The Inuit call this river Muteshekau-shipu. It is about 300 kilometers long and is known for its steep valleys. National Geographic called it one of the ten best rivers for rafting. The river is more indigenous. An important organism for their culture.

The Inuit Ekuanitshit Council and the Minganie County authorities adopted two parallel resolutions recognizing that Magpie has nine rights, including the right to move freely, conserve biodiversity, perform essential ecosystem functions, protect from pollution, reprocess and restore and the right to take legal action. The river represents the “trustees”, that is, the legal representatives.

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It is not an item

She said, “It’s a paradigm shift.” The National Observer for Canada Yeni Vega Cardenas, President of the International Observatory of the Laws of Nature. “In today’s environmental law, nature is only a being that humans can enjoy. We now realize that a river has its own laws, and that we are part of the same ecosystem.”

There is one dam on the river built by Hydro Québec, the public energy supplier. Environmental organizations have always been looking for a durable solution that would protect the river from further human interference. They have taken various initiatives in this matter over the years, but to no avail. Authorities had previously refused a request to create a magpie protected area.

However, it should be noted that the legal personality of nature does not exist in Canadian law, so it can be appealed to a court. The Inuit Council of Iquichit hopes similar initiatives in New Zealand, Ecuador, and many other countries will put pressure on the Quebec government to formally protect the river.

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The idea of ​​treating nature – places or animals – as legal persons is becoming more and more common. In 2017, the New Zealand Parliament passed a law recognizing the Whanganui River as a legal entity. It was the first such case in the world.

Whanganui, roughly the same length as Magpie, is found as a living entity that has been granted the same rights and duties as a human. In this way, the long-running process between the government and the indigenous peoples came to an end.

Jean-Charles Petachu, chair of the Inuit Ekanechet Board, said he was impressed by the visit to New Zealand and a meeting with the Maori, who had been successful for many years. Piétacho is back from Antipodes hoping the Canadians can do the same.

“We are not the owners of the river,” said Petacho. “Inuit Equanichet has always been the keeper of Nitasinan (Ancestral Territory) and will remain so through the recognition of the rights of the Mutschkau-ibo River.”

“Recognizing the laws of nature is a growing global movement, and Canada “He is joining him today on the first issue,” adds Vega Cardenas. And time will tell whether or not the first case will be a success or failure for Canadians.

What does the company say?

Hydro Quebec is a state-owned energy company that uses the vast expanses of northern Quebec and its great rivers to generate hydroelectric power.

There is actually one power plant in Magpa, which Hydro Quebec opened in 2007. It was then sold in 2013 to the smaller renewable energy company Innergex, which now owns it. However, Hydro Quebec did not give up its interest in the river, on the contrary, it included it in its strategic plan several decades ago, thus waging a long battle with the inhabitants. Although the company abandoned these plans in 2017, the decision to recognize the river as a legal entity was negatively adopted by the company.

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Hydro-Quebec Francis Labbe spokesperson, He said on Canadian CTVThis is indeed “magpie assessed as a river of potential”. a company You would like to be able to use it, but there is no conflict about it. “The intention to protect the river has been made clear and we understand it,” said Hydro-Quebec spokesperson Frances Lappe. “We want to assure you that we do not have any plans for the river in the short or even medium term, or even for the next decade,” he said.

“But in the long term, it is difficult to determine the demand for energy,” he added. “It is irresponsible to permanently give up the potential of this river for energy security in Quebec.”

¬ród³o: Canadian National Observer,, CTV