Quebec Promises Caribou Protection but Urgent Action Needed to Stop Roads into Broadback


Woodland Caribou Photo by Howard Sandler

Woodland Caribou
Photo by Howard Sandler

April 13, 2016 – by Danielle Droitsch

This post authored by Liz Barratt-Brown, Senior Advisor to NRDC’s International Program


On April 5, the Quebec government issued broad outlines for protecting woodland caribou in its boreal forest lands, which due to heavy road building, logging, mining and hunting, have led to the precipitous decline of these iconic animals. What will really matter now is what Quebec does to follow up on this new action plan.

Woodland caribou are beautiful but shy creatures that have been synonymous with the boreal forest since time immemorial. They live not in vast herds like their better known cousins, the migratory Tundra caribou, but instead live in isolated groups and feed on ground lichens that grow under a mature forest canopy. Not only are the caribou an iconic boreal species, they are bellwethers for the larger health of the forest ecosystem.

Today, the woodland caribou is at great risk across the boreal. In northern Quebec, scientists studying woodland caribou herds in the James Bay/Eeyou Istchee region, warn that, barring immediate efforts to stem road building and other disturbances in the forest allocated for logging (south of the unallocated northern limit), the decline will continue until the herds are not self-sustaining. Other areas, such as the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and Cote Nord regions face similar threats.

Quebec is no doubt familiar with the scientific data. In the report Status of Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in the James Bay Region of Northern Quebec presented to the Quebec government and the Grand Council of the Cree in 2012, four prominent caribou scientists found that all the herds assessed— the Assinica, Nottaway, and Temiscamie—are in decline. They recommended that caribou habitat be restored, not further eroded, in order for there to be a fighting chance for these important herds to survive.

Map courtesy of Tyler Rudolph, et al, 2012

Map courtesy of Tyler Rudolph, et al, 2012

Caribou are particularly sensitive to human disturbance and tend to avoid crossing roads even if there is attractive habitat on the other side. This is partly due to the fact that human and animal predators are often associated with roads. Instead, these populations, which require at least 65% of their ranges undisturbed to be self-sustaining, have seen their habitat disturbed and the remaining animals are increasingly being landlocked within a spider’s web of roads and clear-cuts.

This is the challenge now facing Quebec, especially since these three herd in northern Quebec live bunched around the allocated forest line—the forest land that has been demarcated for present and future logging and where roads continue to be proposed and built (see map below).



Of utmost immediate concern are two roads—H and I—that are making their way through the approval process. The roads would cut into proposals put forward by the Cree First Nation to protect their traditional land and the caribou and are unanimously opposed by the Waswanipi Cree community. A recommendation is expected soon from COMEX, a joint entity made up of Quebec government officials and the Cree government with a final decision made by the Quebec government. There are road proposals at issue throughout Quebec’s allocated forest, including in other intact forest areas, such as around the Montagnes Blanches and referenced in Quebec’s announcement. But a decision is expected any day on the two roads near the Broadback River valley.

The government must reject these roads as the very first order of business under this new
announcement. As the Waswanipi Chief Marcel Happyjack said at a recent press conference, “Our message is clear: no more development can be allowed in the Broadback River Valley, for the sake of our planet, the survival of the caribou and the protection of our Cree way of life.” As noted, caribou are a bellwether species that reflect overall ecosystem health of the boreal forest. The boreal forest holds 30% of the terrestrial carbon on the planet in its soils and trees. The Waswanipi understand this more than any
others and Chief Happyjack made clear in his statement that they are stewards in this broader sense—that in this day and age it is unconscionable to further degrade the boreal forest landscape and lose the incredible value of its biodiversity and carbon storage capacity. This is why the Waswanipi see their role as more than just guardians for their own peoples but for the entire planet.

It is in this light that the Waswanipi Crees have asked that their protection proposal for the Broadback River valley be granted by July, 2016. Meanwhile, the larger Cree government is seeking broader protection for the Broadback watershed. As these negotiations play out, the Waswanipi Crees have agreed not to harvest any caribou even though it has, like moose, been a staple of their diet for many years. They understand that there is no time to lose and are asking that the government respect that.



Since 2002, woodland caribou have been listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Environment Canada in its 2011 scientific assessment of woodland caribou found that thirty seven of Canada’s fifty one populations of woodland caribou have fallen below sustainable levels.

That is not for any lack of advocacy for caribou protection. For years, Indigenous Peoples and environmental groups have argued that much more needs to be done. Woodland caribou, according to a report by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), now occupy half of their historic range across Canada. Habitat fragmentation is the main driving force in their decline, which can only be addressed by protecting large areas of within their historic range.

Map courtesy of CPAWS, 2015

Map courtesy of CPAWS, 2015



Since 2012, when the Federal Government announced its Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou and 2013 when Quebec updated its Provincial Recovery Plan, here in French, the Quebec government has promised a management plan. Four years on, a specific management plan is still pending and details on how Quebec hopes to achieve protection for caribou remain alarmingly sparse.

Additionally, under this plan, called the Quebec Plan, the province has made a commitment to protect large areas—up to 10,000 square kilometers. These areas would serve as “conservation cores” and should be interconnected since caribou home ranges are extensive. In the northwestern portion of Quebec, in the James Bay/Eeyou Istchee region, the 2012 caribou report discussed above found that ranges were 27,900
km for the Assinica, 36,400 km for the Nottaway, and 47,500 km for the Temiscamie. Remember that these herds require a minimum of 65% of their ranges undisturbed. Doing some simple math and putting these numbers together, and subtracting about 6,000 in territorial overlap, the historic range of these three herds is over 100,000 km . At 65%, the number is nearly 70,000 km .

Since the caribou scientists’ report was issued in 2012, CPAWS reports that only 5,436 km has been protected in this area of Quebec and that, according to the Waswanipi Broadback Task Force, that protection is in parts of the Broadback River watershed that have experienced fire and includes parts of the forest north of the allocated forest line. In other words, more needs to be done.

Quebec claims to have a world class forestry regime. Part of a world class forestry regime is ensuring that other forest values are protected and that forestry operations are truly sustainable. In other words, that the forest allocated to logging can regenerate and not expand its footprint as a result of forest degradation due to over-logging. It is therefore alarming that Quebec has floated moving or expanding the northern boundary to accommodate forestry. Under a world class regime, there can be no expansion of the industrial footprint until there is clear proof that caribou herds are self-sustaining.

Quebec has some of the richest and most extensive remaining boreal forest land in the world and all eyes are now turning to Quebec since British Columbia made its announcement on February 1 that it would protect 85% of its Great Bear Rainforest. Now it is Quebec’s turn to show on the ground that it does indeed have world class standards. The first test is the woodland caribou.



Quebec has put out the broad outlines of a plan but many questions remain. Here are a few of the questions we would like to hear the Quebec government answer:

Will Quebec deny the two roads currently pending before the COMEX that imperil the Broadback River valley and the woodland caribou herds found in that area?

Will the Quebec government adopt its Recovery Plan issued in 2013 and announce a management plan for implementing it?

In its broadest statement, Quebec says it will protect 90% of its intact forest, but where will those intact forests be? How much new protection do they plan to grant from the presently allocated forest or is all protection slated for north of the allocated forest, leaving the intact forests located in the commercial zone at risk of being converted to logged forests? Will Quebec adjust the northern boundary line?

While Quebec mentions there are proposals pending for the Montagnes Blanches and Rene Levasseur Island regions, they don’t mention that the Waswanipi and Cree Nation proposals for the Broadback watershed region that are also pending. Why aren’t these proposals specifically referenced?

Will Quebec demonstrate strong support for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as a sustainable forestry certification system as well as FSC’s requirements that emphasize caribou protection?

Will Quebec address mining, poaching and wildlife depredation that also effect caribou in these forests?

The new Quebec policy will require a great deal of immediate work to help alleviate the tremendous pressure the woodland caribou are under from human action. Caribou science tells us this is our last chance to save Quebec herds that are on the cusp of extinction.

Man in northern Quebec dies after police altercation



By Canadian Press – April 7, 2016


LAC-SIMON, Que. – A man shot by police during an altercation on a small Algonquin reserve in northwestern Quebec has died of his injuries.

Provincial police say the 25-year-old man passed away late Wednesday after the incident in Lac-Simon, northwest of Montreal.

Sandy Tarzan Michel’s death was also confirmed by the coroner’s office.

Lac-Simon police were responding to reports of a man allegedly brandishing a knife while walking in public.

The suspect was struck by a police cruiser and shot several times, with the reasons still unclear.

As the man was being transported to hospital, local police were allegedly attacked and provincial police were called in to assist.

Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux has ordered provincial police to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

In Quebec, it is customary for another police force to investigate when someone is injured or killed during a police intervention.

Provincial police have also taken over supervision of the territory until further notice.

In February, a Lac-Simon police officer, Thierry Leroux, was shot and killed by a local man, Anthony Raymond Papatie, who then took his own life.

Lac-Simon is about 500 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

Beyond Publicity: A Brief on Native Rights in Quebec and Canada


Beyond Publicity



Of all the groups in the Canadian Mosaic, none has been more cheated and worse treated than our First Nations. First Peoples is the generic term applied to all indigenous communities in Canadian Territory and First Nations encompasses all except the Inuit and Metis.

They make constant headlines due to their mistreatment by police, activism, and health crises. Their most recent headline, however, was about the Trudeau government’s budget for 2016.

In the proposed federal budget the government promised eight point four billion dollars over five years to help Native communities. The budget also included an additional two billion for First Nations’ water and wastewater systems and two point six billion for primary and secondary schools on reserves.

National sentiment about First Nations people varies. In primary and secondary school students are taught the myth of the “noble savage” and the magnitude of what governments did to the First Nations – what we now know as “Cultural Genocide”- is glossed over.

But this article isn’t about how abominably Canadian and provincial governments have treated First Nations. It’s not about how residential schools run by religious institutions systematically ripped Native children from their families and attempted to wipe out their language and religion through abuse.

This is about Native Rights.

Beyond Publicity 2The rights of Quebec’s First Nations stem primarily from The Royal Proclamation of 1763, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975, the Constitution Act of 1982, the federal Indian Act of 1985, and a few Supreme Court cases.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 ended a war between Britain and France. As part of the ensuing treaty, France ceded all of its Canadian colonies to Great Britain. The Proclamation put Canada’s First Nations under protection of the Crown and reserved any land not included within the newly acquired colonies or Hudson’s Bay Trading Company’s territory for their use.

Anyone who settled on this land had to move and no one could purchase land from the Natives except the British government. If the Natives agreed to a land sale, the sale had to be finalized in a public assembly, the purpose of which was to ensure the legitimacy and prevent “dissatisfaction” and “reasonable cause of discontent” among indigenous people.

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975 was an Aboriginal land claim settlement. It was negotiated in 1975 by the Quebec government between itself, the federal government, the Quebec Hydro Electric Commission, the James Bay Energy Corporation, the James Bay Development Corporation, and the Cree and Inuit. Another agreement in 1978 included Quebec’s Naskapi Indians in a similar treaty.

The purpose of these was to ensure Quebec’s dominion over lands in the north. It created three classes of land: Category I – consisting of lands reserved exclusively for the use of Quebec’s Native Groups, Category II – lands in which Natives have exclusive hunting, fishing, and trapping rights but “no special right of occupancy” and Category III – which made up the bulk of the territory in the agreement and did not grant Natives any exclusive rights except sole rights to harvest and trap certain species.

Though one of the alleged goals of these agreements was to clarify the position of Native groups in the north of Quebec and ensure their survival, the language used suggests that it was more about asserting Quebec’s dominance over the land, people, and natural resources. The principal provisions of the 1975 Agreement frequently use the word “surrender,” a word that conveys a message of conquest not of union and mutual accord. The subtext is that Quebec’s Native communities are ceding all their rights to a larger, more powerful entity that wants the land and natural resources, and in exchange they get two hundred and twenty five million dollars to be paid over twenty years, as well as roads, social and medical services, and police forces.

The Indian Act of 1985 was an amended version of a discriminatory Federal law. The new law removed the discriminatory provisions and defines who is considered Native. Only those registered as Indian in the federal Indian registry are considered as such.

Eligibility is determined by parentage and membership in a recognized Band; for example, if you are a member of a federally recognized Native Band and/or have a parent who was eligible for registration, you can be registered. The law also defined the Reserves which are legally held by the federal government for the use and benefit of Native Bands.

The Constitution Act of 1982 guaranteed existing Aboriginal and treaty rights. Though Canadian law has made a lot of promises to Natives, authorities and individuals have made numerous attempts to usurp Aboriginal land. It took legal challenges for the authorities to officially recognize and acknowledge their rights.

In 1984 the Supreme Court of Canada in Guerin v. The Queen recognized that Aboriginal rights existed prior to the Royal Proclamation and Indian Act. The majority judges declared that Indian land was inalienable and the Crown is legally obligated to deal with the land in a way that is fair to the Indians. In 1990 the Supreme Court in R v. Sparrow said the Crown has to act in Natives’ best interests and must justify any legislation that infringes on or denies their rights.

Canada’s First Nations are still recovering from the institutionalized oppression they were and are still subjected to. Though Native women are disappearing left and right, the largely white police and RCMP are dismissive. It’s only thanks to public reports and ensuing outrage that the people sworn to protect us are finally taking the problem seriously.

A scandal involving police harassing and raping Native women finally forced the Quebec government to pay attention. It took reports on suicide epidemics and photos of grisly rashes on children in Native communities for the federal government to act. Though the laws are there to protect our First Nations, sometimes those sworn to enforce it need a kick in the ass.

And sometimes the threat of bad publicity is all the kick you need.

A magnificent Innu-Naskapi hunter tunic is revealed at the Palais Montcalm


The beautiful InnuNaskapi hunter tunic which will be presented on stage. Photo: Museum of Civilization (CNW Group / National Capital Commission of Quebec (CCNQ))

The beautiful InnuNaskapi
hunter tunic which will be presented on stage. Photo: Museum of Civilization (CNW Group / National Capital
Commission of Quebec (CCNQ))


With the participation of Florent Vollant, singersongwriter

QUEBEC, Feb. 17. 2016 / CNW Telbec / Aboriginal culture will be honored in February as part of the capital Treasures, this series of historical performances, theatrical and musical presented by the Commission of the national capital of Quebec and Museum of Civilization.

On Monday 22 February at 19 h 30 at the RaoulJobin Hall of Palais Montcalm, spectators will have the opportunity to admire a beautiful InnuNaskapi hunter tunic reported in England by a soldier who participated in the Seven Years War ( 17561763). Made of caribou skin coat that was returned to the Archives of the province of Quebec in 1926.

Each year, Innu and Naskapi hunters were of new coats before taking their caribou hunting. This garment served as backdrop to represent the patterns that were sent to them through the dream. These representations were part of a symbolic system of exchange between hunters and the master of the caribou, whose power could free the animal so that it gives the Innu and Naskapi.

This Feb. 22 at the Palais Montcalm, the charge of research Museum of Civilization, Jean Tanguay, will report on recent discoveries to better understand this unique garment. It will be supported by the historian Denys Delage , a specialist in historical relationships between First Nations and Europeans.

For the occasion, the audience will also have the pleasure of hearing the music of Florent Vollant , renowned singersongwriter, accompanied by guitarist André Lachance. Actors Martin Perreault, JeanMichel Déry, Alexandrine Warren and Jonathan Gagnon complete distribution and immerse the audience in the context of the years following the end of the Seven Years War.

Recall that the public is invited to go on stage at the end of each show in the series to admire the featured item of the evening and to exchange with historians, curators, musicians and comedians.

Those interested can get a minisubscription season for the last three shows of the season at a cost of $ 42 or purchase a ticket for $ 16. Taxes and service network Billetech fees not included. Tickets on sale at the ticket office of the Palais Montcalm, 418 6416040.

The programming of the series is available online at (


SOURCE National Capital Commission of Quebec (CCNQ)

Image with caption: “The magnificent InnuNaskapi hunter tunic which will be presented on stage. Photo: Museum of Civilization (CNW Group / National Capital Commission of Quebec (CCNQ))”. Image Link:

For further information: AnneMarie Gauthier, Communications Coordinator, National Capital Commission of Québec, 418 6440826,; Information: Frederick Smith, historian and project manager, National Capital Commission of Québec, 418 5288531,


Inuit, Indigenous women face Third World conditions in Quebec jails





march 10 2016

In April 2015, Quebec’s Protecteur du Citoyen, or Ombudsperson, took a tour of detention cells in northern Quebec. Among other things, what Raymonde Saint-Germain found was seven Inuit women locked up in a tiny cell originally intended for one or two people. None of the women had slept all night; there was not enough room for them to lie on the floor even if they had wanted to. In some detention centers, she found suicidal detainees held right alongside those who were booked for intoxication.

Saint-Germain’s special report , released in February this year, has put the media spotlight on a bitter social contradiction in Canadian society. Billions of dollars flow out of Quebec’s north through natural resource exports like mining. A massive scheme for further exploitation of the region involving new railways, ports, and energy lines is just starting, called Plan Nord (Plan North). And yet social conditions faced by Indigenous communities are comparable to the Third World.

As Indigenous activists and allies across the country celebrate the promised federal inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by the newly-elected Liberal government of Justin Trudeau, this reality will likely continue to come forward, weaving together more threads in the story of genocide already exposed by the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission into Residential Schools.

Nunavik is the homeland of the Inuit peoples who live in what is now Quebec and, like vast regions of Canada, has never been covered by any Treaty. The Inuit (who have long rejected the label “Eskimo”) are recognized in Canada’s Constitution as an Indigenous people distinct from the First Nations and Metis. Located north of the 55th parallel, and bordered by Labrador in the east and Hudson’s Bay to the west, their homeland is larger than the state of California.

Nunavik also includes several villages and hamlets which were subject to the forced High Arctic Relocation during the 1950s, when the Canadian government asserted sovereignty over the Arctic during the Cold War by moving entire Inuit families to artificially create the most northernmost communities in Canada – Resolute and Grise Fiord.

Saint-Germain’s report on Nunavik describes a judicial system which shows no respect for the fundamental rights of the accused particularly their right to dignity. Cells are dirty and overcrowded with limited access to water, clean laundry, janitorial services, or even fresh air. Seven to twenty-five detainees are often packed into cells intended for two. In Puvirnituq police station, the stench can apparently be smelled when you walk in, with traces of blood and excrement staining the walls.

Saint-Germain said it reminded her of the worst jails she had visited in Africa. The Quebec government has known about this probably for at least ten years, according to the report, yet appears to have refused any action. (Two years ago, a similar report on Nunavut detention centers on Baffin Island suggested they were also likely non-compliant with the Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.)

The justice system currently shuttles Inuit from Nunavik detention centers down to Montreal for court a distance greater than that between New York and Miami. It then ships them back to the community, or to jail. As no roads enter the region, travel is by plane via Iqaluit on Baffin Island, which is actually even further north.

According to the newspaper Le Devoir, Inuit represent 7.6 per cent of the First Nation population in Quebec, but 43 per cent of incarcerated Indigenous people. And that number is rising. Total Inuit in Quebec jails increased by 64 percent in the last five years.

Quebec is not alone, however. Canada’s violent crime rates are falling, yet prison populations are at an all-time high as jails become what some call “the new residential schools.” In the Prairies, the overwhelming majority of people in the criminal justice system are First Nations. And to top it off, Indigenous people in jail spend more time in segregation and isolation than prisoners of other backgrounds.

An extension of this prison crisis is the incarceration rate of Indigenous women, in particular. Overall, while Indigenous people represent less than 4 per cent of the Canadian population, 36 per cent of female inmates are Indigenous up 109 per cent in recent years.

These numbers are just part of the context of the gendered colonial legacy of oppression against Indigenous peoples which recent events in the Quebec city of Val-d’Or have again exposed. Last fall, a group of Indigenous women told Radio-Canada’s investigative program, Enquête [also available in English from CBC], that provincial police officers in Val-d’Or routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated, drove them out of town, and left them to walk home in the cold. Some allege they were physically and sexually assaulted.

Quebec First Nations leaders have rallied behind the women who have come forward, and support demonstrations were held in Val-d’Or as well as Montreal. Indigenous activists have condemned the lack of support received by Indigenous people in the region, which is in the northeast of Quebec (and many kilometers to the south of Nunavik).

An open letter to the Premier signed by the Quebec Native Women’s Federation, as well as twelve other groups including the main Quebec labor union federation, CSN, called the investigation now taking place into the allegations at Val-d’Or by the Montreal Police “fundamentally flawed”. Citing strong skepticism towards “police investigating police” inquires, the group is calling for an independent investigation.

The Quebec Federation of Women (FFQ) has also expressed support for the women’s demands, calling them “whistleblowers” for a more systemic problem. Their statement echoed the message at the annual march for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Montreal last month.

As the federal inquiry comes into shape, it will no doubt be an immensely painful yet important development, worthy of close attention by all democratic-minded people both inside and outside Canada, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, women and men alike.

A shorter version of this article appeared in the March edition of People’s Voice newspaper. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.



Source: 11385




February 23, 2016

(Sept-Iles) “Currently, there is no fear to do with bananas’ sold in Sept-Iles, says the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), which continues its analysis to determine if the fruit is the cause of an allergic reaction “significant” leading to the hospitalization of two Septiliens Friday.

“We are in close contact with Public Health to collect information and to evolve our investigation,” said the spokesman MAPAQ, Yohan Dallaire Boily. On Monday, the bananas were still on supermarket shelves of Sept-Îles. “There is no retired banana, it’s not necessary.”

Only common link

On February 19, two, unrelated, were presented to the urgency of the Sept-Îles hospital in anaphylactic shock. “The only common link is that they ate bananas before,” said the communications adviser Integrated Centre for Health and Social Services of the North Shore, Pascal Paradis.

Public Health has sent samples of the bananas ingested for consideration MAPAQ. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was also advised to check whether similar cases have been reported in the country. According to MAPAQ, it is also the agency that will decide on the withdrawal of fruit as it is an imported product.

The North Shore Public Health confirms that no reporting of allergies related to banana consumption has been received since Friday. The MAPAQ assay results are expected in the coming weeks.

Naskapi Tipaachimusinaaikin March 2016

Naskapi Tipaachimusinaaikin Editor—Isaac Einish

Status Of Women Update

1The Status Women of Canada Pilot Project on Empowering Women of Kawawachikamach is coming to its end as of March 31st, 2016.
The Women Empowerment Pilot Project ran for 8 months with different organized activities that targeted the wellness of the whole being using the medicine wheel model; spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. Some activities were physical fitness class with Stephane Pepin, nutrition and healthy eating with Stephanie Lévesque’s. Sharing circles and self esteem workshops and other workshop delivered by Invited guests to help empower our women were Dolly Demitro, Konwatsitsawi Meloche and Melanie Dean. Other fun activities were spa day and sleepover at the NCC.

As a Project Coordinator, it has been a very rewarding and yet very challenging experience. I had the opportunity to work with very beautiful and awesome
women. It was a privilege to have been able to grow, learn, support, empowered and most importantly to be part of a strong group of women. Everyone of us had something to share, bring and teach to each other. Everyone of us had our strengths and weaknesses. That is what makes us unique and fabulous women of Kawawachikamach.
I am very pleased that more and more women are coming out of their shells and making their lives better through coming out and participating in different events. I want to extend my con-gratulations to those women the push them-selves to want a better and brighter future for themselves and their families.

On a final note, I would like to share that we women of Kawawachikamach are all capable, strong, smart, beautiful, resilient, amazing, creative, gifted and caring. We can be all that we dream of and so much more. We need to see ourselves as positive role models for our daughters, granddaughter and nieces. We need to see the inner and outer beauty we all have.

—Cheyenne Vachon


Notes From Court

In February, the Justice Committee had its meeting with Judge Côté, one of the presiding judges over the itinerant court, and Chief and Council. The meeting was about how to improve the court and justice services in Kawawachikamach with the help of the stakeholders, Nation employees, and community members.

Also, during the February court session in Kawawachikamach there were no offenders given community hours, so for now there is no community hours being performed until May, 2016.

There will be an information session regarding the different justice services available to Naskapis in the near future. Announcements will be made to the community with the details.

—Charlotte Pien


Elder’s Corner


Told by Joseph Guanish, Kawawachikamach

Translated and transcribed by Brian Webb

When you were young, who told you the stories and legends?

Our grandmother, of course, the one who raised me. She was the one who brought me up. My parents did not raise me. My grandmother and grandfather took me in and brought me up. They raised me so that I would learn the ways of life from the bush.

One time, grandmother and I had a hard time while we were way out in the bush. There is a river called Mushuau Sibi. She went hunting for caribou to get hides for making moccasins and snowshoe lacing. Children’s coats were made from caribou hides – these were winter coats. Grandmother got sick. She almost died because she was so cold. She was working on meat and would run out every now and then. She suddenly became sick and had spasms. She had those spasms for the entire night. I already knew well how to hunt and how to lay traps. I was also taught how to set the wooden traps and otter traps.

The deadfall ones?

Yes. This is what my grandfather taught me. He taught me everything. At first, I would just tag along with him and observe. And when I got bigger, I started doing the things myself and he would just give me advice. That was a very difficult time for my grandparents to raise me.

One time, my grandfather killed 61 caribou. We placed the caribou in a shelter made from young trees. He was remembering people who would be coming through as they moved camp – he would give them the caribou. If there weren’t that many people, he’d give a family 10 caribou.

My grandmother was a great hunter. She didn’t have any children of her own. She was my mother’s aunt. She was married twice. This is what I remember from her. I sensed that grandmother really loved me. She’d leave to go hunting at night. I didn’t know what time it was during the night. I had already gone to bed. She hadn’t brought any food the night before. Still no trace of dawn and she was already leaving. I sensed that she really loved me. I said to her, “It seems that you’re not cooking.” They were taking care other children as well. “Are you not cooking for us to eat?”

“Your grandfather didn’t bring anything home to eat.” She was getting ready to go hunting. This was how determined she was to raise the children. The other children were her sibling’s children. She was given children to look after because she was such a great hunter. She was truly compassionate. My mother’s aunt raised 14 of us children.


News from JCMLC


Another Essential Skills course started at the James Chescappio Memorial Learning Centre January 25th. This course is designed for students that do not have their Secondary III. The topics that are covered are numeracy, reading text, document use and mathematics. Once completed, students are encouraged to move on to completing their high school diploma or get the minimum requirements to get into the vocational programs that are offered in English throughout the province. High School upgrading is ongoing at the centre through distance education. Instead of having a teacher in the classroom, the teacher is at the other end of the phone and in some cases, at the other end of chat on social media. The next ES course starts April 11, 2016. For more information on the Centre, please contact Mike Gagnon at 2621 or like our page on Face Book.


Student Stories From the South

4I am taking the Plumbing Mechanical Technics and my lovely girlfriend is taking the Indigenous Wellness Addiction Prevention Pro-gram at Canadore College. We love our programs and the city of North Bay.
North Bay is a beautiful city, nothing like the cities such as Montreal or Toronto.
We’re close to a couple of native communities and walking distance from the Native Friendship Centre. North Bay hasn’t made us feel out of place because we get to see other natives almost everyday.
Our son, George-John is in grade 3 and our daughter, Sophia-Rose started her first year of school. The children love it here; they love the fact that there are programs for both of them. My son takes karate lessons as well as jiu jitsu. We get to go to the movies when new animated movies come out at the theatres.


Wachiya from TATA

5On behalf of Tata Steel Minerals Canada, we wish to express our warm regards on the eve of a new season.

We would like to inform you of the latest developments regarding Tata’s DSO Project at Timmins. We are happy with our accomplishments in 2015, particularly with the end of construction of the process plant under the dome while reaching close to 400 work days without lost time injuries, as well as reaching our production objectives. During this period, we also completed the bypass road around the TSMC site in order to provide safe access to hunting and fishing grounds to the north.

Despite the current economic situation in the mining sector, we are convinced that with the collaboration of our partner communities, we will surmount the obstacles before us, while ensuring that Tata is more productive and competitive.

We are happy to announce the conclusion of an Agreement-in-Principle between Tata Steel and the Government of Quebec, which should enable us to pursue the DSO Project in the Schefferville region, thus ensuring the continuation of economic development of local Aboriginal communities.

The Environmental Impact Study for the Howse Project was submitted to the provincial and federal government. While we maintain a dialogue with the Councils, we invite community members to comment on the study during the upcoming consultation period.
Finally, we remain proud to be a major contributor to the « Caribou Ungava » research program, and Naskapi training and economic development initiatives including the Iron Ore Processing and Safe Work Practices, Essential Skills, Truck Driver Training, Mechanics Training, and the acquisition of houses in Schefferville to house personnel for the Naskapi arena works and the new CLSC.

We wish you a peaceful and pleasant rest of the winter.
Coco Calderhead, Community Affairs



Housing Allocation

6Following a referendum held in December, 2014, the Housing Allocation Policy was revised from a “first-come, first-served” basis to a “needs-based” basis, which will take into consideration issues such as family size, overcrowding, level of rent arrears, etc. New houses, and any other houses which may become available, will be allocated through the “Applications for Housing” received during the Housing Application Period, usually held in Fall for the coming year. Applications must be re-submitted each year.



Did You Know?

7Subpoena – is a court-issued command for an individual or corporate repre-sentative to appear before the court or to provide specific evidence. Failure to comply with a subpoena without good reason can result in a warrant to cause that person to be arrested and to be brought to give evidence (Sec. 698(2)a)b) Canadian Criminal Code).

In the province of Quebec: Installing a Lift – the vehicle must not be raised more than 2.5” or 6.4 cm. Installing a bigger set of tires and rims – the tire lift must be no greater than 1.5” or 3.8 cm; in other words, the outside tire diameter must not be increased by more than 3” or 7.6 cm; and the maximum tire diameter allowed is 35” or 89 cm

Installing tire and rims such that they protrude from the body – the tires thread must be covered by fenders or mudguards; and mudguards must not be more than 13.5” or 35 cm of the ground.

Essential Skills to start at the JCMLC starting April 11, 2016. This eight week course covers numeracy, reading text and document use. This course is a must if you are re entering the Adult Education stream. Call 2621

How much extra can you make on social assistance?

8SAP – A recipient of social assistance is permitted to make up to 200.00 per month before any amount is deducted from the monthly payment. If a recipient makes more than 200.00 in any given month, that amount would be deducted. An-other words, you are free up to the first 200.00 and if you were to make 350.00 that month, 150.00 would be deducted from your monthly allowance.


Police Beat

Its great pleasure that the Naskapi Police Force participates in the community newsletter. And provides input and up-dates on community safety. Community safety is an essential component of my vision of the Naskapi Police Force. We know that through engagement, the community is given a significant voice in how we police. It is my goal to enhance the community’s voice, create partnership, and build trust within the community. I believe that by engaging in our community, we can significantly improve the way we deliver policing, as well as reduce crime activity and establishing trusting relationships within the community. The relationships we build, will also help us solve crime. I am appreciative that our key stakeholders are part of the solution in our community. And they provide information and listen to the concerns of the community.

In Peace & In Friendship,
William Moffat
Director of Public Security


Manikin Makeover

On June 8, 2015, The Naskapi Development Corporation signed a contract with Loblaw’s Grocery store, on behalf of Manikin Centre for partnership. The project will be in 3 phases and works are expected to start on April 2, 2016 to the middle of May if all goes well as planned. The first phase will consist of changing and painting the flooring, painting of the ceiling and relining the new shelving. During this period the store will be closed for five (5) consecutive days, April 2, the store will be opened from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and closed in the afternoon, for the works to commence and will re-open on April 8, 2016 at normal hours, 9:30 am to 6 pm.
A new software system is a point of sale system to help control the price management and inventory and will be installed all through the store. There will be new shelving with over racking, new refrigeration and freezers, new walk-in freezer in the back of the store and a new facelift on the front of the store with a concrete side walk of 60 ft in length x 8 ft width and an expanded roof.
Manikin Centre will have expanded produce, more variety of products such as, meats, deli, produce and grocery and expanded retail aisles that will include an expanded con-cession area. The Post Office will also be renovat-


Naskapi Junior Firefighters Camp and Challenge 2016

Naskapi Fire Department organized a Junior Firefighters Camp and Challenge during the March Break. It was never planned by the department to have a camp and challenge; for some reason the department realized there was nothing happening for the youth during the break. The whole objective from the firefighter’s camp and challenge was to have the youth busy during the March break.
In doing so, we realized our objective could lead to an annual event during the March break and possibly, a summer camp objective. That would deal with; military aspect, fitness, policing, and firefighting.
From March 2 and 3, the Junior Firefighters had a 2 day camp that dealt with fitness (CrossFit), military discipline (attention – stand at ease) and firefighting skills (hose rolling and connecting; obstacles and wearing fire equipment).
On March 4, the Junior Firefighters had a Challenge and showcased their knowledge in fitness and firefighting skills. The Challenge was broken down in 2 categories: Top Firefighter and Fittest Firefighter.

Results from March 4, 2016:


Top Firefighter
Deleah Vachon
Tasmin Vachon
Ryden Nabinacaboo


Fittest Firefighter
Owen Shecanapish
Gavin Einish
Sarah Ann Pien


Naskapi Fire Department would like to congratulate the top finishers and most importantly, our young participants!


Due to technological and time restraints, we were unable to make a bilingual publication and apologize for that. We hope to be able to publish in both Naskapi Syllabics and English for the May edition.

City inspectors verifying balconies near deadly collapse



City inspectors spent Monday morning at the scene of a fatal railing collapse on a balcony in Lachine.

Two men died, but 24-year-old Allan Nabinacaboo is still alive but critically injured following the accident.

Nabinacaboo is badly hurt with a broken pelvis, fractured neck, and a perforated liver.

He, along with 23-year-old Job Nelson Guanish and a 32-year-old man were on the balcony smoking late Saturday night when the railing collapsed and they plunged 15 metres to the ground below.

The three men are all apparently from Kawawachikamach, north of Sept-Iles.

Nabinacaboo’s sister lived in a neighbouring apartment and called their parents at 2 a.m. to tell them of the crash.

Gilles Corbeil and Christina Nabinacaboo rushed to Montreal to be at their son’s side.

“He has massive injuries. All his family is coming down from everywhere to be with him. That’s why we came from Kawawachikamach last night,” he said.

Corbeil said he has been to the apartment before, and warned his son not to trust the balcony.

“I’ve mentioned it so many times not to go out and play around out there because to me it wasn’t safe,” said Corbeil. “The railings are loose; the floor if you go out there yourself you jump like that and everything shakes.”

On Sunday inspectors began checking the other balconies on the building, which was constructed in the 1960s. Some doors to the balconies with wooden beams were barred to prevent people from going outside. They have also put up notices warning residents that the balconies are unsafe.

City inspectors are also checking other buildings in the area to see if those balconies are structurally sound.

The owner of the building, well-known boxer Lucian Buté, is expected to bring in private inspectors to check the building, and they will compare notes with the city’s workforce.

“We’re going to be sure that if something’s different from our own inspection, (we’ll tell him) what he should do to be sure that everything should be alright for the security of the people who live in that building,” said urban planning director Michel Seguin.

Meanwhile, a community is left grieving.

“I feel sorry for the two boys from our community,” said Corbeil. “Right now my prayers are with them and my heart is with my son trying to survive in the hospital.”


Two dead in a building belonging to Lucian Bute

Source (translated from French)

Jimmy Diamond Shecanapish and Job Nelson Guanish

Jimmy Diamond Shecanapish and Job Nelson Guanish

The incident occurred around 2 am in an apartment building on Victoria Street, near the corner of 33rd Avenue, across from Ivan Franko Park.


The men finished their fall on the pavement in front of the building. Respondents Urgences-santé tried to resuscitate a man about 40 years, but without success. The other two men in their twenties, were taken to the hospital, where the death of one of them was found.

Jimmy Diamond Shecanapish (son of Susan Shecanapish, who is daughter of John and Susan Shecanapish), Job Nelson Guanish (son of Annie Guanish, who is daughter of Luke and Charlotte Guanish), and Alan Nabinicaboo (son of Gilles and Christina Nabinicaboo) were on a balcony of Alan’s apartment and the railing collapsed and they fell to the driveway about 40 feet below.

The other man, aged 26, remained in critical condition at the hospital in late morning. Police were dispatched to the hospital to monitor his health.

“We know that the railing gave way, said André Leclerc, spokesman for the police department of the City of Montreal (SPVM), but it is unclear the circumstances in which it happened.”

Investigators from the Montreal police were dispatched on site to interview witnesses. The investigation will determine whether an altercation took place before the fall, but the current assumption is that the ramp simply buckled under the weight of people.

According to information obtained from neighbors, a party was held in the apartment.

“Around 2 am, I heard three loud noises, like something that fell,” recounted a woman who lives on the floor above.

Similar balconies in the neighborhood

Earlier today, a perimeter was established around the scene. The metal ramp, several meters long, hanging along the building was withdrawn.

“It denotes all guardrails lot of rust, explained an employee of the borough of Lachine. They seem to have the experience of the 1960s is really going to make sure everything is in place is solid and holds out. Otherwise, we will request the necessary repairs. ”

The Borough Mayor Claude Dauphin moved to the scene of Sunday morning drama.

“With our director of planning with our police and firefighters, we will ensure secure the area because all the blocks here, it was built in the same years, he said . From tomorrow, a general inspection we going to not only things like this happening again. Balconies like that, he’s everywhere around. ”

Jimmy and Job died of their injuries and Alan is in critical condition. Several family members have already left on yesterday’s plane to be there in Montreal (Lachine, Quebec).

Quebec Court of Appeal refuses to dismiss Innu communities’ class-action | CTV News

Protest in front of Rio Tinto building in Montreal

Chief Real McKenzie, left, and Chief Mike McKenzie, right of the Innu Matimekush-Lac John band protest in front of the Rio Tinto building in Montreal, on Oct. 1, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Ryan Remiorz)

MONTREAL — The Quebec Court of Appeal has refused to hear a motion by the Iron Ore Co. of Canada and the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Co. seeking to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by two Innu communities.

The Innu First Nations of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (Uashaunnuat) and Matimekush-Lac John claim the IOC, which is majority owned by Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), has violated their rights for nearly 60 years and are seeking $900 million in compensation.

They allege the companies have been running a large mining complex and railway on traditional territory in northeastern Quebec and Labrador since the 1950s without prior consent.

The operations are located in the communities of Schefferville, Labrador City and Sept-Iles.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard rejected IOC’s claim that the Innu had to sue the government instead of the company in a ruling in September.

The Innu claim the mines and other facilities have ruined the environment, displaced members from their territory and prevented them from practising their traditional way of life. They also said the 578-kilometre railway between Schefferville and Sept-Iles has opened up their territory to “numerous other destructive development projects.”

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Rio Tinto owns a 58.7 per cent sake in IOC, followed by Mitsubishi with 26.2 per cent and Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp. (TSX:LIF) at 15.1 per cent, which also receives a royalty on all IOC iron ore sales.

The Innu communities have reached agreements with miners ArcelorMittal, Cliffs Natural Resources, Tata Steel, New Millennium Iron and Labrador Iron Mines (TSX:LIM) that provide financial compensation for the mining activities.