Eeyou Istchee

In July 2007, the Quebec minister of economic development, innovation and export and minister of tourism, Mr. Raymond Bachand, announced the signature of a three-year agreement officially
recognizing COTA as a Regional Tourism Association in the province. COTA is the 22nd Regional Tourism Association (RTA) to be created in Quebec and the third to be created in the administrative region of Nord-du-Québec.

Since the RTA’s roles and responsibilities are significantly different from those of COTA, a decision was made during a working session of board members and community tourism planners to separate COTA from the new RTA as a means of safeguarding COTA’s independent scope of action. COTA is an organization created in accordance with requirements set out in the James Bay and
Northern Quebec Agreement; accordingly, it must continue to operate as a separate entity.

The decision to create separate organizations was ratified at a full session of COTA’s AGM held in Waswanipi, Quebec in October 2007. The issue of naming the new Cree RTA was also discussed; in the end, the general consensus was that since all other RTAs represent their geographic area, the name Eeyou Istchee Tourism (EIT) would be the most appropriate name for the new organization.