is an independent, non-governmental body established to monitor the implementation of the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act-Canada's first Aboriginal self-government legislation which is provided for by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement.

The Cree-Naskapi Commission, established and empowered by the Act, prepares biennial reports on the implementation of the Act and investigates any representation submitted to it relating to the implementation of the Act.


draws its mandate and authority from the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act which describes the nature of local self-government for the Cree and Naskapi of Northern Quebec on their own land.

In 1975, the Cree and Inuit of Northern Quebec entered into the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement with the Governments of Canada and Quebec and three provincial crown corporations in an out-of-court settlement of claims, rights and interests in a vast amount of land which would be severely disrupted by the Quebec government's James Bay Hydro-Electric Development Project.

In 1978, a similar agreement, the Northeastern Quebec Agreement was executed between the Naskapi Band and the two governments and other Crown Corporation signatories of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

These two Agreements are modern-day treaties which are recognized as such by Section 35 (3) of the Constitution of Canada.

Mandate of the Commission


The Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act requires the Cree-Naskapi Commission to provide a report to the Parliament of Canada every two years on the overall progress and status respecting the implementation of the Act.

This report is prepared after consultation with the communities and the federal government on successes, problems, concerns and general progress.


As its second mandate, the Commission is empowered to receive and investigate specific complaints from affected bands, groups or individuals about the implementation and application of the Act, and to prepare reports and recommendations on the matters investigated.

Cree-Naskapi Commission
addresses the concerns of:

Cree Communities and residents:

  • Whapmagoostui
  • Chisasibi
  • Wemindji
  • Eastmain
  • Waskaganish
  • Nemaska
  • Waswanipi
  • Ouje-Bougoumou
  • Mistissini

Naskapi community and residents:

  • Kawawachikamach
  • Cree and Naskapi Beneficiaries
  • Government of Canada

Contact People

CHAIRMAN: Richard Saunders

COMMISSIONER: Robert Kanatewat

COMMISSIONER: Philip Awashish

The office of the Commission includes a Director General, Director of Finance and Executive Assistant. The Commission also maintains a reference library available to the communities and other interested parties.

For more information contact the Commission from Monday-Friday during 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Location: Cree-Naskapi Commission
222 Queen Street, Suite 305
Ottawa, ON K1P 5V9
Toll-free: 1-888-236-6603
Tel: (613) 234-4288
Fx: (613) 234-8102