The biennial reports of the Cree-Naskapi Commission from 1986 to present day contain the following recommendations:
- That a consultation process be conducted by the federal, Cree and Naskapi governments to review the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act in order to achieve the following objectives:
- remove barriers or impediments in decision-making process
- improve and simplify the process for amending the Act
- enable and improve law enforcement
- reflect the present reality and situation of local governments
- incorporate the Ouje-Bougoumou Cree Nation as a Band
- improve the effectiveness of the Cree-Naskapi Commission
That discussions should be held between senior representatives of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), local Cree and Naskapi Governments, the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada in order to develop parameters for the negotiation of a development agreement covering future development of Category II and Category III lands and resources. Such an agreement should include as a minimum the following elements:
Education and Training
- completion and regular updating of an education and skills inventory for the Cree and Naskapi communities;
- a requirement that proposals for development include an outline of educational and training needs for short-term and long-term staffing of the project;
- a commitment by federal and provincial parties as well as the appropriate Cree and Naskapi entities to provide job-specific, project-related training as required;
- a commitment in each project proposal, consistent with Canadian human rights guidelines, to provide employment to appropriately trained Cree and Naskapi applicants.
- development of a long-term plan including target dates and financial resources to develop an infrastructure suited to the emerging needs of the territory and its economic growth;
- specific plans to train and employ as many Cree and Naskapi community members as possible in both the development and maintenance of this infrastructure.
Planning and Management of Development
- review and implementation of (or where appropriate, modification to improve) mechanisms in the Agreements (or through Complementary Agreements) to ensure that the Cree and Naskapi communities are equal partners in the planning and management process for all development in the territory.
That the Department of Justice should arrange to provide workshops for senior officials to keep them up to date on the evolution of Aboriginal and treaty rights legislation as well as on the government's fiduciary obligations.
That individuals from the levels of director to deputy minister should be appointed only from among those who have demonstrable, substantive knowledge of the issues they will be responsible for managing. In exceptional circumstances, some appointees could be required to successfully complete specific substantive training within their first six months in office.
That a treaty implementation secretariat totally independent from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development should be created to manage the fulfillment of the Government's obligations under treaties and agreements.
That a treaty implementation Act should be developed, incorporating much of the new law relating to Aboriginal and treaty rights as well fiduciary law into a single statue that would serve as an authoritative guide for government officials in carrying out their responsibilities under the various agreements and treaties. This new legislation, or a piece of companion legislation, a treaty implementation (financial arrangements) Act for example, should clearly stipulate how the financial aspects of agreements and treaties are to be handled.
That a superior court of national jurisdiction should be created to handle cases involving treaty and Aboriginal rights. This court would have jurisdiction in those areas as well as in cases arising under the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act, the Indian Act, the Sechelt Indian Self-Government Act and similar pieces of legislation. In addition, it could be given appellate jurisdiction in cases coming from future First Nations courts. Appeals from such a court of Aboriginal and treaty rights would be heard by the Federal Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court of Canada.
- development of draft legislation to ensure that the revenues generated by development in Category II and Category III lands will in the future years generate revenues for purposes of Cree and Naskapi local and/or regional government and other beneficial uses so determined by the Cree and Naskapi communities.
The justices of such a court would be nominated by First Nations and appointed by the Governor in Council, and the court could be administered as a division of the Federal Court of Canada. After a ten-year period, the continued need for such a court could be reassessed.
That the Government of Canada and the Cree authorities should forthwith, review the present funding arrangement such as the Operations and Maintenance Funding Transfer Payment Agreement by taking into account the present situation, changing circumstances and needs of the Cree communities and local governments.
That the Department of Justice, in concert with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, should amend the firearms control legislation to provide for the appointment of Aboriginal firearms officers, who would have the same powers and authority as a chief firearms officer, proposed by the federal legislation. The Cree and Naskapi people should be exempt from licencing and registration fees. In addition, the amendments should permit the Cree and Naskapi local governments to dispense a firearms safety course and issue firearms licences and registration certificates.
That a thorough and meaningful review of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement should be conducted by all parties concerned. It is also necessary to establish a process and mechanism that will bind all parties to respect and honour obligations, responsibilities and commitments under the Agreements.
That Cree and Naskapi communities should be provided adequate financial resources to provide effective policing services for their communities and their police should have and exercise jurisdiction outside of Category I lands.
That the tallymen should be given powers to act as conservation agents for the entire territory.
That the Federal Administrator, the federal members of the Environmental and Social Impact Review and federal officials should not interfere with the jurisdiction, decision-making power and authority of the Local Environment Administrator. Moreover, the Government of Canada should respect and honour its obligations, responsibilities and roles pursuant to Section 22 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
That Cree and Naskapi traditional approaches to justice issues should be recognized, and a thorough and meaningful review of the justice and police sections of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement should be undertaken to facilitate the establishment and implementation of a local justice system for the proper administration of justice.
That the final transfers of Category I lands and the allocation of Category II lands should only be completed after discussions and agreement with the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the local Cree First Nations regarding the boundaries and related issues. However, the final transfers of Category I land should be done as soon as possible.
That the two hundred (200)-foot corridor along the shorelines of lakes and rivers in Cree Category I lands should be abolished.
That a final selection and categorization along the shorelines of bodies of water within Cree Category I lands should be finalized by the authorities concerned (including the Cree).
That the status of the Cree claims offshore islands intervening waters and seabeds in Hudson's Bay and James Bay should be resolved between the Cree and Canada as soon as possible through negotiations.
That the federal government should speed up the process for the final transfer of Category IA-N lands to the Naskapi, along with the approval of the Band's formal name change.
That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development should enter into a dialogue with the Washaw Sibi Eeyou regarding their claims, rights and concerns in the territory.
That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development should begin a dialogue with the Naskapi Nation with a view to resolving the Naskapi claims in Labrador as soon as possible.
That the Cree local governments and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) should initiate a process to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the local and regional entities and institutions in the exercise of Cree self-government.
That the formal incorporation of the Oujé-Bougoumou Cree into the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement should be finalized.
That the adjustment formula in the present Oujé-Bougoumou O&M funding Agreement should be re-examined to bring it into line with present realities and the actual needs of the community.
That the federal government should participate in the process of updating Section 15 of the Northeastern Quebec Agreement, and the Naskapi and the Cree should review the possibility of parallel actions with both Agreements.
That the federal government should become involved, either as a participant or as an observer, in the review of Section 11 of the Northeastern Quebec Agreement.
That the federal government, in its role as fiduciary to the Chisasibi Cree Nation, particularly as regards Chisasibi's rights under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, should assist Chisasibi in getting recognition of its rights in relation to Block D.
That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Eastmain Chief and Council should begin discussions to deal with the capital cost of the new Band office and the replacement costs of heavy equipment.
That an environmental clean-up of old unused oil tanks in Eastmain and other debris at the site of the former diesel power plant should be carried out by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, in consultation with the Eastmain Chief and Council should develop plans for a new waste disposal site.
That the health needs of Eastmain, especially in relation to respiratory problems and diabetes, should be addressed jointly by Eastmain, Cree Health and Social Services and the Medical Services Branch of the Department of Health as soon as possible.
That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development should enter into discussions with Eastmain to develop and fund needed youth programs and facilities.
- That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Mistissini should begin developing plans to eliminate the housing backlog by a specified target date.
- That the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Cree local Governments and communities should begin discussions on the development of a Cree Constitution.
- That Transport Canada should conclude the environmental assessment of the Nitchiquon site as scheduled and carry out the necessary environmental clean-up.
- That the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development should review concerns regarding the community's water rights, and resolve these concerns with the Wemindji Chief and Council.
- That a process should be established to address the urgent needs of the tallymen of Wemindji for control over unauthorized intrusion on their traplines and hunting territories.
- That the special needs of the Elders and youth in Waswanipi should be addressed jointly with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and an action plan should be developed.
- That Nemaska and the Department of Indian and Northern Development should enter into discussions to resolve Nemaska's outstanding claim for $3.85 million to cover the cost of the access road, including capital and maintenance.
- That Old Poste should be designated as a historic site, since it has rock paintings and numerous other features of historic interest.
- That Quebec should waive stumpage fees for timber used in developing the Old Poste site.
- That the Government honour the Statement of Understanding and the related outstanding matters be negotiated in good faith in accordance with its terms
- That long-term financial agreements in relation to training be entered into with the Crees and the Naskapis, as they have proposed.
- That all parties continue to seek avenues for resolving outstanding issues related to forest management in the territory. Proactive and meaningful dialogue by all concerned is seen by the Commission as the best means to reaching an equitable solution to the complex issues surrounding forestry, land use and revenue sharing in the territory. It is further recommended that the federal and provincial governments fulfill their obligations under the JBNQA and the NEQA regarding environmental assessments of future developments in the territory.
- That both levels of government, in partnership with the Crees and the Naskapis, implement a process, provided for in the JBNQA and the NEQA, for responsible mining development in the territory.