What we've done is, rather than accepting their answer that the Paul Cree Band is not a First Nation, is to file this claim in court and let the judge decide," said Malcolm.
The survey of the Paul Cree reserve by Indian Affairs was presented to the Privy Council of Canada in 1921.
Communications director, Glen Luff did, however, mention Indian Affairs past involvement with the Paul Cree descendants.
Harris blamed the Cree diabetes epidemic on Hydro-Quebec's hydro-electric dams and clear-cutting that have forced many Crees to abandon their traditional ways of life.
In 1975, the year the James Bay Agreement was signed, diabetes was virtually unheard of in James Bay; only three Crees had the illness.
Harris said most Crees are aware they need to improve their diet and exercise more, but require support from health and community officials, support that's lacking due to bare-bones funding levels.
In an effort to avoid worsening this contamination, the Crees have asked Hydro-Quebec to undertake extensive clearing and removal of organic material (grubbing) in the area of the proposed LA-1 reservoir.
In order to save neighboring, previously untouched ecosystems, the Crees have asked Hydro-Quebec to maintain flow in this river and not to flood and contaminate the lake.
The Crees have now been forced to turn to the courts to ask that this project be subjected to the environmental review processes called for by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Quebec Environmental Quality Act, as well as the Federal Guidelines.
There are about 300 Cree First Nations in Canada reaching from Quebec to British Columbia and down into the northern United states.
Flett said it's vital that Cree First Nations develop among themselves strong economic links to fortify self-government when it arrives, especially in light of what is happening in Manitoba with the process to dismantle the Department of Indian Affairs, and the struggle the James Bay Cree face with the Quebec separatists.