Finding the balance that works. (Cree Nations of Quebec).The Crees Cree
n. pl. Cree or Crees
a. A Native American people inhabiting a large area from eastern Canada west to Alberta and the Great Slave Lake. of northern Quebec Quebec, city, Canada
Quebec, Fr. Québec, city (1991 pop. 167,517), provincial capital, S Que., Canada, at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and St. Charles rivers. have always had close ties to the land. It is where they lived, hunted, fished and trapped to provide food for their families: Even today, many Quebec Crees maintain links to the land, although those links are often more tenuous tenuous Intensive care adjective Referring to a 'touch-and-go,' uncertain, or otherwise 'iffy' clinical situation because of mining, forestry and hydro hy·dro
n. pl. hy·dros
1. Hydroelectric power.
2. A hydroelectric power plant. operations within their traditional territories.
You don't don't
1. Contraction of do not.
2. Nonstandard Contraction of does not.
A statement of what should not be done: a list of the dos and don'ts. have to look far to see the effect these developments have had on the nine Cree Cree, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They formerly inhabited the area S of Hudson Bay and James Bay in what is now Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba S of communities of northern Quebec, from mines cutting through traditional territory, to previously forested areas where clear-cutting has left the land bare. Over the years, many of the communities have faced relocation RELOCATION, Scotch law, contracts. To let again to renew a lease, is called a relocation.
2. When a tenant holds over after the expiration of his lease, with the consent of his landlord, this will amount to a relocation. , some more than once. The latest round of relocation took place in order to make way for hydro projects under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement The James Bay And Northern Quebec Agreement was Canada's first modern Aboriginal land claim settlement, approved in 1975 by the Cree and Inuit of northern Quebec, and later slightly modified in 1978 by the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA JBNQA James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement ) of 1975. But despite these challenges, the Cree people have worked to turn things to their advantage.
The most northerly Cree community in Quebec, Whapmagoostui, sits on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay Hudson Bay, inland sea of North America, c.475,000 sq mi (1,230,000 sq km), c.850 mi (1,370 km) long and c.650 mi (1,050 km) wide, E central Canada. Hudson Bay and James Bay (its southern extension) and all their islands border Nunavut Territory, Manitoba, Ontario, . A little further south, the communities of Chisasibi, Wemindji, Eastmain Eastmain (ēst`mān), river, c.510 mi (820 km) long, rising in the Otish Mts., central Que., Canada, and flowing W into James Bay. Three miles (4.8 km) from its mouth is East Main (founded 1685), one of the oldest Hudson's Bay Company posts. and Waskaganish dot the shore of James Bay James Bay, shallow southern arm of Hudson Bay, c.300 mi (480 km) long and 140 mi (230 km) wide, E central Canada, in Nunavut Territory between Ont. and Que. Numerous rivers flow into the bay; many of these have been developed for hydroelectric power in Quebec (see . Further inland are the communities of Nemaska, Mistissini, Ouje-Bougoumou, and Waswanipi.
The nine communities are members of the Grand Council of the Crees The Grand Council of the Crees (GCC) is the political body that represents the approximately (October 2006) 16,357 Crees or “Eeyouch” (“Eenouch” – Mistissini dialect) as they call themselves, of the James Bay and Nunavik regions of Northern Quebec, , which earlier this year negotiated a new economic development agreement with the province dealing with hydro development in Cree territory.
The new agreement
"The Peace of the Braves", a nation-to-nation agreement that addressed many of the shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
The new 50-year agreement has the Cree assuming the province's responsibility for Cree economic development initiatives, as set out in the JBNQA.
The new agreement also puts an end to lawsuits launched by the Cree concerning implementation of the JBNQA, and allows for more Cree involvement in resource-sector management through development of a Cree-Quebec Forestry Board and a Cree-Quebec Mining Exploration Board.
The agreement calls for the provincial government to make an annual contribution to help fund economic development, with the contribution amounts set at $23 million in 2002-2003, $46 million in 2003-2004 and $70 million in 2005. After 2005, the annual amount paid out will be based on the value of the resources coming out of the area in the mining, forestry and hydro sectors.
By signing the agreement, the Cree communities also give the go ahead for the Rupert Diversion-Eastmain lA hydro project, which will see about 400 sq. km of land flooded, and the amount of water flowing through the Rupert River Rupert River
A river of west-central Quebec, Canada, rising in Lake Mistassini and flowing about 611 km (380 mi) westward to James Bay. to Waskaganish cut in half. Another proposed hydro project, however, the NBR NBR Number
NBR Nightly Business Report (PBS show)
NBR National Business Review (New Zealand weekly business newspaper)
NBR National Bureau of Asian Research
NBR National Board of Review Project, has been cancelled under the agreement. That project would have seen 8,000 sq. km of land in the basins of the Rupert, Broadback and Nottaway Rivers The Nottaway River is a river in Quebec, Canada. The river drains Lake Matagami and travels 225 km emptying into Rupert Bay at the south end of James Bay. Its drainage basin is 65,800 km² (25,400 sq. mile) and has a mean discharge of 1190 m³/s (1556 yd³/s). .
The agreement also includes a commitment from Hydro Quebec to spend $105 million over 15 years to train and hire Cree people for technical positions at its dams, and has set aside $800 million in contracts for Cree companies.
Economies in transition
When it comes to economic development, many Cree communities of northern Quebec are in a transitional phase. Whereas years ago many Cree people were employed by non-Aboriginal businesses, they are slowly working towards becoming the employers, rather than the employees.
Donald MacLeod Mac·leod , John James Rickard 1876-1935.
British physiologist. He shared a 1923 Nobel Prize for the discovery and successful clinical application of insulin. , director of community development for Mistissini, explained how the people of his community have made that transition in the tourism sector.
"One industry that we always have been involved in, even when Indian Affairs was still calling the shots, was tourism. We've always been involved in outfitting out·fit
1. A set of tools or equipment for a specialized purpose: a welder's outfit. See Synonyms at equipment.
2. A set of clothing, often with accessories.
3. ... because we live on a big lake, Mistissini Lake," he explained. "Since back in the 50s, we've been doing that, and today we're still involved in that. However, we went from being guides; we now manage, we own the camps.
Many of the camps started out as band-run entities, owned by the community, but even that is now changing, with individuals or groups from the communities starting their own camps, or having the community-owned camps transferred over to them.
But the shift from employee to employer doesn't happen overnight, with many of the Cree communities still in that transition phase.
In Waskaganish, most of the economic development is initiated by the band through the local development company, explained economic development officer Jack Diamond.
"I think that's the case in a lot of the communities," Diamond said. "If you go back in time, isolation was a factor. It's difficult for anybody to come in from the outside to invest in the community, so basically it had to be the band that provided a lot of the services."
A number of Cree businesses got their start that way, Diamond explained, in order to meet a need of the communities that no one else was interested in meeting. Air Creebec Air Creebec Inc. is a regional airline based in Val-d'Or, Quebec, Canada. It operates scheduled and charter services to 17<ref name="dest" /> destinations in Quebec and Ontario. Its main base is Val-d'Or Airport, with a hub at Timmins Airport. , for example, grew out of a need to provide air transport to the northern communities.
With the opportunities that are being offered by the hydro projects, Diamond sees the band beginning to take more of a back seat in terms of initiating economic development.
"There is a change where the band used to be up front... and the band or their economic development corporation used to do a lot of the up-front work to start up businesses and get work. Now you see the shift, where there are individuals that are in the community that are interested, or that are in business now, and they're looking at getting work," he said.
While in the past, Mistissini's approach to business development would have been for the local development corporation to start a business in response to community demands and then hire the people to run it, that is no longer the case, explained MacLeod.
"We're starting to move slowly away from that, because we felt it's more important for people to have their own professions," he said.
That is the approach Thomas (language) Thomas - A language compatible with the language Dylan(TM). Thomas is NOT Dylan(TM).
The first public release of a translator to Scheme by Matt Birkholz, Jim Miller, and Ron Weiss, written at Digital Equipment Corporation's Cambridge Research Laboratory runs Jolly, economic development officer for Nemaska, would like to see his community take as well.
Since Nemaska was relocated re·lo·cate
v. re·lo·cat·ed, re·lo·cat·ing, re·lo·cates
To move to or establish in a new place: relocated the business.
v.intr. to Champion Lake in 1977, much of the community's efforts have been focused on community development, getting the infrastructure in place within the community. and less on economic development. In the 20-plus years that the community has been in this location, only two private businesses have started up, with the balance of the businesses and services in the community provided by the band through the development corporation.
The key areas where economic development opportunities exist in northern Quebec are all resource-based: tourism, forestry, mining, and the hydro projects.
Whapmagoostui has something to offer that other Cree communities of Quebec can't boast--the community is comprised of both Cree and Inuitpeople, explained Maria Kawapit, Whapmagoostui's economic development officer. Although there is nothing in place currently, she said there has been some discussion about the two cultural groups getting involved in a joint venture in tourism, allowing visitors to come to the community and experience both cultures.
In Wemindji, while past economic development activities have been many and varied--from developing a mini-mall to operating the world's largest fox farm--these days eco-tourism is where the community is focusing its attention.
Tourism-related projects being undertaken in Wemindji include developing a motel and bed-and-breakfast, offering outfitting and adventure tourism services, and promoting arts and crafts arts and crafts, term for that general field of applied design in which hand fabrication is dominant. The term was coined in England in the late 19th cent. as a label for the then-current movement directed toward the revivifying of the decorative arts. through a local shop. But although attracting tourists is a big part of what the community is doing, it is far from the only sector the people are focusing on. A number of businesses have also started, and the community is involved in a number of joint ventures with other companies.
One of the largest of these joint ventures is Kepa, a transport company that operates as far north as Chisasibi, and as far south as Toronto. Another of the community's business ventures is Petro-Nor, a wholesale fuel company. And the diversification Diversification
A risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. It is designed to minimize the impact of any one security on overall portfolio performance.
Diversification is possibly the greatest way to reduce the risk. doesn't end there.
"We have our own drilling company, also our own mining exploration company," said Wemindji economic development officer Tony Gull gull, common name for an aquatic bird of the family Laridae, which also includes the tern and the jaeger. It is found near all oceans and many inland waters. Gulls are larger and bulkier than terns, and their tails are squared rather than forked. . "One other main one is our own Air Wemindji. It offers bush service planes, such as Beavers and Caravans."
Ouje-Bougoumou is a relatively young community, which just celebrated 10 years of existence, but tourism has been the primary focus of economic development initiatives throughout the past decade, explained Nick Paradisis, financial analyst for the community.
"One of the sectors of economic development that we are focusing in is definitely cultural tourism--to combine the history, the culture and the traditions of the Cree with the needs of the modern eco-tourist.
"In addition to the village, which as an internationally recognized model community is a tourist attraction Noun 1. tourist attraction - a characteristic that attracts tourists
attractive feature, magnet, attractor, attracter, attraction - a characteristic that provides pleasure and attracts; "flowers are an attractor for bees" in and of itself, visitors to Ouje-Bougoumou can also get a glimpse of the traditional Cree lifestyle; "Paradisis explained.
"Close by are outfitters that are located on traditional traplines of the families that are running them, so the tourists can get a view of traditional activities, going out into the bush with the outfitters and having what we would term as a cultural experience in there."
Tourism plays a small role in the economic development activities in Chisasibi, but economic development officer Jimmy A. Fireman expects that role to grow. While some area tourism operators have been floundering recently, due to the high cost in getting clients to the area, others are flourishing flour·ish
v. flour·ished, flour·ish·ing, flour·ish·es
1. To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive: The crops flourished in the rich soil.
2. , such as a couple of winter caribou Caribou, town, United States
Caribou (kâr`ĭb), town (1990 pop. 9,415), Aroostook co., NE Maine, on the Aroostook River; inc. 1859. hunting camps to the east of Chisasibi, and a tourism operator that takes visitors to the island the community had relocated from.
While the mere fact that the community is located on a large lake already gives tourists a good reason to visit Mistissini, the community also has another attractive feature. It's located in the middle of a. provincial wildlife reserve. Although the reserve has until now been managed by the province, that responsibility is now being transferred to Mistissini. What does that transfer mean to the community? MacLeod can sum it up in one word--employment.
With management of the reserve in the hands of the province, it was the province that decided where access to the lake and to camping would be located within the reserve. And those accesses were all by passing Mistissini, MacLeod said.
Nemaska, too, has what it takes to make a go of it in the tourism sector, Jolly explained.
"I find that the most abundant resource m the community, apart from human resource, is the natural resources. And we have more people who are more aware and know the Cree culture. And tourism and eco-tourism is one area that hasn't been really explored in the community," Jolly said.
While the forestry sector doesn't seem to play as large a role in the long-term Long-term
Three or more years. In the context of accounting, more than 1 year.
1. Of or relating to a gain or loss in the value of a security that has been held over a specific length of time. Compare short-term. economic development plans of the Cree communities of northern Quebec, it is still an area where many communities are focusing at least some of their efforts.
Forestry continues to be the main source of economic development opportunities in Waswanipi, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Marlene I. Kitchen, economic development officer and director general of the Waswanipi Development Corporation. A number of the people in the community are employed either directly or indirectly in the forest sector, and many of the businesses in Waswanipi have sprung up in order to meet the needs of people coming into the area to work in forestry.
Ouje-Bougoumous is currently involved in the mining sector in its territory, both through exploration businesses run by community members, and through the, band's partnership with SOQUEM, a provincial mining. and exploration company that is currently exploring opportunities on Ouje-Bougoumou territory.
Mining has also played a role in Mistissini where, as in the community's tourism ventures, people have been working their way up the ranks, from laborers in the mine, up to heavy equipment operators, and even up into the labs.
When Inmet Mining The 'Inmet Mining Corporation is a Canadian mining corporation that currently holds an 18% stake in Ok Tedi Mining Limited. began construction of its Troilus mine in 1994, the people of Mistissini made sure they'd get their share of employment opportunities from the project, MacLeod explained.
The community signed a benefit impact agreement with Inmet, which dealt with the community's concerns about the environmental effects of the project on traditional hunting, trapping trapping, most broadly, the use of mechanical or deceptive devices to capture, kill, or injure animals. It may be applied to the practice of using birdlime to capture birds, lobster pots to trap lobsters, and seines to catch fish. and harvesting practices, and ensured people from the community would gain employment through the project.
As a result of the benefit impact agreement, people from Mistissini were awarded contracts during the construction phase of the project, and were guaranteed 25 per cent of the employment in the mine operations, a number that they have routinely surpassed.
"The projects themselves are going to be a stimulus stimulus /stim·u·lus/ (stim´u-lus) pl. stim´uli [L.] any agent, act, or influence which produces functional or trophic reaction in a receptor or an irritable tissue. and a boost to economic activity everywhere in the area," Paradisis said. "All the Cree communities will probably be benefiting to a greater or lesser extent, from the increased level of economic activity, directly attributable to the projects."
While some communities are still waiting to see what effect the latest hydro agreement will have on them, the people of Mistissini have already begun to reap the benefits, explained MacLeod.
"We started early, to find out about this particular project, and we started doing some research. And we insisted that the developer, which is Hydro Quebec, use Native people to get that knowledge, that information, to get the information about these areas, what species are in there, what fish ... because you cannot get better knowledge than from Native people. And that was agreed to. So all the investigation and research work is done, not only from this community, but also from Nemaska. So it's already starting to have an impact," MacLeod said.
But the benefits to the community won't end with the research component, he added.
"There has to be roads slashed slash
v. slashed, slash·ing, slash·es
1. To cut or form by cutting with forceful sweeping strokes: slash a path through the underbrush.
2. in there so that they can have access. We're getting employment from that aspect. Also, definitely, there is going to be a development of the hydro projects. We will be definitely involved in the construction aspect, as well as any of the future permanent camps, stuff like that. And guaranteeing some of the employment aspects in relation to the management and operation of these facilities."
In Waskaganish, much of the attention of the band has been focused on community development in the past year. Thanks to the newly signed agreement, funding that previously had been tied up in red tape has finally been freed up, meaning the community is playing catch up, completing two years of community development projects in one year.
A new police station is being built, and a bank stability project has been undertaken, along with some housing projects, infrastructure work and construction of a new elementary school elementary school: see school. . But the improvement that probably made the biggest impact on the community was construction of a road linking the community to the James Bay highway.
Finding a balance
While these nine Cree communities stand to benefit greatly by simply doing what they have always done--relying on the land for their livelihoods--one of the greatest challenges they face is in finding a balance between using the resources for economic gain and preserving them for future generations: And finding, and maintaining, that balance won't be an easy task.
"There certainly is an impact from either clear-cutting forestry, which you can see as you fly over the area, you can see denuded forests and hills. And the effluents and the pollution and the contamination that's been generated by tailings Tailings (also known as tailings pile, tails, leach residue, or slickens) are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the worthless fraction of an ore. as a result of mining activity. So there is a problem with that," Paradisis explained.
"We're trying to balance it. It's not a very easy balancing act, but to balance. economic development, as we understand it on one hand, and the destruction of the environment on the other, it is a struggle."