This proposed Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (the “Offshore Agreement”) is the conclusion of negotiations on the rights and obligations of the Crees and Canada in the offshore area of Eeyou Istchee that first began during the period from 1974 to 1977, around the time of the negotiation of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (the “JBNQA”). In the 1977 discussions, it was initially proposed that the regime for governing the offshore would resemble the one under the JBNQA, with different categories of land. The wildlife, impact review and planning regimes applying in the offshore would be the ones imported from the JBNQA. At that time, however, there was no agreement between the Crees and Canada on details of the settlement or on compensation. In 1993, the federal government and the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut completed an Aboriginal land claim treaty that also called for the creation of the public Nunavut Territorial Government (set up in 1999). By 1998 Canada was also negotiating with the Nunavik Inuit of northern Quebec for an agreement to address Inuit rights in their offshore area. The time was now right to also stake out Cree rights to the offshore. In 1998-1999, preliminary discussions were undertaken to determine whether negotiations were possible. This eventually led to the negotiation and conclusion of the current Offshore Agreement.

Cree Trappers’ Association
The Offshore Agreement outlines the role of the Cree Trappers’ Association (CTA) including the local Cree Trappers’ Associations in wildlife management in the EMR. The role of the CTA was not formally recognized in the JBNQA. Over the years, the CTA has defined its role to a great extent and it currently works with the Cree Regional Authority and the Governments of Quebec and Canada on such activities. Under this Offshore Agreement the CTA will be formally given certain responsibilities in the EMR. Among other things, the CTA will:
• Be regularly consulted by the Wildlife Board;
• Consult its members and recommend wildlife management measures;
• Have a role in monitoring the harvesting activities and ensure that harvesters are aware of
and implement any special measures;
• Allocate and enforce basic need levels when quotas are applied.
Implementation funding to the CTA to fulfill these new responsibilities (approximately $500,000 per year) will be provided by the government through the Wildlife Board. Under the Offshore Agreement, a Wildlife Board will be established as an institution of public government. This Wildlife Board is similar to the Nunavik Inuit Wildlife Board and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.

While these boards are independent, it is intended that they will work cooperatively when
required to manage migratory and shared wildlife. The referendum was held between March 15 and March 26, 2010 and the result was that 70 per cent of the eligible voters voted in favor of the Offshore Island Agreement. The Offshore Agreement was signed in Chisasibi July 7, 2010. Following the signing of the Agreement and upon consultation with the Crees, Canada is expected to present the agreement to Parliament and propose the enactment of the ratification legislation to bring the agreement into force. The Agreement will only come into force on the date on which the federal ratification legislation comes into force.
The CRA/GCC(EI) Council/Board on December 16, 2010 nominated the Cree representatives to the various EMR entities.
– Implementation Committee (Roderick Pachano, Brian Craik)
– Wildlife Board (Alan Penn, George Lameboy, Chantal Tetrault)
– Planning Commission (Alan Penn, George Lameboy)
– Impact Review Board (Brian Craik, George Lameboy)