(April 22, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec)– Gatineau, Quebec) In an on-going effort to continue in the path of our past leaders in building and maintaining relationships with one another, the Crees of Eeyou Istchee, the Inuit of Nunavik, and the Naskapis of Nuchimiyuschiiy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Establishing a Cree, Inuit and Naskapi Forum of Northern Québec.
As parties to James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA) signed in 1975 and the Northeastern Québec Agreement (NEQA) of 1978, our collective challenges, although made distinct by our respective territories, politics, language, and customs, do hold similarities, especially when it comes to finding solutions in a reality that can only be truly understood by the inhabitants of Eeyou Istchee, Nunavik, and Nuchimiyuschiiy. It is by sharing our experiences and victories with one another that we can help one another succeed.
“Although we have always had connections with our neighbors to the north and to the east, having a permanent forum where common issues are exchanged on can only be positive for the well-being of our communities. Together, we can ensure the best tools are in place for the future and that representation of our nations in the region, province, and nationally is fair and inclusive.” – Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty, Cree Nation Government
This newly established permanent forum will promote cooperation and coordination on matters to advance Indigenous self-determination and aboriginal and treaty rights. It is important to understand that this forum will not substitute existing committees or forums provided for in the JBNQA, NEQA or established between other governing bodies.
“I am very proud of what Inuit have accomplished over the years on the Nunavik Territory. With our Indigenous Forum on Northern Quebec and our collective efforts with the Crees and the Naskapis our voice will even be louder and stronger.” – President Pita Aatami, Makivvik
“Today marks an important milestone in our deep nation-to-nation collaboration, cooperation, and friendship. On our long journey towards self-determination, the Naskapis of Nuchimiyuschiiy are proud to count on our long-time neighbors, the Inuit of Nunavik and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. It is only by working together that we will achieve our shared objective to exercise full autonomy on our traditional territories and improve the well-being of our communities.” – Chief Theresa Chemaganish, Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach
Discussions of the forum will be guided priorities that are deemed by each nation to be significant and relevant for the well-being of their communities and people and for the sustainability of their traditional territories. Our worlds are rapidly changing and challenging us to evolve quickly. We are resilient peoples who have adapted through generations of challenges and understand that it is when we are together that we can advance with high hopes and aspirations for our respective future generations.
– 30 –
For further information: