A Canadian First Nation Indigenous leader, Ashley Iserhoff, as a keynote speaker at the inaugural meeting of the World Indigenous Network shared the Cree Nation’s experience of land stewardship and governance in the northern part of the Canadian province of Quebec.
In his speech titled “Conservation and Stewardship through Aboriginal Governance in Eeyou Istchee (Northern Quebec)” Ashley Iserfoff, the Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), talked about the Crees’ opposition to hydroelectric development, and more recently, the Crees’ successful request for a moratorium on uranium mining.
On Monday (May 27), the Deputy Chief outlined the Crees’ battle for self-autonomy and the challenges that faced the Cree since a proposed hydro-electric project mobilized the community.
“Our struggle took shape when eight isolated Cree villages came together to form a collective nation under the Grand Council of the Crees,” said Cheif Iserhoff. “It was under the guidance of our elders to work together, thus was formed the Grand Council, which successfully forced a legal injunction on the construction of phase 1 of this massive hydro project
Despite the challenges over the years, the Deputy Chief concluded: “I am optimistic that our long-earned gains toward greater self-governance will enable the Crees’ vision of stewardship and conservation to be recognized in this challenge.”
The World Indigenous Network is supported by the Australian government. Its inaugural meeting started on Sunday, May 26, and continues until Wednesday.
Speech of Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) – here
Press release Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) – here
World Indigenous Network website – www.worldindigenousnetwork.net