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Algonquins of Barriere Lake Logging Conflict, Quebec, Canada


On December 3, 2013 the Algonquins of Barriere Lake non-violently stopped forestry operations that are devastating their lands in Western Quebec.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Algonquins of Barriere Lake Logging Conflict, Quebec, Canada
State or province:Quebec
Location of conflict:Barriere Lake
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Electricity
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Even though the territory encompassed by the agreement is located within the La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve, it has been allocated to forest companies under long-term area-based tenures and also supports hydroelectric development and recreational hunting and fishing. There are currently 36 Timber Supply and Forest Management Agreements, or CAAFs (Contrats d’approvisionnement et d’aménagement forestier), within the area

Project area:1,000,000
Level of Investment:100,000,000 (annual revenues from from resource extraction, hydroelectricity and tourism operations in the territory)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:700
Start of the conflict:1990
Company names or state enterprises:Resolute Forest Products from Canada
Eacom from Canada
Louisiana Pacific (LP) from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Government of Quebec
Government of Canada
Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Association for Progressive Communication
Block the Empire-Montreal
Brampton Coalition for Peace and Justice
Building Bridges Human Rights Project-Vancouver
Comité de Solidarité avec les Indiens des Amériques-Nitassinan
Common Cause-Ottawa
Collectif pour L'Autonomie du Peuple Mapuche
Le Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière (COBP)
Edmonton Small Press Association
Flemish Centre for Indigenous Peoples
Haiti Action Montreal
Indonesia Fisherfolk Union / Serikat Nelayan Indonesia
Industrial Workers of the World–Vancouver
Kichesipirini Algonquin First Nation
Latin America Connexions
No One is Illegal Kingston
No One is Illegal Montreal
No One is Illegal Ottawa
No One is Illegal Vancouver
Olympic Resistance Network
OPIRG Carleton
QPIRG Concordia
OPIRG Ottawa
OPIRG Toronto
Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty
Solidarity Across Borders-Montreal
Sierra Youth Coalition
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of alternative proposals
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Land protection camp
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Institutional changes
Negotiated alternative solution
New legislation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:Barriere Lake's List of Demands
1. That the Government of Canada agree to respect the outcome of a new leadership re-selection process, with outside observers, recognize the resulting Customary Chief and Council, and cease all interference in the internal governance of Barriere Lake.
2. That the Government of Canada agree to the immediate incorporation of an Algonquin language and culture program into the primary school curriculum.
3. That the Government of Canada honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the Trilateral, the Memorandum of Mutual Intent, and the Special Provisions, all of which it has illegally terminated.
4. That the Government of Canada revoke Third Party Management, which was imposed unjustly on Barriere Lake.
5. That the Province of Quebec honour signed agreements with Barriere Lake, including the 1991 Trilateral and 1998 Bilateral agreements, and adopt for implementation the Lincoln-Ciaccia joint recommendations, including $1.5 million in resource-revenue sharing.
6. That the Government of Canada and the Province of Quebec initiate a judicial inquiry into the Quebec Regional Office of the Department of Indian Affairs' treatment of Barriere Lake and other First Nations who may request to be included.
7. The Government of Quebec, in consultation with First Nations, conduct a review of the recommendations of the Ontario Ipperwash Commission for guidance towards improving Quebec-First Nation relations and improving the policing procedures of the SQ when policing First Nation communities.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:While the Trilateral agreement was lauded at the time as being precedent setting, according to the community the government has not honoured the terms of the agreement.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Section 74 of the Indian Act
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Peter Douglas Elias, Models of aboriginal communities in Canada’s north, International Journal of Social Economics
[click to view]

[1] Aziz Choudry. What's Left? Canada's 'global justice' movement and colonial amnesia. Race & Class. 2010
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Government of Canada, Aboriginal affairs description of the conflict
[click to view]

Barriere Lake Solidarity Resources (Links to all relevant sources)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

The documentary Honour Your Word is an intimate portrait of life behind the barricades for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Leah Temper, ICTA-UAB, leah.temper(at)
Last update24/06/2014
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