In 2002, the Québec government and Crees of Québec agreed to institute a new relationship with one another based on their shared desire to pursue the development of Northern Québec and promote the development of the Cree Nation. On February 7, 2002, they signed the 50-year Agreement Concerning a New Relationship Between the Gouvernement du Québec and the Crees of Québec (ANRQC), commonly called the Paix des Braves. This agreement is based on the commitments of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA) linked to the Crees’ economic and community development.
The parties to the Agreement pledged to work together to devise means to develop mining, forest and hydroelectric resources. The Agreement contains an entire chapter on forestry (Chapter 3): the Adapted Forestry Regime (AFR) governing the territory covered by the James Bay agreement.
Chapter 3 of the Agreement
The provisions of this chapter set up an Adapted Forestry Regime (AFR), which defines the rules and procedures applicable on Agreement territory and seeks to better take the traditional Cree way of life into account, while integrating sustainable development imperatives. It also enables the Crees to participate in the forest development activities planning and management process.
Agreement amendment and Adapted Forestry Regime harmonization
On April 1, 2013, the Québec government’s Sustainable Forest Development Act (SFDA) took effect on Agreement territory, resulting in the implementation of the new Québec Forest Regime (QFR) and its harmonization with the AFR governing Agreement territory.
Under the Act, a transitional context came to prevail and the parties to the Agreement began negotiations to amend the Agreement and agree on AFR harmonizations. To enable forestry activities to continue, interim processes and mechanisms were implemented (July 12, 2013 interim agreement on modification of the AFR’s Schedule C-4).
This AFR harmonization also reflects the provisions of the Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory Between the Crees of Eeyou and the Gouvernement du Québec, signed on July 24, 2012.
In fall 2017, the parties to the Agreement indicated that their AFR harmonization negotiations were finished. The process designed to lead to finalization of the texts of amendment 6 of the Agreement was completed. On December 11, 2019, the text of the amended Agreement was published on the Gazette officielle du Québec
For more information, go to the section Adapted Forestry Regime.