It was a meeting of regional bigwigs in Val d’Or. On hand was Mayor of Val d’Or, Mr. Fernand Trahan; the Mayor of Rouyn-Noranda, Mr. Jean-Claude Beauchemin; the president of the CRDAT, Mrs. Diane Raymond; the minister of State for the Population, Regions and Native Affairs, Mr. Remy Trudel; and the Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Francois Gendron and Grand Chief Ted Moses. They announced the official opening of the Secretariat to the Cree Nation/ Abitibi Temiscamingue Economic Alliance in Val d’Or.

The announcement was preceded by the signing of the contribution agreement with the different parties. This agreement being the result of a consensus created during the Symposium “Gateway to building Economic Channels” in June 2002. Grand Chief Ted Moses took the opportunity to thank all the financial partners, especialy Mr. Remy Trudel Minister of State for the Population, Regions and Native Affairs, for the commitment set forth last June as well as the Conseil regional de development de l’Abitibi Temiscamingue, the town of Val d’Or, the town of Rouyn-Noranda and the Cree Regional Authority for their contribution.

During the next five years, the involvement of the parties will ensure the development and success of the Secretariat whose main objectives among others are:

-Enhancing communications between the Crees and the people of Abitibi-Temiscamingue in all fields of activities while giving special weight to communications in the form of economic alliances and educational and social partnerships.

-Continuing ongoing dialogue between the Crees and the people of Abitibi-Temiscamingue, and allowing for the creation of a climate conducive to the development of economic alliances while being aware of the sector-based training needs of the Cree Nation.

The signature of the agreement between the said partners shows the willingness of the Crees and the business people of Abitibi-Temiscamingue to share their expertise and knowledge and even more, to multiply friendship through cultural, social and economic alliances.