The Eeyou Marine Region Impact Review Board is an Institution of Public Government (IPG) established in 2013 under the Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (EMRLCA). The Agreement is the result of 10 years of negotiations on the rights and obligations of the Crees and the Government of Canada in the Eeyou Marine Region (EMR). This treaty, like other Canadian-Indigenous treaties, acknowledges indigenous ownership to land. In this case, the Cree Nation Government will own 80% of the offshore land mass in the eastern half of James Bay and lower Hudson Bay. In addition, the Crees will have access, hunting, fishing, and trapping rights to the 20% of lands set aside for Canada. As part of the Agreement, the Crees and the Government of Canada also agree to the regulation of land use, hunting, fishing, trapping, and development in the EMR.
The EMRIRB is one of three IPGs created to implement the EMRCLA, along with the Eeyou Marine Region Planning Commission (EMRPC) and the Eeyou Marine Region Wildlife Board (EMRWB). As such, any Proponent intending to develop a project in the EMR will have to conform with the regimes and processes established under the EMRLCA, including the regimes for the protection of wildlife, land use planning, and the impact review of development projects.
As set out in Chapter 18 of the Agreement, the Impact Review Board has the primary responsibility to assess the environmental and socio-economic impacts of proposed development projects within the Eeyou Marine Region.