The Grand Council of the Cree (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Nation Government, the Cree Nation of Wemindji and Goldcorp Publicly Disclose the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement
Goldcorp Inc., the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government publicly released the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement (excluding its financial terms) today, making certain details of the agreement related to the development and operation of Goldcorp’s Eleonore mine accessible to the public.
“Our relationship with the Crees is built on trust, collaboration and open communication, and with this step, we are illustrating those values in a tangible way so others can also become important supporters in the successful ongoing operation of the Éléonore Mine,” said Mr. Brent Bergeron, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Goldcorp. “We believe that the Agreement will be an excellent tool to assist Cree and other stakeholders to better understand what can be possible when all of the respective parties commit to working together toward shared objectives.”
The Opinagow Collaboration Agreement was signed on February 21th, 2011, providing a road map for a collaborative relationship regarding the development and operation of Goldcorp’s Éléonore mine in Eeyou Istchee, while respecting Cree traditional activities and ensuring the promotion of Cree economic and social development in a mutually beneficial manner.
“The Crees remain committed to building a strong relationship with Goldcorp, as embodied in the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement. We sincerely hope that the public release of the Agreement can serve as a tool to better engage Aboriginal communities and the mining industry in working together and building successful and long-standing partnerships.” said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee).
“I am glad that we can now distribute the Agreement freely in the Cree Nation and across the country so that people can learn from the balance we are achieving between protecting tradition while supporting natural resource development.” said Chief Dennis Georgekish of the Cree Nation of Wemindji.
“We have successfully overcome the challenges of developing and maintaining our relationship during the construction phase of the project and are confident in our ability to continue building on our relationship as the Éléonore mine ramps up commercial production,” said Guy Belleau, Eleonore Mine General Manager.
Éléonore is expected to produce between 290,000 and 330,000 ounces of gold in 2015 and, upon ramp-up to full capacity which is expected to be in the first half of 2018, between 500,000 and 600,000 ounces of gold per year over its productive mine life. The mine employs 1,265 people, of which 21% (271) self-identify as Aboriginal.
Governments, authorities and administrators will also benefit from access to the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement (excluding its financial terms) by gaining insight on how the parties are actively addressing local and regional issues of communication, monitoring and integration of land use interests.
Although the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement is tailored to the particular structure of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee to be compatible with its internal integrated regional and local government structures as well as the governance philosophy of Goldcorp, the Parties trust that the disclosure of the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement (excluding its financial terms) will provide one more example to the mining industry on the ways Aboriginal communities and mining companies can successfully work together to make sustainable commitments to one another for the mutually beneficial successful development, operation and reclamation of a project.
Insofar as the financial terms are concerned, the parties will have further discussions once the legislative framework applicable thereto is established.
The redacted version of the Opinagow Collaboration agreement is available on the web site of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) at http://www.gcc.ca/pdf/Amended_Opinagow_Collaboration_Agreement.PDF
For the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government
Mr. Andy Baribeau
Tel.: (514) 349-7629
For the Cree Nation of Wemindji
Chief Dennis Georgekish
Tel.: (819) 978-0264
Mr. Brent Bergeron
Tel.: (604) 696-3024
About the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the political body that represents the approximately 18,000 Crees or “Eeyouch” (or “Eenouch”). The Board of Directors of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is constituted of twenty (20) members including: the Grand Chief and Deputy Grand Chief elected at large by the Eeyouch, the Chiefs elected by each of the nine (9) recognized Cree communities, and one (1) other representative elected by each community. The head office of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is in the Cree community of Nemaska. The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) also has offices in Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa.
About the Cree Nation Government
The Cree Nation Government (formerly the Cree Regional Authority (“CRA”) established pursuant to the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement) exercises certain municipal powers on Category II lands and is responsible for land use and development planning, environmental protection, the hunting, fishing and trapping regime, economic and community development, Cree governance and other matters as decided by the Board of Directors. The Council of the Cree Nation Government is composed of the same representatives as the Board of Directors of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). These two bodies often act jointly and are commonly referred to as the “Council/Board”.
About the Cree Nation of Wemindji
The Cree Nation of Wemindji is located on the east coast of James Bay in Northern Quebec and has an approximate population of 1,400 residents. Wemindji is a vibrant community deeply rooted in Cree tradition with a multitude of services available including health care and social services, public safety, fire department, police services, elementary and high school education, as well as adult education, and daycare services.
Goldcorp (TSX: G, NYSE: GG) is one of the world's fastest growing gold producers. Its low-cost gold production is located in safe jurisdictions in the Americas and remains 100% unhedged. www.goldcorp.com
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