Changing the paradigm of land development and resource planning on indigenous land

Extracting resources has impacts and benefits. Balance depends on their distribution among communities involved in the product life-cycle, from extraction to end use. The idea behind La Grande Alliance is to tip the scale when it comes to benefits towards communities most affected by the impacts of development. Royalties, jobs, impact planning and mitigation, and product transformation are all ways to balance impacts with environmental, social and financial benefits.

Development and Eeyou Istchee

La Grande Alliance aims at changing and re-organizing how development happens in Eeyou Istchee. The value created through the development of an inclusive and comprehensive infrastructure program will generate stability and allow communities to prepare better to access opportunities associated with all aspects of development. The challenges associated with climate change and other global issues make community participation even more critical.

Balancing Development and Protection

The two concepts are often seen as successive and opposing: development arrives, the environment is damage, and we remediate. Through La Grande Alliance, the governments involved want to flip this notion on its head: Development and protection can co-exist from the start, and can even benefit each other when they do. The process of determining which protected areas are necessary to preserve habitat, water bodies or to maintain a cultural landmark is conducted by land users and local communities, as they are the ones who know the land. Once managed, communities can then direct developers towards areas that have been identified as available for development, as long as it meets the social and environmental criteria as defined in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.