On February 21, 2008, the Crees of Québec and the Government of Canada signed a New Relationship Agreement that resolves 30 years of disputes over the implementation of the 1975 James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (“JBNQA”), Canada's first modern treaty. Raymond Chrétien and Anne Drost of the Montréal office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP represented Canada in the negotiations. Robert Mainville of the Montréal office of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP acted on behalf of the Cree Regional Authority.
Under this historic $1.4 billion Agreement, the Crees will assume certain federal responsibilities set out in the JBNQA, Canada will amend the Cree-Naskapi (of Québec) Act to provide Cree regional by-law-making powers, and a framework is provided for a second phase of negotiations on Cree Nation governance, including Québec. This Agreement also resolves outstanding litigation brought by the Crees and claiming substantial amounts against Canada.