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CREESCenter for Russian and East European Studies
CREESCooperative Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA)
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As a means of commemorating the 35th anniversary of the signing of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement, Canada's first modern treaty which also involved a provincial government, the Cree nation inaugurated the new headquarters at 200 Grande Allee in the presence of Coon Come, Quebec Premier Jean Charest, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois, Quebec Native Affairs Minister Pierre Corbeil, former grand chief of the Grand Council of Quebec Crees Ted Moses, who led the way for the signing of the Paix des braves agreement in 2002, and former minister John Ciaccia, who had represented the prime minister during the original negotiations.
He said : "When we arrived, the two crees were well alight and the high winds were threatening to spread the fire to nearby allotments.
"It is a place for discovery and rediscovery of the James Bay Cree," says Bert Wapachee, director of economic development for Moose Cree First Nation.
The duke, the owner of Alnwick Castle had been granted permission in January to build a new housing estate on land at nearby Addycombe, where the crees originally stood.
His visit to the Pope to fight for Aboriginal rights embarrassed the federal and Quebec governments, helping the Crees get what they wanted--self-government.
The new agreement promises a new relationship on a nation-to-nation basis between the Crees and Quebec characterized by "cooperation, partnership and mutual respect." Development is to be "sustainable" and "compatible with the Cree way of life." These are big words--what do they mean?
Chapter 2 gives the reader a multi-faceted portrait of what life would have been like for the Crees at the end of the nineteenth century, with details about relations at the fur trading posts, the intrusions of various travelers and surveyors, epidemic diseases and strategies for hunting in the face of dwindling animal resources.
The James Bay Crees' attachment with the land, and the future of that land, form the underlying foundation for this book.
In Cree and Inuit country, the land is practically empty.
"During the two-year period of negotiations, we tracked down Crees who had college educations and who could come and work for us," Albert Diamond said in his video.
The Crees of Washaw Sibi, which means River of the Bay in the Cree language, say they have spent the last 40 years as outcasts scattered across northern Quebec and Ontario after the Indian Affairs department forcibly relocated them by threatening to cut off family allowance and other basic services.