Eeyou Istchee (territory)

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Location of Eeyou Istchee within Québec

Eeyou Istchee[pronunciation?] (Cree: ᐃᔨᔨᐤ ᐊᔅᒌ, meaning "The People's Land") is a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) of Quebec, represented by the Grand Council of the Crees. Its geographical code is 993.

It comprises numerous communities within the region known as Eeyou Istchee/Baie-James Territory. The total land area of these communities is 5,586.23 km2 (2,156.86 sq mi). There was a combined population of 14,131 persons as of the Canada 2006 Census, but its total population now exceeds 18,000 Cree. Its largest community is Chisasibi, on the south bank of La Grande River, near the northeast shore of James Bay.

As defined by the Grand Council of the Crees, however, the territory of Eeyou Istchee is a much larger contiguous traditional territory and homeland, comprising about 450,000 square kilometres (170,000 sq mi).[1]

Eeyou Istchee TE was created on November 30, 2007.[2] Its territory had previously belonged to the TE of Jamésie. Eeyou Istchee encompasses in particular the Cree reserved land (TC) of Whapmagoostui and the Cree village municipality (VC) of the same name. These are the only municipalities in Quebec lying north of the 55th parallel north (that is, in Nunavik) but not belonging to Kativik TE.

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

On July 24, 2012, the Quebec government signed an accord with the Cree Nation that result in the abolition of the municipality of Baie-James and the creation of a new regional government known as Eeyou Istchee/Baie-James Territory.[3]



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

The TE of Eeyou Istchee is coextensive with the territory of the Cree Regional Authority. 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).[5] However, from a practical point of view this makes sense, since the population resides in these reserved lands. Oujé-Bougoumou can also be considered a Cree village, although its formal legal status is that of an Indian settlement.


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. ^ see "Map 1.4"
  2. ^ "Modifications aux municipalités du Québec, novembre 2007" (PDF) (in French). Institut de la Statistique du Québec. November 2007. ISSN 1715-6408. 
  3. ^ Lia Lévesque (24 July 2012). "Québec et les Cris signent une entente pour un gouvernement régional". La Presse. La Presse Canadienne. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  4. ^ Nord-du-Québec (Census division)
  5. ^ "Liste complète des types d'entités et leurs définitions". Banque de noms de lieux du Québec (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 


  • Database of the geographical code of Quebec
  • [1] 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]