As you are probably aware, the WFN is in the process of mapping out and defining our traditionalterritory. Once this is done, a statement will follow declaring ourselves as a people and formallyreaffirming our rights over the extent of our territory (those that Quebec and Canada claim wereextinguished in 1975). This process is in line with the recommendations of the Eeyou Estchee Commission in its report of 1996. It is in regard to these recommendations and subsequent mandates given to the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) that we wish to state our concerns.

In October 1995, at a Special General Assembly of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, we decided as Eeyouch to begin a process of nation-building with a main objective of restructuring and reorganizing the Cree Nation Government. This was proposed so that we would make every effort to have structures in place to be able to have a political body that represents the dree Nation as a whole and over the full extent of Eeyou Istchee. At the time, we felt it urgent to undertake this process as part of our response to the Quebec independence issue.

After having held public hearings in the Cree communities, the EEC in 1996 published its reportcalled: “Self-determination: The Voice of a Nation and People on Eeyou and Eeyou