Planning Commission

The Eeyou Marine Region Planning Commission (EMRPC) is an Institution of Public Government (IPG) established under the Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement (EMRLCA); an agreement between the James Bay Cree of Québec, Canadian Government, and Government of Nunavut, for the islands and resources within eastern James Bay and portions of southeastern Hudson Bay, a region known as the Eeyou Marine Region (EMR). The southeastern portion of Hudson Bay is an overlapping area of interest where the Cree share joint-use with the Inuit of Nunavik.

Commission Mandate

Develop planning policies, priorities and objectives for the Eeyou Marine Region, including the development and implementation of a land use plan.

Commission role and responsibilities

  • Identify planning regions
  • Identify planning objectives, goals and variables that apply to the planning regions and are consistent with broader objectives and goals of the region
  • Contribute to the development and review of Arctic and sub Arctic policies
  • Solicit opinions from Cree Bands, Cree community residents and others about planning objectives, goals and options for the region
  • Prepare and circulate draft land use plans
  • Promote public awareness and discussion and conduct public hearings and debate throughout the planning process
  • Recommend plans to the Minister
  • Consider amendments to the land use plan in accordance with chapter 8 of the EMRLCA
  • Determine whether a project proposal is in conformity with land use plans
  • Monitor projects to ensure that they are in conformity with land use plans
  • Report annually to the Minister and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government

Land Use Planning for the Eeyou Marine Region

The EMR land use plan is in the process of being developed. The vision for this plan is based on existing local knowledge and use by Cree communities, acknowledging that the Cree have been planning and managing resources for millennia in the EMR. It is also based on the knowledge of regional stakeholders. This combined knowledge will provide the foundations for an informed and practical land use plan.

The underlying purpose of the plan is to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of individuals and communities using the EMR, with special attention devoted to protecting and promoting existing and future well-being of Cree and Cree lands, while also taking into account the interests of all Canadians.

The plan will direct resource use in the EMR, including aspects of conservation, protection, development, and utilization of the land, in alignment with the planning principles, policies, priorities and objectives outlined under chapter 8, section 8.2 and 8.3 of the EMRLCA.

Planning Process

Planning in the EMR is a collaborative process, this involves working with Cree coastal communities, residents and stakeholders, and governments to understand local use, local priorities and a future vision for a land use plan in the region.

Click here for a list of planning partners.

Development of the land use plan also involves working with neighboring planning regimes such as the Eeyou Planning Commission (Cree Nation Government) and the Nunavik Marine Region Planning Commission (Nunavik Institution of Public Government), to ensure that adjacent land use plans, policies, and processes work to complement each other where possible.

In February 2015, the EMRPC hosted a planning workshop to kick off the EMR planning process. The workshop provided training on land use planning, offered by ECO Canada’s BEAHR (Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources) program. Click here for the summary of the workshop.

The Commission’s plan to develop a land use plan for the EMR is guided by a seven (7) stage framework.

Seven (7) stage framework

Seven (7) stage framework

Commission Members

Name Position
Tina Petawabano Chairperson
Chris Beck Member – Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government
Lorne McNeice Member – Government of Canada
David Alagalak Member – Government of Nunavut
Chantal Tetreault Member – Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government


Name Position
Melvin Wesley Director
Vacant Land Use Planner
Susan Esau Accounting Administrator
Priscillia Wesley Administrative Assistant