defenders ready to mount the barricades for a protected area

The third waterfall of Muteshekau-shipu (magpie river) (photo SNAP Quebec)

The Muteshekau-shipu Alliance, which brings together indigenous and non-indigenous elected officials from Minganie and several environmental protection organizations, released the video last week “Magpie, Forever”as an ultimatum to Hydro-Quebec so that there is no dam on the Magpie River.

The state corporation and the government must stop their double talk, says the director of conservation at the Society for Nature and Parks (SNAP Quebec), Pier-Olivier Boudreault. “We’re told, don’t worry, we don’t have any short-term dam project, but behind the scenes, Hydro-Québec refuses to allow the river to be permanently protected. »

The five-minute video, published last week, aims to remind us that “no” is a consensus in Minganie. The Muteshekau-shipu Alliance wants the creation of a protected area, which would be an official gesture for the protection of the Magpie.

Protect investing

Magpie River is already ranked among the best in the world for whitewater activities. Recognition as a protected area to develop economically, Mr. Boudreault believes. “We want development based on recreational tourism that preserves the integrity of the river. But no investor will be interested in carrying out activities of this type if there is a threat of hydropower development on the river”.

Working with Innu youth

One of the main motivations, recalls Pier-Olivier Boudreault, is to preserve the connection between the Innu, the territory and its practice of traditional activities. The Muteshekau-shipu Alliance is working with Innu youth to speak out in defense of the river: “it’s a lot of young people who are providing leadership on the issue, supported by their chief,” says the director of conservation at CPAWS Quebec.

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