Press Release: Inauguration of Parc national Tursujuq
Kuujjuaq, Québec, November 1, 2017 – Parc national Tursujuq was inaugurated during a ceremony organized on October 27 at the park visitor pavilion in Umiujaq. In attendance were the Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), Jennifer Munick, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi–Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region, Luc Blanchette, the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, the MNA for Ungava, Jean Boucher, and the Mayor of the Northern Village of Umiujaq, Jack Niviaxie. Tursujuq is Nunavik’s fourth national park. Covering 26,107 km2, it is also Québec’s largest.
“This inauguration is the result of close collaboration at different levels by local Inuit and Cree representatives, as well as the KRG and the Québec government,” stated Ms. Munick. “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment. The preservation of our lands and the creation of job opportunities for future generations remain at the heart of the KRG’s mission.”
Parc national Tursujuq is located near Umiujaq, an Inuit community of about 450 inhabitants established in 1986. The park is defined by Hudson cuestas, two immense lakes and the Nastapoka River. The protected area is also home to unique species of salmon, freshwater seal and beluga. Traces of human activity dating back 3000 years have been discovered in the park, as well as Inuit and Cree trading posts.
The park was created following several years of hard work by the KRG. In 2008 and 2009, the Québec government and the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission jointly conducted public hearings in nearby communities regarding the park’s creation. As well, elders from Umiujaq, Kuujjuaraapik, Whapmagoostui and Inukjuak were consulted. The Makivik Corporation, the Cree Regional Authority, the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (forests, wildlife and parks) and other partners also provided some support during the creation process.
The Tursujuq park development project was carried out pursuant to the Agreement concerning Block Funding for the Kativik Regional Government (Sivunirmut Agreement) signed in 2004 to consolidate provincial government responsibilities delivered by the KRG. Under the Sivunirmut Agreement, the KRG is also mandated to operate national parks in Nunavik in cooperation with the Québec government.
– 30 –
Kativik Regional Government
Tel. 819-964-2961, ext. 2219
The Kativik Regional Government is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978 under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel in areas such as municipal matters, transportation, the environment, policing, employment, labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use planning, civil security and economic development.