Cree Challenge Settement
Publisher: Connexions Information Sharing Services, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1990
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX4105
The Grand Council of the Cree of Quebec goes to court in 1990 asking that the James Bay and Northern Agreement, the largest land claim settlement in Canadian history, should be declared null and void.
The Grand Council of the Cree of Quebec has gone to court asking that the James Bay and Northern Agreement, the largest land claim settlement in Canadian history, should be declared null and void. The Grand Council has also asked the court for an injunction against any future hydro-electric development in the vast territory. "There is a very basic principle of contract law known as non-performance," said James O'Reilly, the Crees' lawyer. "The government has failed to fulfil its obligations under the agreement so it should be nullified." He also argued that the agreement is invalid because the Quebec government does not have any legal rights over the natural resources of northern Quebec. Canada turned over large portions of the then-Northwest Territories to Quebec provincial administration in 1898 and 1912, but, said Mr. O'Reilly, the rights to natural resources on those lands were never assigned to Quebec. "The Cree have retained and never surrendered ancestral rights," Mr. O'Reilly said.