Cree Band hereby acknowledges that it is bound by the terms of this Agreement and it is represented by the GCC(EI) and CRA in the making of this Agreement.

The CREE NATION OF CHISASIBI

By: Roderick Pachano
Authorized representative

The WHAPMAGOOSTUI FIRST NATION

By: Losty Mamianskum
Authorized representative

The CREE NATION OF WEMINDJI

By: Rodney Mark
Authorized representative

The EASTMAIN BAND

By: Lloyd Mayappo
Authorized representative

THE CREES OF THE WASKAGANISH FIRST NATION

By: Steve Diamond
Authorized representative

The CREE NATION OF NEMASKA

By: Josie Jimiken
Authorized representative

The WASWANIPI BAND

By: John Kitchen
Authorized representative

The CREE NATION OF MISTISSINI

By: John Longchap
Authorized representative

The OUJ-BOUGOUMOU EENUCH ASSOCIATION

By: Louise Wapachee
Authorized representative

SCHEDULE A

PROCEDURES CONCERNING THE REFERENDUM FOR APPROVING THE AGREEMENT CONCERNING A NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND THE CREE OF EEYOU ISTCHEE