Ties between the new Quebec government and the James Bay Cree were solidified during a meeting between Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come and Premier Pauline Marois on November 19. This was the first such meeting since the Parti Québécois was voted into power on September 4.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new Agreement of Governance signed by the James Bay Cree and the Quebec governmet last July. This agreement gives the Cree more rights over Category II and III lands in the James Bay region.
Both politicians reiterated their support for implementation of the new agreement.
Coon Come had kind words for Marios stating, “I have known Premier Marois for many years. I know she is a friend of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee.” He also stated his support for the appointment of Martine Tremblay to the position of Quebec’s senior negotiator for the implementation of the Paix des Braves and Agreement on Governance.
Tremblay will be responsible for implementing Jean Charest’s Plan Nord to develop the natural resources of northern Quebec. Although the Liberal government was voted out of power, the PQ has promised to continue with the Plan Nord.
The politicians also discussed a potential moratorium on uranium mining in the James Bay region.
Coon Come stated his support for a moratorium while Marois stated that her government will announce its official position in the upcoming weeks.