Opitciwan and the Plan Nord: Forestry, Protests, and Declarations of Sovereignty

By Sarah Amira Aldridge

The Atikamekw Nation includes Manawan, Wemotaci, and Opitciwan. The three communities are located around the Upper Sainte-Maurice River and in the Valley of Quebec. Within the context of the Plan Nord, Opitciwan is the only Atikamekw Community that is above the infamous 49th parallel. The economic interest the Plan Nord has in seizing this resourceful geographical area is the forestry industry. Sawmills in and around Opitciwan have been in development since the 1800’s and by the early 1900’s it had been established as a paper and pulp mill community. Read More

The Atikamekw Nation

By Kahawihson Horne

If one were to adequately explain the complicated situation in which the Atikamekw people of central Quebec currently find themselves, they would first have to provide their audience with an understanding of how these peoples (and for that matter, many other First Nation’s Peoples) see themselves in relation to the traditional territories on which their history has gradually unfolded (and will hopefully continue to do so) over the course of millennia. Read More

Government Action Plans

The Project of a Generation: Plan Nord 2011

by Amanda Claudia Bos & Lotte Frencken

The Plan Nord is a development strategy launched by the Government of Québec in 2011, which covers the territory north of the 49th parallel, equivalent to 72% of Québec’s area. It aims to create economic returns and increase the labour market for a population of over 120 000 people, including 40 000 Aboriginals, while respecting the communities residing this territory. Plan Nord’s purpose has been to open up “new horizons to future generations of Quebecers and [to] offer the world the example of modern, sustainable, harmonious development.” (Plan Nord 2011, 7) Read More