Learn more about the Cree Nation Government's Quebec, Federal and International Relations

The Cree Nation Government/Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) represent the coming together of the administrative and executive branches of Cree government. We work to promote and protect the interests of the Eeyouch (Crees living in the water sheds of eastern James Bay and south-eastern Hudson Bay). We stand to protect our human rights including treaty rights and to promote our economic interests, while working to strengthen our political and cultural ties with Quebec, Canada, other First Nations as well as maintaining international relations.

Beginning in the 1980’s the Grand Council of the Crees worked with international agencies in an effort to bring international focus on the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. Many of the original habitants of the world have been pushed aside, without land or recognition of their human rights.

In the Cree case, this reality was manifested by the Crees having been largely ignored by the Province of Quebec when it approved and began construction of the James Bay Hydro-Electric project in 1972. In 1973 the Crees filed a court case seeking to stop the project and initially they won, but the higher courts prevailed and overturned the decision. Canada, Quebec, the Crees and Inuit of Northern Quebec then negotiated the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, signed in 1975. The Crees began their campaign in Europe and in the Americas because the Province and Canada were reluctant to implement the Agreement they had just signed.

The Grand Council received recognition as a non-governmental organization in consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. This status allowed the Crees to question Canada on its non-compliance with their treaty. Their effort led to many years of meetings with other Indigenous Peoples and nations. Together, we collaborated in favour of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which led to its adoption by the United Nations on September 13th, 2007.

The Grand Council continues to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples within and outside of Canada and continues to take part in international forums.

Domestic Relations

In 1975 the Crees, Canada and Quebec signed the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. This agreement was a blueprint of the development of Cree society that was delayed for more than two decades. When Quebec announced its intention to build the Great Whale River and Nottaway-Broadback-Rupert Hydroelectric the Crees decided to oppose these projects. Many of the Crees were very apprehensive having seen the large scale changes to the landscape and mercury contamination of fish as well as changes to their way of life. Moreover, the governments stalled the implementation of the Agreement from 1975 to 2002 in the case of Quebec and until 2007 by Canada.


200 Grande Allée Est, Québec City, Québec G1R 2H9, Canada

Provincial Relations

The Cree Nation Government/Grand Council of the Crees of (Eeyou Istchee) maintains relations with the Government of Quebec out of the Embassy of the Cree Nation in Quebec City:

Telephone :  (418) 691-1111

Ms. Melissa Saganash is the Director of Cree-Quebec Relations.


81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 900 Ottawa Ontario K1P 6K7

Federal Relations

Cree relations with Canada are maintained out of the Cree Nation Government/Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) Embassy of the Cree Nation in Ottawa:

Telephone :  (613) 761 1655
Fax :  (613) 761 1388

Mr. Brian Craik is the Director of Federal Relations.

International Relations

Relations with Other First Nations are maintained by the Office of Grand Chief and international relations are maintained by the Grand Chief.