Local Protest and Resistance to the Rupert Diversion Project, Northern Quebec


  • Miriam Atkinson
  • Monica E. Mulrennan




local resistance movement, EM-1-A& Rupert Diversion Project, political strategies, large-scale industrial development, James Bay Cree, community, social and environmental impact


This article examines various political strategies employed by Nemaska Crees in northern Quebec to defend their land and way of life against the EM-1-A& Rupert Diversion Project. Notwithstanding the regional Cree leadership’s endorsement of the project and the ambivalence of the majority of the local community toward the project, a local resistance group composed of committed individuals from the Nemaska Cree community demonstrated a remarkable capacity to engage in a range of political strategies to voice their opposition to the hydroelectric expansion project. Although construction of the project is now underway, our findings affirm the role and significance of individuals and organizations operating at the local level in articulating and framing efforts to enhance local empowerment and governance and respond to the ecological degradation imposed by large-scale industrial development on the “local.”