Algonquins of Barriere Lake Suspend Forestry Operations: Call on Quebec to
Adopt and Implement Joint Recommendations of Special Representatives, John
Ciaccia and Clifford Lincoln

ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, QC, Oct. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - On October 26, 2007, Acting Chief, Benjamin Nottaway of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, issued a letter to Quebec Minister Responsible for Native Affairs, Benoit Pelletier, calling on him to obtain a satisfactory response from the Quebec Cabinet to the Joint Recommendations of the Special Representative of Quebec, John Ciaccia and the Special Representative of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Clifford Lincoln. A/Chief Nottaway also informed Minister Pelletier that all forestry operations are suspended, pending a satisfactory response from Quebec.

The seven joint recommendations were submitted to the Government of Quebec over 15 months ago, and they are based upon two agreements: the 1991 Trilateral Agreement, which was signed 15 years ago between Canada, Quebec and the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, and the 1998 Bilateral Agreement, which was signed between Quebec and the Algonquins of Barriere Lake signed 9 years ago. Meanwhile, resource extraction has continued on the Territory of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake netting approximately $100 million annually, without any benefits going to the Barriere Lake community.

In summary, the Ciaccia-Lincoln Joint Recommendations are as follows:

1. Recognition of the trilateral agreement territory: We recommend that

the trilateral agreement territory described in Annex 1 and Annex 2,

1991, be recognised as special zones within which resource development

plans and operations are subject to the Integrated Resource Management

Plan approved by both parties. We recommend that these special zones be

identified as such in the Land Use Plans and be given appropriate

visibility on official land use maps of Québec.

2. Integrated Resource Management Plan

2.1 Forestry: The parties have produced seven management plans, one for

each Traditional Management Area in the trilateral agreement territory,

Annex 2. These plans identify the areas of concern for the Algonquins of

Barrière Lake and the level of protection that will be given to these

areas of concern. We recommend that these forestry management plans be

approved as frameworks for the ongoing management of forestry resources

in the Annex 2 territory and that a process be undertaken to consider the

extension of these forest plans principles to the Annex 1 territory.

2.2 Wildlife: The parties have examined five wildlife management plans,

one for each of the following species: moose, bear, fur-bearing animals,

small game and fish. A joint document has been produced which summarises

the extent of the consensus on wildlife issues and this document will

serve as a guideline for our recommendations.

2.3 Lands: The Lands section of the ministry of Natural Resources and

Wildlife has joined the talks. The Algonquins of Barrière Lake have

indicated that they do not support the proposal submitted by Lands for

the development of cottages in 2006. Lands has indicated it is aware of

the need to work co-operatively with ABL to reconcile its comprehensive

land use plan with the IRMP.

2.4 Social indicators: We recommend that the impact of the IRMP and

subsequent resource development on the society and the culture of the

Algonquins of Barrière Lake be monitored. To do this, a list of

indicators has been developed and we recommend that the parties use this

list as a basis to begin assessing the social and economic development of

the Algonquins of Barrière Lake community. We also recommend that the

continuation of this assignment be entrusted to the co-mamagement

committee to be set up when a final agreement is signed.

3. Participation in the management of renewable resources: This item is

listed in article 7 of the bilateral agreement of 1998. We make two basic

recommendations on this item. First, in order to provide for ongoing

input by the Algonquins of Barrière Lake in the management of resources,

we recommend that a joint Québec / ABL co-management committee be

instituted and mandated to oversee the implementation of the IRMP, to

manage the IRMP process on an ongoing basis, to make recommendations to

the parties on changes to the IRMP and to make recommendations to the

parties on issues not already addressed in the IRMP. Secondly, we

recommend that a local Barrière Lake natural resources office be put in

place in Rapid Lake.

4. Revenue sharing and access to resources: We recommend that the

economic aspect of the Algonquins of Barrière Lake's asserted interest in

the trilateral agreement territory be accommodated by way of an annual

financial contribution by the Government of Québec to the Algonquins of

Barrière Lake. We recommend that this annual contribution be established

at $1.5 Million and include the monetary value of a theoretical volume of

timber. We recommend that this amount be increased yearly to reflect any

increase in revenue generating resource development activity on the

trilateral agreement territory, Annex 2, and also on the trilateral

territory, Annex 1. We further recommend that this yearly contribution be

paid to a fund managed by a duly constituted corporation of ABL of

Barrière Lake for the purpose of supporting and promoting the social and

economic development of the Algonquins of Barrière Lake. We recommend

that this yearly contribution be paid over and above other regular Québec

government programs namely the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund and

that measures be taken by the Government of Québec and the Algonquins of

Barrière Lake to protect this fund from fiscal, own source or any other

provincial or federal government policy that would reduce the value of

this contribution.

5. Expansion of the Land Base of Rapid Lake: We recommend that the

agreement in principle reached on 27 April 1999 between Québec, Canada

and the Algonquins of Barrière Lake be confirmed and implemented. This

agreement provides for the immediate transfer of 3,7 square kilometres of

public land to Canada for the Algonquins of Barrière Lake and the

transfer of an additional 6,3 square kilometres conditional to a housing

and infrastructure development plan by Canada. These lands must be

contiguous to the Rapid Lake reserve, include the access road and be

situated east of highway 117.

6. Electrification of Rapid Lake: We recommend that the village of Rapid

Lake be hooked up to the Hydro-Québec grid by way of a 34,5 kv line from

Grand Remous to Rapid Lake, operated at 25 kv for the foreseeable future.

We recommend that the cost of bringing this electricity to Rapid Lake be

born entirely by Hydro-Québec, as has been the practice to provide

electricity to Quebec residents in their communities. This would appear

to be especially appropriate in this situation since the original reserve

site was flooded to build a network of hydro-electric reservoirs and that

the present reserve lies on the shore of one of these reservoirs.

7. Without prejudice: All of the above provisions will be detailed in a

legally binding agreement between the Government of Quebec and the ABL to

be prepared on the acceptance of the present recommendations. The

agreement shall provide that nothing in the present agreement shall be a

recognition or denial of aboriginal right to the territory.


For further information: For further information: Michel Thusky, Spokesperson, Algonquins of Barriere Lake, (819) 435-2171, (819) 723-2019

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