Cumulative effects of territorial development on Nitassinan: a geocultural assessment tool for the Pekuakamiulnuatsh

Authors: Paul-Antoine Cardin*, Universite Laval, Caroline Desbiens, Université Laval
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Cultural Geography, Environmental Perception
Keywords: cumulative effects assessments, geocultural assessment tool, territorial planning,First Nations,engaged acclimatization,Pekuakamiulnuatsh,Mashteuiatsh,Quebec,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the context of the Tshishipiminu partnership established in 2012, and by following an “engaged acclimatization” process (Grimwood and al, 2012), we found jointly with the Band Council of Mashteuiatsh (Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan) in Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, Canada, that there is a need to have a better understanding of the cumulative effects of the territorial planning on the cultural practices (Ilnu Aitun) of the community members. In collaboration with Ilnuatsh experts, we are developing a management tool for the assessment of cumulative effects based on qualitative geocultural indicators taking their roots in territorial experiential knowledge (Berkes, 2012 ; Desbiens et Hirt, 2014) of interviewees whom have a historic and contemporaneous understanding of the Péribonka river watershed.

We firstly observed the repartition, localization and extent of territorial planning entities such as hydroelectricity, mining, forestry, tourism and roads. We then interviewed members of the community about the effects of those economic development entities, especially their perceived addition or interaction dynamic, in space and time. After a discursive analysis, we seek for indicators that range on a scale in function of the severity of the impacts (low, intermediate, high). With the help of a culturally sensitive management tool, community professionals would then be able to determine if a sector of the ancestral territory is submitted to important cumulative effects and decide if development may receive a positive or negative feedback.

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