Northeastern Quebec Agreement
|Date: ||31 January 1978|
|Sub Category:||Comprehensive Land Claims Agreement (Canada)|
|Location:||Northern Quebec, Canada|
|Subject Matter:||Economic Development | Employment and Training | Health and Community Services | Land Settlement | Education | Land Transaction | Environmental Heritage | Cultural Heritage | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Compensation|
|Summary Information: |
|The Northeastern Quebec Agreement (NEQA) settles the land claims of the Naskapi Indian band, exchanging their claims, rights and territorial interests for other rights and benefits. Signatories to the Agreement include the Naskapi Indian Band, the Government of Quebec, the James Bay Energy Corporation, the James Bay Development Corporation, the Quebec Hydro-Electric Commission (Hydro-Québec), the Grand Council of the Crees (of Quebec), the Northern Quebec Inuit Association, and the Government of Canada.|
|Detailed Information: |
|In 1975, after a period of negotiations, the Cree and Inuit peoples of Quebec negotiated the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA). Following their example, the Naskapi peoples entered negotiations and signed the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (NEQA), on January 31, 1978, amending the JBNQA. |
The Land Regime
Under the agreement the territory was divided into three categories. Category I lands define areas for the exclusive use and benefit of Aboriginal people. Category II lands belong to the province, but Native governments share management for hunting, fishing and trapping, tourism development and forestry. Native people have exclusive hunting, fishing and trapping rights. Category III forms a special type of Quebec public lands, in which both Native and non-native people may hunt and fish subject to agreed regulations. On these lands, Aboriginal groups have exclusive rights to harvest certain aquatic species and fur-bearing mammals and have the right to participate in the administration and development of land. Commercial developers also have specific rights to develop resources on these lands, but the federal or provincial governments have an obligation to assess the impact of those resource developments.
Environment and Social Protection
The provisions in the agreement, relating to environmental impact and social effects of development, establish two advisory committees who have the task of reviewing environmental issues, policies and regulations as well as advising governments.
Local Government Provisions
In 1984 the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act was proclaimed, pursuant to s 9 of the Agreement, recognising local Indian self-government powers, and putting in place a system of land management.
Under the Agreement, special educational services are provided for the Naskapi community, administered by the Eastern Quebec Regional School Board with advisory functions assigned to the Naskapi Education Committee.
Hunting, Fishing and Trapping
Certain rights are granted under the agreement for harvesting wildlife. In order to administer review and regulate wildlife harvesting, a coordinating committee is set up which comprises members from the provincial and federal governments and representatives of the three native groups.
Support for the establishment of Native organisations promoting renewable resource development, and arts and crafts was among one of the objectives of the Agreement.
Health and Social Services
The Agreement transferred the responsibility for health and social services for residents of Category I lands to Native agencies established.
The Federal Role
The agreement changed the face of federal involvement in Northern Quebec shifting its responsibility to subsidising services, now administered by Native local governments and the province of Quebec, which it previously supplied to the area.
Under the terms of the NEQA, Canada and Quebec paid a total of (CDN)$9 million in compensation to the Naskapi of Quebec.