Letter to Premier Charest Regarding Historic Boreal Pact

Boreal ForestDear Premier Charest,

On behalf of the Pew Environment Group, I would like to extend a warm congratulations and commendation on the occasion of today's historic agreement on governance in the Eeyou Istchee James bay territory between the Government of Quebec and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee.

It is our understanding that under this agreement, decision-making on more than 74 000 km² of their ancestral territory would be returned to the Cree; in addition, a new regional governance regime, where decision-­‐making will be shared by the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and non-aboriginal inhabitants, will be created on another 350 000 km². These lands are within the territory covered by the provisions of Quebec's Plan Nord.

We have long said that the Plan Nord's vision of balancing economic growth with conservation, in partnership with aboriginal communities, could create a new world model for sustainable development. Today's agreement is a key milestone in the implementation of that vision. This landmark agreement is historic not only for Canada, but all of North America, and indeed all of the world.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve our common vision of a prosperous and sustainable future.

Again, thank you, and congratulations.

Mathew Jacobson 
Manager, International Boreal Conservation Campaign, Quebec
The Pew Environment Group