NEMASKA, QC, Nov. 7, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Nation Government, the Cree Nation of Nemaska and Nemaska Lithium Inc. announce that they have entered into the Chinuchi Agreement on November 7, 2014 regarding the development and operation of Nemaska Lithium's project in Eeyou Istchee, a lithium open-pit mine in the traditional territory of the Cree Nation of Nemaska.
Community approval was expressed through the support of the Chief and Council of the Cree Nation of Nemaska Council on September 18, 2014. The approval of the Chinuchi Agreement by the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government on September 23, 2014 represents the support of the Cree Nation as a whole, and ensures a stable regional environment for the development and operation of Nemaska Lithium's project.
The official signing ceremony took place in Nemaska on November 7, 2014.
After extensive and cooperative negotiations, the Cree are satisfied that concerns expressed regarding a range of issues, including business opportunities, training and employment, as well as other matters, will be addressed by Nemaska Lithium. The Agreement, which will be in effect throughout the life of the mine, contains provisions regarding Cree involvement in the development of the project, including employment and business opportunities as well as training and education initiatives. In addition, the parties have established a framework to ensure Cree involvement and participation in environmental matters, such as monitoring, mitigation and closure. The Chinuchi Agreement reflects the commitment of the Crees to collaborate with Nemaska Lithium during the development and operations of this new mine in the Eeyou Istchee territory. Moreover, the Agreement aligns the parties' respective interests in the economic success of the project and ensures that the Crees will receive financial benefits through different payment mechanisms and participation in the profitability of the mine.
"Through the conclusion of the Chinuchi Agreement with Nemaska Lithium, the Crees have proven once again that they can be excellent partners in natural resources development." said Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). "Nemaska Lithium should be commended in recognizing and ensuring that this partnership is founded on mutual trust, protection of the environment and respect of Cree rights and traditional way of life."
"The Chinuchi Agreement ensures that we, the Cree Nation of Nemaska, will actively participate and collaborate in the decision-making process for all important issues deriving from the development and exploitation of the Whabouchi Project including employment and business opportunities as well as social, cultural and environment matters," said Chief Matthew Wapachee of the Cree Nation of Nemaska. "Such partnerships and cooperation shall ensure the balanced life and prosperity of the community without sacrificing our traditional values and pursuits."
About the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the political body that represents the approximately 18,000 Crees or "Eeyouch" (or "Eenouch"). The Board of Directors of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is constituted of twenty (20) members including: the Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief elected at large by the Eeyouch, the Chiefs elected by each of the nine (9) recognized Cree communities, and one (1) other representative elected by each community. The head office of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is in the Cree community of Nemaska. The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) also has offices in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa.
About the Cree Nation Government
The Cree Nation Government (formerly the Cree Regional Authority ("CRA") established pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement) exercises certain municipal powers on Category II lands and is responsible for land use and development planning, environmental protection, the hunting, fishing and trapping regime, economic and community development, Cree governance and other matters as decided by the Board of Directors. The Council of the Cree Nation Government is composed of the same representatives as the Board of Directors of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). These two bodies often act jointly and are commonly referred to as the "Council/Board".
About the Cree Nation of Nemaska
The Cree Nation of Nemaska is located on the shores of Champion Lake in northern Québec. Nemaska has been called the heart of the Cree Nation, reflective of both the warmth of its people and its location in the center of the traditional Cree territory – Eeyou Istchee. Nemaska is also the home of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government. Nemaska is a community of approximately 800 people, with modern accommodations, a restaurant, a sports complex and swimming pool, grocery store, and health and emergency services.
SOURCE: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
For further information: For the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government: Mr. Abel Bosum, Tel.: (514) 774-7077, [email protected]; For the Cree Nation of Nemaska: Mr. Robert Kitchen, Economic Development Officer, Tel.: (819) 673-2512, [email protected]