Malcolm Tanoush, Lawrence Neeposh and Lorriana Gilpin, a 16yr old youth from Nemaska, joined the Youth Canoe Brigade to protect the Broadback river. To increase public exposure of the Broadback Watershed Conservation Plan both for the Cree and general public, the CNG and the five (5) communities involved conceived of a highly visible youth canoe brigade down the Broadback River. The involvement of Cree Youth is essential to the continuation of Cree knowledge and practices. This knowledge is the foundation upon which all-future efforts on conservation and protection in Eeyou Istchee will rest. As this summer will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), this canoe expedition also provides an avenue for old and youth to celebrate the efforts of all Crees to protect Eeyou Istchee in thee past 40 years.
Five communities (Waswanipi, Nemaska, Ouje-Bougoumou, Waskaganish and Mistissini) with traplines within the Broadback watershed have been promoting its need for conservation and protection due to the area's rich cultural history, it's rich biodiversity including critical habitat for declining woodland caribou and because it contains some of large remaining old growth within the southern boreal forest. The CNG and these communities launched the Broadback Watershed Conservation Plan and are currently organizing a youth canoe expedition down the Broadback River.
The Broadback River Expedition marks the first Cree youth canoe brigade that is in support of an ongoing campaign of the CNG. In this fashion the CNG Youth Department and the GNG Environment and Remedial Works Department hope to bridge the goals of promoting the need to conserve protect the Broadback River Watershed by promoting the importance of Cree culture and knowledge of the land. By collaborating with multiple Cree entities— CTA, the Regional Elders Council, and the Cultural Department—we hope to make this an encompassing effort for the whole Cree Nation.
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