CBC Digital Archives

James Bay Project: Cree surrender land in historic agreement

In 1971 northern Quebec became a political battleground as the provincial government and the James Bay Cree faced off over a hydroelectric mega-project. Quebec sees the James Bay Project as the key to future prosperity. The Cree believe the massive development will destroy their traditional way of life. Their tense relationship will continue for decades.

On Nov. 15, 1973, the Cree and Inuit win a major court victory when Mr. Justice Albert Malouf of the Quebec Superior Court grants an injunction to stop the construction of the James Bay Project. The injunction is overturned a week later but it paves the way for the first modern-day land claim settlement in Canada.

On Nov. 11, 1975, the Cree and Inuit give up their claim to certain land in northern Quebec in return for $225 million in compensation. The far-reaching James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement also gives the natives special hunting and fishing rights and more opportunity for self-government.
• Most of the land in northern Quebec was once considered part of Rupert's Land, under the domain of the Hudson Bay Company. The province took over the land when its boundaries were extended in 1898 and 1912.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Nov. 12, 1975
Guest(s): Robert Bourassa
Reporter: Richard Inwood
Duration: 1:37

Last updated: January 11, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Hockey Flight in Canada: extra clips

Canada is a hockey nation, but has had a heck of a time preventing its hockey franchises from ...

René Lévesque's Separatist Fight

In the 1960s, René Lévesque made the prospect of a separate Quebec a reality. A shrewd politic...

Getting the Games: Canada's Olympic Bids, ext...

It might be the most ruthless of all Olympic competitions: the race for the right to host the ...

1970: FLQ kidnaps Pierre Laporte

Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte is kidnapped by the FLQ in the escalating October Crisis...

1991: Eric Lindros snubs the Quebec Nordiques

The NHL's top draft pick rejects Quebec and returns to the minors.

1988: Residents flee PCB fire near Montreal

A stockpile of toxic waste catches fire near Montreal, sending thousands running from a potent...