The following document presents a summary of a technical workshop organized by the Cree Nation Government, in collaboration with Parks Canada, and with support from BC2 Inter-Nation Collaboration to initiate a region-wide community reflection and dialogue around the idea of establishing a National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) in the Eeyou Marine Region and the potential impact it could have on Cree communities in the region.
The workshop session served as the launch for the feasibility study currently being orchestrated by the Cree Nation Government (CNG). The purpose of the feasibility study is to study the potential added value and impacts, collect community feedback regarding perceived opportunities and risks, and to determine whether the establishment of an NMCA, in collaboration with Parks Canada, would align with Cree values and support the interests and needs of the Cree communities situated along the eastern coast of James Bay. The workshop was jointly organized and delivered by members of the BC2 Inter-Nation Collaboration team, the Cree Nation Government and Parks Canada in Montreal on October 25-26, 2023.
This report summarises the workshop objectives, methods, activities, and outcomes. It also presents an overview of the content covered in the presentations for the four thematic workshop sessions:
- Feasibility, Governance, and Legal Issues;
- Culture and Heritage;
- Wildlife, Habitat and Ecology; and
- Tourism and Economic Activities.
Each thematic session of the workshop began with a series of presentations that were curated specifically to inform the participants about certain aspects related to National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs), and to frame the roundtable discussions.
The presentations include the following:
Feasibility, Governance, and Legal
The Tawich (Marine) Conservation Area Project (C. Scott, V. Bussières)
National Marine Conservation Areas: A Tool for Marine Conservation and Cultural Continuation in Eeyou Istchee (C. Ouimet)
National Marine Conservation Area: Feasibility Assessment Project (C. Beck)
Establishing an NMCA in the Context of the EMR Agreement (A. Therrien-Lapointe)
Culture and Heritage
Conserving and Telling the Story of Canada and Indigenous Peoples: Parks Canada Cultural Heritage, Designation, Interpretation and Promotion (V. Michel)
Cultural Criteria to Support the Establishment and Management of a National Marine Conservation Area (J. Bishop)
Wildlife, Habitat, and Ecology
Ecological Knowledge in National Marine Conservation Area Establishment and Management (R. Eagleson)
Eeyou Coastal Habitat Comprehensive Research Project (M. Leblanc)
Tourism and Economic
Activities Opportunities for Sustainable Economic Activities in National Marine Conservation Areas (D. Blanchard)
Cree Tourism Opportunities (R. McGinley)
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