A major Project Initiated by the Innu Council of Pessamit and the RMBMU

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For over a year, the Innu Council of Pessamit and the Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve (RMBMU) have collaborated in a spirit of co-management in order to establish Uapishka Station.

A new enterprise mostly owned by the Innu Council, this research station will be located near on the banks of the Manicouagan reservoir, at the foot of the Uapishka (Groulx) mountains, within the Pessamit Nitassinan, and on land designated by UNESCO.

Uapishka Station is mostly targeting researchers, First Nations, and tourists. From a scientific point of view, protected areas and the sector’s environmental characteristics, the Uapishka (Groulx) Mountains, and the Maicouagan astrobleme, to name but a few, make the territory a place designated to encourage and feed the growing interest in research and Northern Studies.

The project aims to be a gathering place in which we can strengthen our identity as a community, in addition to offering internship and employment opportunities for our youth. Furthermore, the project does not affect Innu hunting and trapping rights,” explains René Simon, Chief of the Innu Council of Pessamit. According to Raymond Rousselot, Vice-Chief and representative in charge of the file on council, “the station will become a strong, concrete symbol of a contemporary occupation of our Nitassinan by the Innu community, in a place ideal for skills development.”

Lastly, Uapishka Station is located on favourable land to charm tourists wishing to discover the unfamiliar nature of the back-country.

Through the development and transfer of scientific and traditional knowledge, Uapishka Station wants to make an original and structuring contribution to the development of the knowledge economy in the region and to be a tool to boost occupation of the northern territory. Such a project could not be realized without a partnership with the Innu,” said Patrick Desbiens, President of the RMBMU. For the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (MSDEFACC), responsible for nearby protected areas and project collaborator, the station will be an ideal arrangement to meet the territory’s management plan.

Eventually, Uapishka Station could create between five and ten stable jobs, as well as between two and eight internship positions during the summer. Parity between Native and non-Native employees is intended. The start of operations is planned for summer 2016. An announcement with all details, including financial partners involved in the project, will be made in the coming weeks.