Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan is the band council of the Ilnuatsh of the Pekuakami (Lac-Saint-Jean). The Mashteuiatsh community was established in 1856 on the shore of this lake. However, the community’s ancestral land, Nitassinan, covers approximately what is now designated as the Lac-Saint-Jean region of the province of Québec. It also includes a common area with two other Innus communities, Essipit and Pessamit, which extend from the Saguenay River to close to Trois-Rivières.
For several years now, the community has been working for the well-being of Pekuakamiulnuatsh society by being part of a process of empowerment and political, cultural, social and economic autonomy. The Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation is strongly committed to asserting and preserving Aboriginal rights, including Ilnu title, advancing the interests and aspirations of its people, and exercising their inherent right to self-government.
Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan is part of the Tshishipiminu partnership, along with the Amerindian Museum of Mashteuiatsh and the Department of Geography of Laval University. The main objective of the partnership is to bear witness to the historical and contemporary occupation of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh on the Péribonka river watershed.
By considering the impact of hydroelectric development, an industry that has been active since the beginning of the 20th century, the partners aim to highlight the adaptation strategies the Pekuakamiulnuatsh have implemented in order to maintain and renew territorial practices on their ancestral land.
One of the research projects of the partnership aims to develop an administrative decision-making tool to assess the cumulative effects of diverse industries such as hydroelectricity, mining, forestry, regional tourism, road construction, etc., on the practice of cultural activities of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh on their land.
This research project lays out the geohistoric and geocultural components of the cumulative effects of economic development of the Nitassinan land dispossession. The research relies on Pekuakamiulnuatsh geographic knowledge in order to determine semi-qualitative indicators based on combinations and synergies noted between the industries involved which result in a modification of cultural practices.
The validation of existing Indigenous expertise through the partnership research interface repositions the academic researchers in a framework based on the community’s autonomy. These research works are still to be published.View Source