Protected Areas &   Proposals

The Cree Communities of Eeyou Istchee along with the Cree Nation Government have taken the initiative to develop a conservation strategy to meet our goals to conserve our land as much as possible by means of creating protected areas recognized by the Quebec Government and by adopting international practices that fit our needs to achieve our dream of keeping our lands intact for future generations.

What are protected Areas?

A Protected area is a section of a natural environment which receives protection for its natural or cultural significance. The level of protection varies depending on the type of its designation. In Quebec, all protected areas are administered by the government and some are managed by the local community such as Parks. There are over a dozen types of protected areas in Quebec such as biodiversity reserves, wildlife habitats, migratory bird sanctuaries and so on. The majority of protected areas are places where no industrial development (commercial forestry, mining and hydro-electricity) is allowed. Crees can practice their traditional activities in protected areas because Crees rights to hunt, fish and trap supersede or come above all protected areas legislation or laws. The two most common types of protected areas found in Eeyou Istchee are Quebec National Parks and Biodiversity Reserves.

National Parks

A Québec National Park is established for the purposes of protecting the area from industrial development and for tourism. When a national park is created, the Government invests money into tourism infrastructure and development. Cree harvesting activities are allowed throughout a park. Sport fishing by tourists is allowed, but sport hunting by tourists is forbidden.

Biodiversity Reserves

Biodiversity reserves are created with the purpose of providing protection against industrial development. They are not established for tourism. Cree harvesting activities are allowed in the reserve. Sport hunting, fishing and outfitting by non-Crees is allowed.

Cree Vision of Plan Nord

The Cree of Eeyou Istchee welcome the opportunity to provide our perspective on the Plan Nord. The Cree welcome responsible, sustainable development of our traditional lands, Eeyou Istchee. We want to be real partners in the development of our territory’s vast potential. At the outset, one should recall certain key principles.

This is the Cree Vision of the Plan Nord. It is the result of the collective efforts of the Cree Working Group on the Plan Nord, established under the strategic direction of the Grand Chief with the Council / Board of the Grand Council of the Cree (Eeyou Istchee) / Cree Regional Authority and working in close consultation with the Chiefs and Councils of the Cree First Nations and the Cree entities.

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Quebec’s position on protected areas

The renewed Plan Nord offers an opportunity to establish and specify conservation measures to protect 50% of the land lying north of the 49th parallel from industrial activities, including a measure to establish protected areas. As part of this process, the Québec government’s target is to ensure that, by 2020, 20% of the area covered by the Plan Nord is made up of protected areas, of which at least 12% will comprise boreal forest north of the 49th parallel. Steps will also be taking to implement a mechanism for the priority allocation of the remaining 30% of the area for non-industrial activities. This part of the North will be dedicated to the protection of the environment, the safeguarding of biodiversity and the promotion of various types of development. The government intends to continue the process to establish national parks as part of the implementation of the Plan Nord.

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Protected Areas & Proposals by Community

Eastmain Eastmain
Washaw Sibi Washaw Sibi
Whapmagoostui Whapmagoostui

Protected Areas & Proposals (Alphabetical List)