MISTISSINI, QC, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ -The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority, the Cree Nation of Mistissini and Stornoway Diamonds (Canada) Inc. announce that they have entered into the Mecheshoo Agreement on March 27, 2012 regarding the development and operation of Stornoway's Renard Diamond Mine in Eeyou Istchee.
With the support from the Cree Nation of Mistissini, the community approved the Agreement on February 27, 2012 through their Chief and Council. The approval of the Agreement by the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Cree Regional Authority on March 20, 2012 represents the support of the Cree Nation as a whole, and ensures a stable regional environment for the development and operation of the Renard Diamond Mine.
The official signing ceremony took place in Mistissini, Québec on March 27, 2012.
Through this Agreement, the Crees have demonstrated their commitment to collaborate with Stornoway with respect to this new diamond mine in Eeyou Istchee territory. The Agreement, which will be in effect for the life of the mine, contains various provisions regarding Cree involvement in the development of the Renard Diamond Mine, including employment and business opportunities and training and education initiatives. 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.
"The Mecheshoo Agreement is again an example where, with the cooperation and participation of the Crees, mining development can take place and prosper in Eeyou Istchee." said Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). "This agreement marks the beginning of a cooperative and fruitful relationship between the Crees and Stornoway, a relationship based on respect for Cree rights and environmental and economic sustainability. In accordance with the principles of our Cree Nation Mining Policy, the Crees and Stornoway have ensured that our traditional rapport to the land remains intact."
"Stornoway has demonstrated an immense openness and has been willing to adapt the project in a manner that respects the Crees of Mistissini, our interests, our values, our culture and our way of life. This is the way we want to be dealt with." said Chief Richard Shecapio of the Cree Nation of Mistissini.
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" ("Eenouch" - inland dialect). The Council is constituted of twenty (20) members including: a 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.
About the Cree Regional Authority
The Cree Regional Authority (CRA) was set up by virtue of the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement as the administrative arm of the Cree Nation Government. It has responsibilities in respect to 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 Board of Directors of the CRA is the same joint governing body that manages the Grand Council of the Crees and is referred to as "Council/Board".
About the Cree Nation of Mistissini
The Cree Nation of Mistissini is one of the largest Cree communities of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and is situated at the southeast end of Mistassini Lake. The Council of Mistissini consists of a Chief, a Deputy Chief and seven elected Councillors.
For further information:
For the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Regional Authority
Mr. Abel Bosum
Tel.: (514) 774-7077
For the Cree Nation of Mistissini
Mr. Éric Cardinal
Tel.: (514) 868-0172
Cel.: (514) 258-2315