1667489483 climate crisis The innus of pessamite was hit hard

climate crisis | The innus of pessamite was hit hard

The impact of climate change on the Innu community of Pessamit on the North Shore is “enormous,” warns a report by Amnesty International, which specifically calls on Quebec to implement the protected area project in the Pipmuacan reservoir sector without delay.

Posted at 8:00 am


Jean Thomas Leveille

Jean-Thomas Léveillé The press

Decreasing snow and ice cover, erratic rainfall, changing seasons, erosion… The climate crisis is directly affecting the Aboriginal community, according to the report titled Climate Emergency in Innu Territory – Innu-aitun in Danger, out this Thursday has been published.

The document explains that in Nitassinan — their ancestral territory — the Innu nation of Pessamite has observed “that there is less rainfall in summer and that lakes and rivers are becoming increasingly dry,” negatively affecting vegetation and fisheries.

These observations are consistent with those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which notes that ‘climate change has already had negative impacts in boreal forests, such as the displacement of animal and plant species,’ notes Amnesty International.

forestry and hydroelectric power plants

To the consequences of climate change are added the exploitation of the forest and rivers of the territory of the Innus of Pessamite – which they never ceded, Amnesty International recalls – which disturb the ecosystems and change the hydrology of the rivers, contributing to the appearance of new ones Species such as birds of prey and the wolf and the disappearance of other species such as the emblematic caribou.

“It prevents us from doing things. Changes are taking place in the field. We have to leave certain areas where we have been catching or hunting small game, for example, where we have been hunting caribou,” regrets Éric Kanapé, biologist at the Innu Council of Pessamit and is quoted in the report.

climate crisis The innus of pessamite was hit hard


Éric Kanapé, biologist with the Innu Council of Pessamite

In addition to the direct impacts they cause, forestry and hydroelectric power plants, whose reservoirs release methane, are “participating in the onset of climate change,” Amnesty International’s report worries.

Protect, Compensate, Respect

To protect the forest of the Innu Territory of Pessamite, Quebec should reject the area covered by the Pipmuacan Reservoir Conservation Project “immediately,” recommends Amnesty International, which is also calling for the implementation of the commission’s recommendations. independent of forests and mountain caribou.

1667489477 136 climate crisis The innus of pessamite was hit hard


Small herd of Pipmuacan forest caribou

The report also recommends paying royalties to the Innu-Nation of Pessamite for Hydro-Québec’s use of their territory for 70 years and compensation for “loss of enjoyment” of their territory; establish a “process of cooperation and shared stewardship” that will allow Innu “full participation” in the stewardship of their territory and resources; and to proceed with the development of a tripartite Pessamit-Québec-Ottawa policy to adapt to and combat climate change.

Finally, she advises the Innu-Nation to “seize the UN bodies [pour] Disregard for the living and cultural rights of the federal and state governments as a result of climate change”.

This report is the result of 18 months of work by the Franco-Canadian section of the international organization and is part of a larger study conducted in eight countries in the run-up to the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which opens in Egypt on Sunday.

Learn more

  • 1 million hectares of boreal forest are cut down in Canada every year

    Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change