Earlier this month, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) issued a formal challenge to the FSC Certification for Forest Management Unit 025-51 in the Saguenay Lac Saint Jean region in Québec held by Resolute Forest Products Inc. This is the largest Forest Management Unit in Québec.
In its brief to Accreditation Services International (ASI), the organization overseeing auditors contracted by forestry companies for FSC certifications, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) contends that Resolute Forest Products’ refusal to respect the Baril-Moses Agreement between the Crees and Québec constitutes a major infringement to FSC’s International Principles 1 (compliance with laws, agreements and treaties) and 3 (compliance with the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples) and by extension, Canada’s Boreal Standard.
Signed in 2002, the Baril-Moses Agreement extended many of the forestry provisions of the Paix des braves Agreement to Cree traplines located east of the “height of land” in the Saguenay Lac Saint Jean Region. From 2002 to 2009, Resolute Forest Products operated within the provisions of this Agreement. In 2010, the company knowingly and unilaterally implemented forestry management plans contrary to the Baril-Moses Agreement.