Crees are reminding the Nunavik Commission studying Inuit self-government that Cree consent is needed before any new government structures can be created north of the 55th parallel or in the offshore islands.

The commission is working out the shape and content of Inuit self-government in northern Quebec. Its members were appointed by the Quebec and federal governments and from among the Inuit people.

Grand Chief Ted Moses and Whapmagoostui Chief David Masty made a joint presentation to the commission during hearings in Montreal.

The commission’s jurisdiction includes land north of the 55th parallel, which includes many Cree traplines.

“Cree traditional territory not only overlaps with the territory of Nunavik in northern Québec, but also extends into the off-shore,” says a Cree communiqué.

“The Cree leaders wish to underline that the Nunavik Commission does not represent the James Bay Cree people in any way whatsoever or for any purpose,” it said.

Moses declared in the statement, “We did not participate in, or endorse in any way, the creation of the Commission.”

The statement says the mandate and process of the Nunavik Commission are heavily biased against the James Bay Crees and Cree rights. “No Aboriginal peoples, other than Inuit, were accorded any role in negotiating the mandate or process of the commission,” says the statement.

“This omission is astounding, since consultations are to be undertaken and recommendations made concerning Cree basic rights.”