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The Cree of Eeyou Istchee Story

The Cree of Eeyou Istchee Story

The story of the Cree of Eeyou Istchee illustrates a unique journey that offers hope and serves as a template for the future of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) of 1975 is the first modern Aboriginal land claim agreement and treaty in Canada. It serves as a b shield to permanently protect Cree rights and is a key pillar of support for Cree Nation governance. The Cree have secured the tools for exercising jurisdiction and control over their traditional territory. They have developed political mechanisms and secured resources that have greatly improved the lives of their people.

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) / Cree Nation Government (GCC(EI)/CNG) have achieved many of the important recommendations of the report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and have successfully applied key principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Cree have moved from an era of exclusion to inclusion and from an era of conflict to cooperation.

Rodney is a member of the Waskaganish Cree Nation and beneficiary of the JBNQA. He has served in senior management capacities for the GCC(EI)/CNG. He now serves as Manager of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch’s Indigenous Peoples Employment Program for Indigenous Services Canada.

Event Information

This learning activity is designed for all public servant groups and levels and is offered at no cost.


Date and time:

January 15, 2019 | 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm (EST)


Rodney Hester, Manager, Indigenous Peoples Employment Program, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada


Benoit Trottier, Learning Specialist, Canada School of Public Service


English with interpretation in French

  • Collaboration Lounge, Académie De-La-Salle, 373 Sussex Drive (Guigues Avenue entrance), Ottawa, Ontario
  • Available across Canada by webcast


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