Bill C-70 Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee Governance Agreement Act
On March 29, 2018, Bill C-70, the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee Governance Agreement Act, received Royal Assent and came into force. Is Act gives effect and force of law to the Agreement on Cree Nation Governance signed by the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and the Government of Canada on July 18, 2017, and its companion, the Cree Constitution.
The Governance Agreement addresses three main subjects:
1. It provides for the jurisdiction of the Cree First Nations and Cree Nation Government to make laws (instead of by-laws) on Category IA lands.
2. It maintains the existing land regime on Category IA lands, including access and the grant of rights in lands and buildings.
3. It also denies financial arrangements with Canada, including long-term commitments for Operations and Maintenance and Capital Grant funding.
The Cree Constitution, for its part, starts with a statement of key Cree values and principles. It goes on to set out arrangements regarding the exercise of the Cree right of self-government in the administration and internal management of the Cree First Nations and the Cree Nation Government on Category IA lands. It also provides a basic outline of Cree internal governance upon which the Cree Nation can build without the involvement of Canada.