October-November 2002

Three years ago, CHISASIBI Local Environment Administrator Archie Moar hired three people to do clean-up work in the community. These people help clean up debris around the homes of elders, on roads and in residential areas. These full-time seasonal positions run from April until November, and have been particulary important in keeping the roadsides clean.

The Block D lands outside the community of Chisasibi are to be transferred back to the Crees, but there are still issues that remain with the decontamination of this area that was used in the early to mid 1970s as a port and storage site for the hydro projects on the la Grande River. (Posted October 29, 2002)

Laval University in cooperation with the community of WHAPMAGOOSTUI has been conducting a study to look at vegetation native to the local area and how this vegetation can be used to beautify the community and help reduce dust. During times of high wind and low precipitation, dust becomes a real problem in the community. Community members have been involved in the study to provide information on local plant species and to review old photos of the community. The work to date will be reviewed this upcoming week (October 21-25).

Local Environment Administrator for Whapmagoostui, Robert Wynn, also recently contracted local workers to complete a community clean-up project where domestic waste in the community and surrounding areas was removed. (Posted October 20, 2002)

The EASTMAIN Band Council and the Cree Regional Authority are currently discussing the possibility of conduction a riverbank erosion study. Erosion has been occurring on the banks of the Eastmain River for many years now and poses a safety concern to the people and buildings in the community. Erosion of such areas as the former location of the Hudson's Bay Building has even occurred. The study will look at possible corrective action to take in order to stabilise the river banks. (Posted October 11, 2002)

The addition of two aerated lagoons to the wastewater treatment facility in MISTISSINI is nearing completion. The project which began in the summer of 2001 will double the current treatment capacity of the facility from 2500 to 5000 people, and will serve to improve the level of wastewater treatment.

Other signs that show Mistissini is growing include a surge of commercial, residential and community facility development that has been occurring over the past five years. These developments keep Local Environment Administrator Elijah Awashish very busy with issuing permits and ensuring that any wastes generated from the construction sites are disposed of properly. (Posted October 11, 2002)

The riverbank stability project in WASKAGANISH is now nearing completion. The project consisted of placing approximately 3000 loads of gravel and stone along the banks of the Rupert River to stabilise the clay banks, thus protecting the people of the community and important archaeological resources such as a 200 year old fort, the Anglican church and two graveyards. The planning that led up to this project was ongoing for many years and actual work began in June 2002. At the time of completion, the length of stabilised riverbank will span 800 m. (Posted October 11, 2002)

WASWANIPI Local Environment Administrator Derrick Neeposh has been devoting time to a community clean-up program. This program is occurring in conjunction with a community beautification project that began last year to landscape and pave community areas and install sidewalks. Derrick is encouraging community members to do their part to keep their community clean. Areas Derrick is tackling include removing and disposing of abandoned vehicles, encouraging people to create proper interior storage areas for drums, and picking up domestic wastes in yards. He has already been successful in organising youth and women's groups from the Anglican and Pentacostal churches to clean up public areas as a fundraiser. Derrick feels that people's habits are definitely changing for the better now that they see the results of the work! (Posted October 11, 2002)