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James Bay Cree

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Autor:   •  February 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  365 Words (2 Pages)  •  448 Views

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The James Bay Cree settlement issue is one that is new, unaffected, and unrelated in any way to Treaty 8 signed in 1899. If this were not the case settlement upon all issues would be relatively easy for the Canadian Government to accede to. As the Canadian government's own inquiry officer E. Davie Fulton noted, the benefits that the James Bay Cree people have yet to be included in totaled 165 million dollars in 1985. Clearly using the common form of CPI all-items Canada, this number in 2005 $ would be significantly higher. There would appear to be little benefit to the James Bay Cree people for attaching themselves to Treaty 8 which has it's own set of deficiencies. It is my opinion that should the James Bay Cree final settlement include, or the band itself be asked to sign any variation of adhesion, cession, agreement, or inclusion document, that this should be the non-negotiable price tag that comes with it.

Having said this, self-government by the James Bay Cree people then becomes an absolute necessity. Without the ability to determine their own future in their own fashion, the James Bay Cree people will find themselves in no better of a situation than they are currently in. That is to say they may have the necessary financial resources to build their future, but with a babysitter holding overt controls over the direction.

With regard to the interest the government of Canada has in postponing negotiating other key points such as self government and compensation, I find this to be impertinent at best. It is clear that their intention to negotiate is still lacking in good faith, and productivity. If they are prepared to return to the negotiating table to obtain a settlement that will improve their public image by improving the lives of the James Bay Cree people, then surely they must be willing to return and negotiate a full settlement that resolves all the settlement issues permanently. While it is encouraging to see that the governments are now willing to negotiate the James Bay Cree settlement, I believe that if future discussions lack this commitment the results achieved will mirror those seen in previous negotiations.


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