Cree Community and Jamésien Communities Sign Memorandums of Understanding Agreeing to Collaborate on Important Projects

OUJE-BOUGOUMOU, QC, June 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The leaders of three communities within the James Bay Territory—Chief Reggie Neeposh of Ouje-Bougoumou, Mayor Manon Cyr of Chibougamau and Mayor Steve Gamache of Chapais—convened today in Ouje-Bougoumou to sign two important Memorandums of Understanding through which the communities will collaborate on various development projects within their region.  These collaborative initiatives are undertaken in the spirit of regional cooperation which underlies the establishment of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Ouje-Bougoumou and Chibougamau outlines the way in which the two communities will cooperate in undertaking contracts related to the restoration and rehabilitation of an abandoned mine site within the region—the Principale Mine.  This major environmental initiative will provide contracts and employment for Crees and Jamésiens in the region over a five-year period.  This project, which is the result of nearly twenty years of work by Ouje-Bougoumou to highlight the negative environmental consequences associated with this abandoned mine site, will be financially supported by the Government of Quebec.

Commenting on behalf of Ouje-Bougoumou, Chief Reggie Neeposh stated:  "We are pleased to see that after so much hard work on our part to bring attention to this issue that we will now see this site being cleaned up and restored.  We are also looking forward to working closely with our neighbours in Chibougamau to ensure that the clean-up work is performed on a collaborative basis by people living in the region who must live with the negative environmental consequences of this abandoned mine."

Mayor Manon Cyr of Chibougamau stated:  "Basée sur une vision commune et rassembleuse, cette entente démontre une volonté claire de la part de nos communautés respectives à s'unir afin de contribuer à l'essor économique de notre région, et ce, dans une perspective de développement durable. Cette entente tient également à mettre en valeur l'expertise et le savoir-faire de nos entrepreneurs dans la réalisation conjointe de divers projets et à favoriser les retombées économiques auprès des gens qui occupent le territoire."

A further Memorandum of Understanding between Ouje-Bougoumou and Chapais describes a collaborative approach between the two communities in assessing a range of potential economic development projects associated with the energy produced at Chapais' cogeneration plant.  The two communities will undertake feasibility studies to determine the viability of these projects, and if proven positive, the two communities will consider joint ventures to establish such enterprises.

Chief Neeposh noted:  "In agreeing to work closely with our neighbours in Chapais, we are giving very tangible expression to the principles which underlie our recently created Regional Government—the principles of harmony and collaboration.  We look forward to exploring a range of exciting economic development opportunities with the town of Chapais."

On behalf of the town of Chapais, Mayor Steve Gamache stated:  "La signature de cette entente s'inscrit parfaitement dans la vision Chapais 2023 issue de notre planification stratégique. Elle démontre clairement notre volonté commune de développer et générer une économie forte et durable pour nos communautés respectives. Cette entente permettra de développer le plein potentiel de cette locomotive de développement régional qu'est Chapais Énergie, et ce, au profit de tous."


SOURCE Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

For further information: Chief Reggie Neeposh, 418.952.8756; Mayor Manon Cyr, 418.770.5011; Mayor Steve Gamache, 418.770.5050


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