The Canadian Boreal Initiative Celebrates the Government of Quebec's New Legislation Establishing the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government

Act ensures that local Aboriginal communities have decision-making control over their territory

MONTREAL, June 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) celebrates the adoption of Bill 42, passed last week by the Government of Quebec, which establishes the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government.

"This is a historic moment, that should be noted by all citizens of Quebec and the rest of Canada," said Suzann Méthot, CBI's Regional Director in Quebec. "This forward-thinking, nation-to-nation approach to governance, where regional decisions will be shared by the Government of the Cree Nation and Jamesians, is the way of the future. This Act will positively impact decision-making on key issues, such as land-use planning, conservation, and mining reform."

The Act includes provisions for Cree Nation decision-making on Category II lands, which cover more than 70,000 km2. It also provides for the creation of a new regional governance process, where decision-making will be shared by the Cree Government of Eeyou Istchee and Jamesians on more than 330,000 km2.

"Aboriginal communities living in the Boreal Forest have been stewards of the land for thousands of years, and are now planning for the future on their traditional lands. This legislation will help the Crees in Northern Quebec to realize their vision," said Valérie Courtois, CBI's Senior Advisor for Aboriginal Relations. "We are pleased that Quebec has adopted this forward-looking legislation, which respects the rights of Aboriginal peoples in recognizing Aboriginal leadership in managing the land and its resources.  We believe this is a model for achieving healthy and meaningful nation-to-nation relationships that respect provisions in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and will lead to the mutual prosperity of all people living in Eeyou Istchee/James Bay."

About the Canadian Boreal Initiative
The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for the conservation and sustainable development of the Boreal Forest. It works at a catalyst by supporting on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal, by Governments, industry, Aboriginal nations, conservation organizations, major retailers, financial institutions and scientists.

SOURCE: Canadian Boreal Initiative

For further information:

Suzann Méthot, Regional Director - Québec, Canadian Boreal Initiative
(514) 792-1843

Valérie Courtois, Sr. Advisor - Aboriginal Relations, Canadian Boreal Initiative
(709) 899-0578

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Canadian Boreal Initiative

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