1703973511 Better protection for the Nitassinan of the Innus Essipit

Better protection for the Nitassinan of the Innus Essipit

To increase protection of its Nitassinan, or ancestral territory, the Innu Essipit First Nation Council has decided to launch its Essipiunnu meshkanau project, which ultimately aims to reach 30% of the protected area.

“For us, this represents an important step in protecting our territory,” explains the nation's director of territorial development, Michael Ross. Currently, there are 12.6% protected areas on our territory. Our Band Council is committed to protecting 30% of our territory while respecting international goals [de celles] that Quebec gave itself. The target area was selected for us based on analyzes of biodiversity and cultural criteria. »

The ancestral territory of this community is vast.

“To help people understand the extent of our Nitassinan, we can locate it east of the Monts-Valins National Park, north of the Sainte-Marguerite, Saint-Fulgence and Sainte-Rose-Nord river valley. »

In addition to protecting the natural environment, this project aims to protect certain species, including woodland caribou.

“It is certain that with this protection announcement we aim to save the woodland caribou. It has been in dramatic decline for several years. With our protection initiative we want to help slow its decline. Our knowledge of the territory is a very important asset to ensure the sustainability of the species. We are also really in the best position when it comes to choosing the biodiversity targets for our territory. »

In this vast area, many people own holiday chalets for hunting and fishing.


“There are no barriers for these people who have lived in the area for years. On the contrary, we want to promote the practice of hunting and fishing. These people must continue to have access to their holiday camps. There is no question of placing a bell jar on the territory. When it comes to exploitation, we think more about the exploitation of natural resources. We hope that in parts of the chosen territory there will no longer be any. »

“Our goal is actually to establish different categories of protected areas or other protection measures within the area we have demarcated. The operating conditions of the project have not yet been determined. We want to sit down with the local stakeholders, be they the ZECs, the outfitters, the forestry industry or the holidaymakers, to find a compromise that allows everyone to continue doing their business on the territory. »

“It is certain that the issue of land protection can be a problem in forestry. This is a conservation project for our community, but the fact remains that we encourage the exploitation of certain parts. »


The Innu have been testing their patience for years. They want to be part of the events that affect their traditional territory.

“Our territory has suffered numerous unrests over the years,” the spokesman said. We have seen the decline of our territory over the years. Our elders explain to us that the caribou that lived in different places in the territory are now found on the tops of the mountains because that is all that is left of their habitat. We want to give the species that have saved us in the past their habitat back. »

Plan your hunting season


Due to the significant increase in the wild turkey population in certain hunting areas, the government had to take new measures. Photo provided by the FéDéCP

You can use the holidays to prepare for your hunting season by consulting the 2024 and 2025 hunting season table, available now. You can also find out about the new legal regulations for all hunting areas and wildlife areas.

Starting next spring, new regulations will also apply to wild turkey in certain areas where the population of this increasingly popular large game has increased significantly.


Photo provided by Mario Huot

To find out everything, you need to go to the hunting dates tab on the website of the Ministry of Environment, Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks.