Grand Chief Ted Moses and Deputy Chief Paul Gull have signed off on minor amendments to the forestry portion of the Paix des Braves with the Quebec Government. Chiefs David Masty Sr., Reggie Mark, Edward Gilpin Jr., Sam R. Bosum and Robert Kitchen attended the signing December 12 as a show of support.
“The amendments were made to accommodate the timetable of the Quebec government, their deadlines,” says Bill Namaogoose, Executive Director of the Grand Council of the Crees. They were behind and they wanted to change their own schedules. It was merely an accommodation for the Quebec government.”
The amendments were mainly to change dates regarding forestry. Every five years the Ministry of Natural Resources and the forestry industry take an inventory of the forest and they base their next year five-year plan on the data they collect. They were behind in collecting that information so the companies couldn’t make their plans. The previous cycle was scheduled to end in 2005 but they decided to extend the planning cycle for the whole province by one year. All the schedules in the Paix des Braves were based on the old cycle, since Quebec was extending it to 2006, all the deadlines in the Paix des Braves had to be changed.
These delays helped the Crees as they were behind in their commitment to finalize the trap-line boundaries within the forestry area. Since it is now provincial legislation that the forestry companies have to make their five-year plans based on the boundaries of the trap-line maps, this delay allowed them to finish their mapping.
A Financial Contribution Agreement was also signed at this time allowing for the remaining $2 million to be released as stated under section 3.51 of the Paix des Braves. This section stipulates that the money is to fund the Cree-Quebec Forestry Board and the joint community working groups.