On June 20, Indian and Northern Affairs minister Chuck Strahl announced the reappointment of the members of the Cree-Naskapi Commission. The tenures for Philip Awashish, Robert Kanatewat and chairperson Richard Saunders have all been renewed for another two years.
The Cree-Naskapi Act in 1984 created Canada’s first Aboriginal self-government and the commission serves as an independent, non-governmental body established to monitor the Act’s implementation under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement.
Expressing his pleasure in reappointing all three commission members at a press conference, Strahl said, “The government of Canada remains committed to making implementation as efficient as possible and will continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal organizations to realize concrete results.”
As the mandate of the commission is to receive and investigate specific complaints from affected bands, groups or individuals as well as ensure the implementation of the Act, the commission is required to produce a report for Parliament every two years on its progress and status.