Eeyou Istchee

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Location of Eeyou Istchee within Québec

Eeyou Istchee[note 1] is a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) of Quebec that is represented by the Grand Council of the Crees. On July 24, 2012, the Quebec government signed an accord with the Cree Nation that resulted in the abolition of the neighbouring municipality of Baie-James and the creation of the new Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government, providing for the residents of neighbouring Jamésie TE and Eeyou Istchee to jointly govern the territory formerly governed by the municipality of Baie-James.[3]

The total land area of Eeyou Istchee is 5,271 km2 (2,035 sq mi), though the Grand Council of the Crees sees Eeyou Istchee as a much larger contiguous traditional territory and homeland of 450,000 square kilometres (170,000 sq mi).[4] The total population of the area was 14,131 in 2006, according to the 2006 Canadian Census, and the largest municipality is the Cree village municipality of Chisasibi on the south bank of La Grande River near the northeast shore of James Bay.

Eeyou Istchee TE was created on November 30, 2007.[5] Its territory had previously belonged to the TE of Jamésie. While most of Eeyou Istchee is enclaved within Jamésie TE, the Cree reserved land (TC) and Cree village municipality (VC) of Whapmagoostui lie north of the 55th parallel north and are enclaved within Kativik TE.

Together with the TEs of Jamésie and Kativik, it forms the region and census division (CD) of Nord-du-Québec.



Name Cree Name Type Population
usual res.
2499055 Chisasibi ᒋᓵᓰᐲ VC 0 0 0 0 491.63
2499814 Chisasibi ᒋᓵᓰᐲ TC 4484 3972 1050 923 828.18
2499045 Eastmain ᐄᔅᒣᐃᓐ VC 0 0 0 0 316.91
2499810 Eastmain ᐄᔅᒣᐃᓐ TC 767 650 226 188 147.47
2499030 Mistissini ᒥᔅᑎᓯᓃ VC 0 0 0 0 514.30
2499804 Mistissini ᒥᔅᑎᓯᓃ TC 3427 2897 952 845 865.76
2499040 Nemaska ᓀᒥᔅᑳᐤ VC 0 0 0 0 51.18
2499808 Nemaska ᓀᒥᔅᑳᐤ TC 712 642 226 200 96.57
2499818 Oujé-Bougoumou ᐆᒉᐳᑯᒨ TC 725 606 251 183 2.54
2499035 Waskaganish ᐙᔅᑳᐦᐄᑲᓂᔥ VC 0 0 0 0 277.76
2499806 Waskaganish ᐙᔅᑳᐦᐄᑲᓂᔥ TC 2206 1864 496 467 505.37
2499010 Waswanipi ᐙᔂᓂᐲ VC 0 0 0 0 211.52
2499802 Waswanipi ᐙᔂᓂᐲ TC 1777 1473 513 413 415.64
2499050 Wemindji ᐐᒥᓂᒌ VC 0 0 0 0 171.06
2499812 Wemindji ᐐᒥᓂᒌ TC 1378 1215 377 333 377.95
2499070 Whapmagoostui ᐙᐱᒫᑯᔥᑐᐃ VC 0 0 0 0 122.53
2499816 Whapmagoostui ᐙᐱᒫᑯᔥᑐᐃ TC 874 812 221 206 189.88
Eeyou Istchee total TE 16350 14131 4312 3758 5586.25

The TE of Eeyou Istchee is governed by the Grand Council of the Crees by the Cree Nation Government. It consists of the following municipal units:

Somewhat confusingly, the Commission de toponymie du Québec refers to the Cree reserved lands as "Cree villages" (village cri), as distinct from the "Cree village municipalities" (municipalité de village cri).[7] However, from a practical point of view this makes sense, since the population resides in these reserved lands.


The above map indicates the Category I lands reserved for the Cree under the terms of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Though formally designated as a TE for these areas in 2007, the term "Eeyou Istchee" has long been applied by Quebec Cree to refer to themselves and all their traditional hunting lands.[citation needed] In Category II lands, owned by the Crown-in-right-of-Quebec, hunting, fishing and trapping rights are reserved for the Cree, while forestry, mining and tourism development authority is shared. In Category III lands, some specific hunting and harvesting rights are reserved for the Cree, but all other rights are shared subject to a joint regulatory scheme. Roughly 14,000 km2 fall into Category I, 150,000 km2 in Category II, and 908,000 km2 - almost 60 percent all land in Quebec - are in Category III.


  1. ^ (/iːjoʊ̯ ɪst͡ʃi/,[1] Northern East Cree: ᐄᔨᔨᐤ ᐊᔅᒌ Iiyiyiu Aschii /ijɪjɪu əstʃi/, Southern East Cree: ᐄᔨᔫ ᐊᔅᒌ Iiyiyuu Aschii /ijɪju əstʃi/ or ᐄᓅ ᐊᔅᒌ Iinuu Aschii /inu əstʃi/, all meaning 'The People's Land';[2] French: [iju istʃi])


  1. ^ "Video". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  2. ^ "Eastern James Bay Cree Dictionary on the Web: Words". Eastern James Bay Cree Dictionary on the Web. 2018-12-13. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  3. ^ Lia Lévesque (24 July 2012). "Québec et les Cris signent une entente pour un gouvernement régional" [Quebec and the Cree sign an agreement for a regional government]. La Presse. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  4. ^ [1] see "Map 1.4" Archived 2012-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Modifications aux municipalités du Québec, novembre 2007" [Modifications to the municipalities of Quebec, November 2007] (PDF) (in French). Institut de la Statistique du Québec. November 2007. ISSN 1715-6408. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-27.
  6. ^ Nord-du-Québec (Census division)
  7. ^ "Liste complète des types d'entités et leurs définitions". Banque de noms de lieux du Québec (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-05-02.


  • Database of the geographical code of Quebec
  • [2] Regional maps of municipal and RCM/TE boundaries from the Ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions. As of January 2008, the Nord-du-Québec map shows Jamésie territory as it was before the creation of Eeyou Istchee.

External links[edit]