Cree, Inuit joint land claim praised
Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak says a land claim agreement signed last week in northern Quebec is a sign of co-operation between Inuit and Cree peoples.
Aariak signed the agreement in Chisasibi, Que., with Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl and Cree Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come on July 7.
The agreement gives the James Bay Cree the ancestral right to manage land and harvest wildlife from an area known as the Eeyou Marine Region, which covers 61,000 square kilometres of James Bay and southern Hudson Bay.
Parts of that area overlap with Nunavut, including islands that will be jointly owned by the Cree and Inuit.
"The area has always been used by the Cree people in that area," Aariak told CBC News on Friday.
"Although it is not overlapping with [the] Nunavut land claims agreement, it is part of Nunavut. But we also understand that the land … [is] very important to the people of that area."
Federal officials say the new agreement will help resolve land claim disputes that have existed since the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement was signed in 1975.
The agreement has yet to be ratified by Parliament.