|The Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act came about as a result of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (NEQA). Under s 9 of the JBNQA and s 7 of the NEQA the government was obliged to recommend special legislation relating to local government on the lands held by Canada for the use of the Cree and Naskapi bands. The Act was tabled before Parliament and unanimously passed by both Houses in 1984.
The Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act was the first Indian self-government legislation in Canada. It replaced the Indian Act for the bands affected. Through the passing of this Act powers exercised under the Indian Act, by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Governor in Council, were transferred to the bands. The Act established new legal and political regimes in the form of local governments accountable to the Cree and Naskapi people.