Balancing Conservation and Development

The Broadback River Conservation Area is a large scale, regional conservation project. It is an initiative between the Cree communities of Waswanipi, Nemaska, Ouje-Bougoumou, Mistissini and Waskaganish in collaboration with the Cree Regional Authority/Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee).

The Broadback River and the surrounding watershed area is considered by the Cree to be a regional conservation priority. For the Cree, this area represents a rich natural and cultural heritage; passed on from their ancestors, and borrowed from their children. Conserving the integrity of this area for future generations is therefore of upmost importance.

Located within the southern portion of the Cree territory (Eeyou Istchee), the Broadback is one of the last remaining large rivers in the boreal forest that has not been affected by hydroelectric development.

Conservation has not kept pace with development in the southern portion of the Cree territory. Forestry development and mining exploration is advancing at a rapid pace, and a certain urgency exists in order conserve the ecological and cultural integrity of this area. The implementation of the Broadback River Conservation Area concept represents a major opportunity to move towards a better balance of conservation and development in this sub-region of Eeyou Istchee.