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Power and dignity: the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the James Bay Cree

Journal Article:

Abstract

The social impact that large-scale hydro-electric development has on the Cree of James Bay following the construction of the La Grande Complex was discussed. Many environmental changes were brought about by dam construction. The project, which also involved the first settlement (the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement) directed at extinguishing aboriginal title to land and natural resources in Canada, resulted in several relocations of Cree communities. In addition to compensation, the Agreement included a formal procedure for environmental and social impact assessment for development projects. However, there was little commitment, as a matter of corporate or government policy, to monitoring any of the social impacts. This paper is a preliminary response to an appeal for attention to be focused on the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the Cree in James Bay. Data from social service files indicate that the rapid centralization of the James Bay Cree into structured communities led to social instability in the villages, reflected by high frequencies in suicide, neglect of children, vandalism and drug and alcohol abuse. The material presented here is expected to serve as a warning that in further developing the far North of Quebec the pace of social change in Cree  More>>
Authors:
Niezen, R [1] 
  1. Harvard Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Nov 01, 1993
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
SCA: 130600; PA: CANM-97:002566; EDB-97:129702; SN: 97001853957
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology; Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: DN: Abstract in English and French.; PBD: Nov 1993
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; HYDROELECTRIC POWER; HIGH-HEAD HYDROELECTRIC POWER PLANTS; LAND USE; AMERICAN INDIANS; STANDARD OF LIVING; QUEBEC
OSTI ID:
531194
Country of Origin:
Canada
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: RCSNBR; ISSN 0008-4948; TRN: CA9702566
Submitting Site:
CANM
Size:
pp. 510-529
Announcement Date:

Journal Article:

Citation Formats

Niezen, R. Power and dignity: the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the James Bay Cree. Canada: N. p., 1993. Web.
Niezen, R. Power and dignity: the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the James Bay Cree. Canada.
Niezen, R. 1993. "Power and dignity: the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the James Bay Cree." Canada.
@misc{etde_531194,
title = {Power and dignity: the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the James Bay Cree}
author = {Niezen, R}
abstractNote = {The social impact that large-scale hydro-electric development has on the Cree of James Bay following the construction of the La Grande Complex was discussed. Many environmental changes were brought about by dam construction. The project, which also involved the first settlement (the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement) directed at extinguishing aboriginal title to land and natural resources in Canada, resulted in several relocations of Cree communities. In addition to compensation, the Agreement included a formal procedure for environmental and social impact assessment for development projects. However, there was little commitment, as a matter of corporate or government policy, to monitoring any of the social impacts. This paper is a preliminary response to an appeal for attention to be focused on the social consequences of hydro-electric development for the Cree in James Bay. Data from social service files indicate that the rapid centralization of the James Bay Cree into structured communities led to social instability in the villages, reflected by high frequencies in suicide, neglect of children, vandalism and drug and alcohol abuse. The material presented here is expected to serve as a warning that in further developing the far North of Quebec the pace of social change in Cree society will have to be slowed down to avoid social destruction of the native communities. 15 refs., 2 tabs.}
journal = {Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology}
issue = {4}
volume = {30}
journal type = {AC}
place = {Canada}
year = {1993}
month = {Nov}
}