Our vision is to strengthen the Cree cultural heritage and sustain biodiversity in Eeyou Istchee.



The Cree Regional Conservation Strategy is a Cree Nation initiative, developed by the Eeyou Protected Areas Committee. This Committee is comprised of representatives from all 10 Cree communities, along with members from the Cree Trappers Association (CTA), Cree Nation Youth Council (CNYC) and the Cree Nation Government (Environment and Remedial Works Department and the Culture and Language Department.). The Strategy provides a framework for the development of conservation and protected areas in the Cree territory (Eeyou Istchee). It will guide Cree work in the area of conservation and the establishment of protected areas.

This Strategy is designed to ensure respect for Cree rights and protect Cree lands, waters and resources for today and tomorrow. Generally these are the rights of the Cree under the Constitution of Canada, Cree values and customs such as those codified in the Eeyou Hunting Law and the protection of Cree language and culture.

More specifically, these Cree rights stem from a number of agreements and treaties, including:

  • James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (1975)
  • Cree-Quebec New Relationship Agreement, also know as the Paix des Braves (2002)
  • Cree-Canada New Relationship Agreement (2008)
  • Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (2010)
  • Governance Agreement (2013)

Furthermore, the Strategy is consistent with the rights related to conservation that are enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as Article 8(j) in the Convention of Biological Diversity.

Informed by both Cree traditions and western science, the Strategy makes the best of both knowledge systems to establish and maintain effective partnerships between the following parties:

  • Cree and other governments (both public and Aboriginal)
  • Non-Cree residents of Eeyou Istchee
  • Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs)
  • Researchers and other stakeholders


  1. To safeguard biodiversity by creating a network of conservation areas
  2. To conserve wildlife populations and enhance food security for present and future generations
  3. To ensure full Cree participation in conservation planning and management
  4. To embrace Cree knowledge, culture and land management systems in all conservation initiatives
  5. To build Cree capacity for conservation planning and management
  6. To involve Cree Youth in all stages of conservation
  7. To use scientific principles in the planning of conservation networks
  8. To be adaptive and use best practices in conservation