Cree youth canoe expedition to protect the broadback river

Five communities (Waswanipi, Nemaska, Ouje-Bougoumou, Waskaganish and Mistissini) with traplines within the Broadback watershed have been promoting its need for conservation and protection due to the area’s rich cultural history, it’s rich biodiversity including critical habitat for declining woodland caribou and because it contains some of large remaining old growth within the southern boreal forest. The CNG and these communities launched the Broadback Watershed Conservation Plan and are currently organizing a youth canoe expedition down the Broadback River.

The Purpose of the Expedition

To increase public exposure of the Broadback Watershed Conservation Plan both for the Cree and general public, the CNG and the five (5) communities involved conceived of a highly visible youth canoe brigade down the Broadback River. The involvement of Cree Youth is essential to the continuation of Cree knowledge and practices. This knowledge is the foundation upon which all-future efforts on conservation and protection in Eeyou Istchee will rest. As this summer will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), this canoe expedition also provides an avenue for old and youth to celebrate the efforts of all Crees to protect Eeyou Istchee in thee past 40 years.

APTN Report

Please click here to view a report by APTN Television Network.

The Schedule & Timeline

The launch from Waswanipi is “ceremonial”, to mark the 40th Anniversary of the GCCEI, the actual start point of the Excursion is Km 130 of the Route de Nord. The week of August 4 to 8, 2014 is the same week the GCCEI/CNG hosts its Annual General Assembly in Waswanipi, QC. After a celebratory banquet at the General Assembly in Waswanipi on evening of August 6th, the Broadback Canoe Expedition will depart the following morning for its departure on the Broadback River from the Route de Nord. The participants will then paddle the length of the river until reaching Lake Evans. From there the participants will then portage to the Rupert River and Nemaska’s old post. Following this, the youth brigade will then paddle the remaining distance to James Bay and Waskaganish. The project duration is expected to take about to twenty-five (25) days weather permitting. The following is the tentative schedule:

Waswanipi to Waskaganish (Downriver)

Departure: Waswanipi August 7, 2014

Finish: Waskaganish August 26, 2014 (approximate)