Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Forest governance arrangements for Indigenous peoples often include legal framing through treaties and/or land rights and shared institutions or management arrangements. In Canada, the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) marked the first of a series of “modern” treaties and first attempts at creating mechanisms and institutions that would provide the James Bay Crees with increased power and responsibility over their territory of Eeyou-Istchee. A subsequent agreement in 2000, the “Paix des Braves” lead to the creation of the Cree-Quebec Forestry Board (CQFB) by which the Cree and the government of Quebec collaborate to oversee the co-governance of forest resources of Eeyou-Istchee.
This presentation aims to present the preliminary results of an in-depth ethnography of the CQFB and, more widely, of the processes put in place to implement the “Paix des Braves” on Eeyou-Istchee. It will examine the history and functioning of the CQFB, and its efforts to balance the aspirations of the James Bay Cree in asserting their sovereignty over their traditional lands and those of the Quebec government in maintaining ultimate authority and in promoting industrial development of natural resources. In particular, we consider the governance processes that are used at different levels, as well as the monitoring instruments that are used to determine the effectiveness of forest management efforts in maintaining the Cree way of life and on promoting closer relations between Indigenous and non-indigenous inhabitants of the land.