How do Indigenous communities in Canada balance the development needs of a growing population with cultural commitments and responsibilities as stewards of their lands and waters? Caring for Eeyou Istchee recounts the extraordinary experience of the James Bay Cree community of Wemindji, Quebec, who partnered with a multi-disciplinary research team to protect a territory of great cultural significance in ways that respect community values and circumstances. By addressing fundamental questions such as what should be protected and how, Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners reveal how protected area creation presents a powerful vehicle for Indigenous stewardship, biological conservation, and cultural heritage protection.
About the authors
Monica E. Mulrennan is a geographer and associate vice-president of research, at Concordia University. She works closely with Indigenous coastal communities on topics related to Indigenous knowledge, stewardship, and conservation. Colin H. Scott is an anthropologist at McGill University. He directs the Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives and the Indigenous Stewardship of Environment and Alternative Development research program. Katherine Scott is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University. She is a heritage research coordinator in the Cree Nation of Wemindji’s Department of Culture and Wellness.
Contributors: Fikret Berkes, Jennifer Bracewell, François Brassard, Véronique Bussières, Gail Chmura, Andre Costopoulos, James W. Fyles, Julie Hébert, Eva Hulse, Murray M. Humphries, Grant Ingram, Dustin Keeler, Ugo Lapointe, Rodney Mark, Greg Mikkelson, Heather E. Milligan, Wren Nasr, Jari Okkonen, Claude Péloquin, Florin Pendea, Jason Samson, Jesse S. Sayles, Dorothy Stewart, Samuel Vaneeckhout, Kristen Whitbeck, Colin D. Wren
This book expertly details what nature bureaucrats call a “new protected area paradigm,” according to which lands are “governed by and with Indigenous people," promoting "respect for [their] knowledge, values, collective tenure, stewardship, ... and management of biodiversity" (p. xii).