About Us

ᐃᔨᔨᐤ ᒥᒫᐦᑖᐅᑭᔅᒋᐦᐓᐃᓐ

Cree Native Arts & Crafts Association

Living Cree arts and crafts !

The Organization

The Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association (CNACA) is a non-for-profit organization established in 2004 under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) signed in 1975. Our mandate is to assume a leadership role on behalf of the Cree for the development of the arts and crafts and the cultural industries of Eeyou Istchee. CNACA is a resource hub that links arts and crafts entrepreneurs with the resources to assist them to succeed and thrive in their business. We develop and encourage educational and funding programs to assist the membership to maximize their potential, as well as foster and encourage networking within the arts and craft industry.

Our Mission

To diversify and grow a sustainable cultural economy in Eeyou Istchee involving partnerships among Cree artists, artisans and Cree communities that will preserve, promote and enhance the heritage of the Eeyou/Eenou Nation while encouraging contemporary means of expression that maintain Cree culture, values, traditions and skills.

Vision

Our vision and work are guided by four pillars:

  • Our artists and craftspeople are living bearers of our culture and heritage.
  • Our arts and crafts are the expression of our past, our present and our aspirations for the future.
  • Our artists and artisans must be able to sustain themselves economically through their talents.
  • As long as Cree arts and crafts are maintained, and our traditions preserved; our Cree people will remain strong.

Objectives

To move forward in fulfilling our vision and mission, we focus on the following key objectives:

  • Develop and be responsible for programs that contribute to the development of the Cree arts and crafts industry in Eeyou Istchee.
  • Assist individuals or Cree communities in marketing and related services for arts and crafts products throughout the world
  • Facilitate access to material resources for the creation, preservation and promotion of Cree arts and crafts.
  • Coordinate our efforts with other Cree entities when needed for the support and promotion of Cree arts and crafts.

History

Since time immemorial, the Cree have maintained and flourished through hunting and harvesting activities, developed a rich material culture and arts traditions, and enjoyed the beauty of Eeyou Istchee’s natural environment. 

From the beginning, the visionary leaders of our modern Cree Nation believed and expected that CNACA would play a key role in the socioeconomic development of our people. At the time of the negotiations of our treaty—the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement – our leaders envisioned that trapping, tourism, and the arts would occupy an important place in the future economic development of our Nation. It is for this reason that they insisted on the creation of the Cree Trappers Association, the Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association, and the Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association, as a mechanism for engaging community members in the governance and development of our nation.

"It was in 2004, that the Association was officially incorporated “to assume a leadership role on behalf of the Cree for the development of the arts and crafts and the cultural industries of Eeyou Istchee.”

Milestones

JBNQA Obligations

28.4.1

28.4.1

Canada and/or Quebec will assist the Crees with funding and technical advice in establishing, as soon as possible, as described herein:
A) a Cree Trappers’ Association;
B.) a Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association;
C) a Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association.

28.4.1

28.7.1

28.7.1

There is established a Cree Native Arts and Crafts Program which shall include the structures, services, procedures, functions and agencies provided for in this Sub Section.

28.7.1

28.7.2

28.7.2

As soon as possible following the execution of the Agreement subject to the results of the feasibility studies referred to at paragraph 28.4.1 there shall be established a Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association which shall be responsible for and supervise the programs for the development of Native Arts and Crafts and a local Arts and Crafts Committees, in each Cree community.

28.7.2

28.7.3

28.7.3

The Chairman of each Local Arts and Crafts Committees shall have a seat on the Board of Directors of the Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association.

28.7.3

28.7.4

28.7.4

The Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association shall establish a Cree Central Marketing Service which shall assist individual Crees or Cree communities in the marketing and related services for Cree Arts and Crafts and shall make available to Cree individuals or Cree communities such material or equipment as may be required for the creation of native arts and crafts.

28.7.4

28.7.5

28.7.5

Subject to the results of the feasibility studies and in the event that a Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association is established, Canada, Québec and the Cree Regional Authority, in a proportion to be mutually agreed upon shall assist the Association in its operation and objects.

28.7.5

Board of Directors

Current board members of CNACA.

Kenneth Gilpin

President - Eastmain

Diane G. Cooper

Vice President - Waswanipi

Jimmy Tim Whiskeychan

Treasurer - Waskaganish

Deborah Wapachee

Executive Member - Nemaska

Edward Georgekish

Board Member - Wemindji

Darlene Bearskin

Board Member - Chisasibi

Vacant

Board Member - Mistissini

Vacant

Board Member - Ouje-Bougoumou

Natasia Mukash

Board Member - Whapmagoostui

Gloria Polson

Board Member - Washaw Sibi

Vacant

Board Member - MoCreebec

Alex Moses

Board Member - CNG Representative

Administration & Staff

Gaston Cooper

Executive Director

Adrienne Shecapio

Projects & Events Coordinator

Jason Otter

Product Manager

Jessyca Thisdale

Administrative Assistant

Mike Wong

Marketing & Communications

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