MISTISSINI, QC, Sept. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Cree communities of Mistissini and Oujé-Bougoumou joined together today with the Grand Council of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee to celebrate the signing of the Final Agreement Related to the Transfer of Certain Lands from Mistissini to the Government of Québec. This Agreement provides the land regime (Category 1A, 1B and II lands} for the community of Oujé-Bougoumou, the latest Cree community to be formally incorporated into the JBNQA, through a transfer of lands from the Cree Nation of Mistissini.
Oujé-Bougoumou, the Grand Council of the Crees and the Governments of Quebec and Canada signed the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement Complementary Agreement #22 on November 7, 2011 and a Final Settlement Agreement with Quebec as a settlement of issues in "Schedule G of the "Paix des Braves". Mistissini has now reached an agreement with Quebec and Canada with respect to the land transfer as well as other local issues. In combination, all these agreements result in Oujé-Bougoumou being fully incorporated into the JBNQA on the same basis as the other Cree communities in Eeyou Istchee.
Chief Richard Shecapio of the Cree Nation of Mistissini commented that: "The relationship between our two communities—Mistissini and Oujé-Bougoumou—has been close, positive and amicable since time immemorial. It is only fitting that today we, together, celebrate this important milestone in the history of our relationship and in the histories of each of our communities. On behalf of the community of Mistissini, we are pleased to have been able to do our part in establishing the basis for Oujé-Bougoumou to join the family of Cree communities as an equal and important member."
"We are very happy today to finally see our journey come to its destination--the fulfillment of the dream of our Elders. To have a permanent home and to see Oujé-Bougoumou take its rightful place in the life of Eeyou Istchee is something we have been working very long and very hard to achieve. Today is a day to show our deepest gratitude to our neighbours in Mistissini who have done their part to make this happen," stated Oujé-Bougoumou Chief Reggie Neeposh.
"Today is an historic occasion not only for the community of Oujé-Bougoumou, but also for the Cree Nation as a whole. Today represents the culmination of our long efforts to bring Oujé-Bougoumou to our table, to see an injustice righted and to acknowledge the importance of Cree unity for our collective well-being. Today is truly a day for celebration.", said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee.
After having been displaced from previous village sites throughout its history, Oujé-Bougoumou, with the assistance of the Cree Nation, negotiated earlier agreements with both the Government of Québec (1989) and the Government of Canada (1992) which provided funding for the community to construct a new village, and also provided for negotiations to amend the JBNQA to include Oujé-Bougoumou.
In the mid 1990s, the Oujé-Bougoumou community constructed their new village situated approximately 30 kilometres north of Chapais. Over 800 Crees live there today.
SOURCE: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
For further information:
Chief Reggie Neeposh
Chief Richard Shecapio