Quebec is seeding the Cree Mineral Exploration Board with $600,000 to help grow Cree participation in Northern Québec’s mining industry. The cash will be spread over two fiscal years, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.

“Northern Québec has great mineral potential,” Natural Resources Minister Pierre Corbeil said in a press release announcing the pre-election bonus. “Its resources must be developed in a sustainable development context and in a manner that is respectful of communities.”

Corbeil said the money will help develop high-quality expertise within Native communities that can lead to the creation of jobs and businesses in the mining sector.

“These mining funds notably finance mineral exploration projects and facilitate the hiring of Natives by mining companies,” he said. “In the context of workforce renewal in the mining sector, the involvement of Native workers will be beneficial.”