On Thursday, November 18, 2021, Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty convened her first meeting of the Eeyou Tripartite Table in Chisasibi, Eeyou Istchee. The leadership of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, the Cree School Board and the Cree Nation Government met to discuss topics of common interest for the benefit of the Cree Nation.
Identifying common interests and paths to move forward in partnership on specific topics is essential to providing services and programs that match the needs of our communities. This meeting of the Tripartite Table covered a number of topics such as; inter-community travel, Cree language and a cultural baseline study, communications strategies between entities and the need for a Special Needs Policy.
“I am pleased about this first meeting between our main entities. We all have specific mandates and obligations to serve our community members with programs and services that should provide individuals and families with the tools to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to flourish and be cared for equally. We believe that families, social workers, and educational staff could greatly benefit from a symposium on Special Needs and look forward to what we can achieve together. We must plan and work together if we are to provide the best support possible for all members of our communities.” – Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty
In light of this first discussion, the Table has declared that 2022 would focus on programs and services for the Special Needs community of Eeyou Istchee.
“Through partnership and collaboration, we will move forward in our agenda to enhance self-determination in education, maintenance of language and culture, and the valuing of community voice and vision for our future. We are so pleased that the Cree Board of Health and Social Services and the Cree Nation Government have agreed to support the Cree School Board’s upcoming Special Needs Conference for parents and practitioners. Enhancing services and resources to students with special needs and their families is a priority issue both for myself and the Cree School Board Council of Commissioners; our regional partners will be key to this effort. All our children deserve the best of supports and services within the school system. We look forward to announcing details for a much-anticipated Special Needs Conference in the new year!” – Dr. Sarah Pash, Chairperson of the Cree School Board
“The Tripartite Session between Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty, Chairperson Dr. Sarah Pash and myself was a much needed session. It avoids unnecessary silos and I am certainly grateful to be part of a new system of establishing common goals, vision and introducing initiatives for the Cree Nation. I look forward to exploring new ideas, moving away from out-dated systems, initiating new trends and strengthening our entities’ new partnership with the Grand Chief and the Chairperson of the Cree School Board.” – Bertie Wapachee, Chairperson Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay
The Eeyou Tripartite Table has committed to meet on a quarterly basis in the new fiscal year with their next meeting being scheduled for January 2022.