CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Cree upset by Quebec’s James Bay mega-project

The Story

The James Bay Cree and Inuit of northern Quebec fight the James Bay Project from the beginning. The 5,000 Cree and 3,500 Inuit fear that Hydro-Québec's plans to divert major rivers and flood vast areas of land will damage the environment and destroy their traditional way of life, which is centered around hunting, trapping and fishing. The Native people of Quebec also maintain that the land slated for development belongs to them. It is a time of rising Native activism in Canada. In 1969 the federal government had triggered a political landmine when it proposed, and later withdrew, a plan for Native assimilation including the abolition of treaty rights and reserves. In this heated atmosphere the James Bay Cree and Inuit of northern Quebec emerge as a formidable adversary to Quebec's grand plan.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: March 8, 1972
Guest(s): Chief Smalley Patawabano
Duration: 2:28

Did You know?

• There were more than 200,000 Cree living in Canada by the year 2000. The three broad groups are the East Main Cree (James Bay), West Main Cree (around Hudson Bay) and Western Woods Cree (Plains Cree).


The James Bay Project and the Cree more