Inauguration of the Nemaska Justice Facility by the Grand Council of the Crees/Cree Nation Government and the Government of Québec
NEMASKA, Québec, October 13, 2015 – Today, Rodney Mark, Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Vice-Chairman of the Cree Nation Government, inaugurated the Justice Facility in the community of Nemaska in the presence of the Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Québec and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Stéphanie Vallée, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, and the Member for Ungava, Jean Boucher, as well as members of the respective communities, members of the Judiciary and other distinguished guests.
The Justice Facilities found in each community, are managed and operated by the Cree Nation Government, and they will host the hearings of the Court of Québec and the Québec Superior Court. These facilities will also offer a range of judicial and parajudicial services and programs, such as family services, mediation, and prevention and rehabilitation programs.
The inauguration of this Justice Facility represents an important milestone for the community of Nemaska, and for the Cree Nation as it prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, signed on November 11, 1975.
In inaugurating the Justice Facility in Nemaska, Deputy Grand Chief Mark stated:
“We must continue to work to ensure that recent advances made in the areas of governance, health, education and economic development can also be made in other areas like justice, crime prevention and the rehabilitation and reintegration of Cree offenders.”
“We salute the Cree community’s determination to play an active role in the field of access to justice. The new facilities will help bring justice closer to our fellow citizens, while facilitating the work of all players in the court system,” added Minister Stéphanie Vallée.
“The Québec Government is sensitive to the issue of local justice in communities in Northern Québec, and the opening of these two new facilities illustrates the shared wish of the Cree Nation and Québec to work together in this area,” said Minister Kelley.
“We are facing numerous challenges. However, by working together we can continue to promote in a positive manner social change and enhance the quality of life in our communities. The approach that the Justice Facilities are advocating is part of the solution,” MNA Jean Boucher added.
The construction of these Justice Facilities was made possible, in part, by the signing in 2007 of an Agreement concerning the Administration of Justice for the Crees between the Gouvernement du Québec and the Cree Nation Government.
The Agreement provides for the payment of $13 million annually over a 20-year period until 2017, indexed in line with inflation. It will promote the implementation of programs and services adapted to the realities faced by Cree communities.