Training First Nations on environmental and social impact assessment

Summary

EEM co-developed a training course on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and the importance of public participation and co-delivered it to the nine Cree communities of Northern Quebec.

Approach and Solution

With the increasing pace of resource development in the Cree territories in the James Bay region of Quebec, the Cree Regional Authority (CRA) wanted to ensure that the nine Cree communities were equipped to understand and participate effectively in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process for resource development projects and to protect Cree rights and the Cree way of life.

In partnership with the CRA, EEM developed an interactive training workshop focused on:

  • The basics of an ESIA study
  • The ESIA legal framework
  • The James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) and provisions for Cree participation and protection of Cree rights
  • The importance of and venues for Cree participation throughout the ESIA process

EEM then co-delivered the one-day training in the nine Cree communities.

Results

The training targeted community leadership, staff of the band-office (including Local Environment Officers), and staff of Cree entities (including the Cree Health Board and economic development organisations) empowering them to participate in the ESIA process as a means of preserving the Cree way of life and of ensuring the sustainable development of their communities and resources.

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