DARWIN, Australia, May 28, 2013 /CNW/ - As a keynote speaker at the inaugural meeting of the World Indigenous
Network, Ashley Iserhoff, Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of
the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) shared the Cree Nation's experience of land
stewardship and governance in Northern Québec with an international
audience of Indigenous youth, elders and leaders. The World Indigenous
Network is being developed as a means for indigenous peoples to share
their experience in land and sea stewardship.
Speaking upon invitation from the Australian Government, who is a key
partner and host in the launch of the World Indigenous Network, the
Deputy Grand Chief's presentation drew upon the Crees long history of
care and management of their land, Eeyou Istchee, in the context of
their emerging role in governance. This history includes the Crees'
opposition to hydroelectric development, and more recently, the Crees'
successful request for a moratorium on uranium mining.
Of particular focus was the Cree Nation's recent launch of the Broadback
Watershed Conservation Plan. The Deputy Grand Chief explained to
conference delegates how the Broadback River is under threat from
forestry, mining development and the negative impact that this is
having on the Cree way of life and on the endangered woodland caribou.
Mr. Iserhoff used the Broadback Watershed Conservation Plan to
illustrate the Crees' long-term protection strategy for Eeyou Istchee
as an expression of their commitment to being responsible stewards of
"The Broadback Watershed Conservation Plan represents an ideal
opportunity for the Crees and Québec to work together to achieve the
international protection objective under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
of the Convention on Biological Diversity", expressed Deputy Grand Chief Ashley Iserhoff.
In parallel, the Deputy Grand Chief highlighted the advances in
self-governance through the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement, the Paix des Braves Agreement, and last year's agreement with Québec on regional governance. As Mr.
"It is no surprise that the healthiest, most intact ecosystems are most
often found in areas where indigenous peoples continue to be able to
subsist and thrive off the resources of their lands. Not surprisingly
these Indigenous communities most often have greater autonomy over
their lands and can effectively exert their vision of stewardship."
Launched as an initiative of Rio+20, the goal of the World Indigenous
Network Conference in Darwin is to create an international network
where indigenous peoples, governments, and researchers can come
together to share their knowledge and experience with land and sea
SOURCE: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
For further information:
For a complete copy of the presentation please see: www.gcc.ca
To arrange an interview with Ashley Iserhoff, Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of Crees (Eeyou Istchee) (in transit) please email firstname.lastname@example.org