The Innu and Atikamekws join forces to demand 'billions' from the Quebec government
A Hydro Quebec logo is seen on their head office building Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Montreal. The government owned utility announced a net result for 2014 of $3.38 billion.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
QUEBEC CITY -- The Innu of Pessamit and the Atikamekws of Wemotaci are claiming "billions" of dollars from the Quebec government, which is building dams, reservoirs and transmission lines on their territories illegally, according to the communities.
At a press conference in Quebec on Wednesday, Chief René Simon from Pessamit urged the government and Hydro-Quebec to recognize the "injustices and prejudices caused in Innu territory."
He said that Quebec still had "two classes of Indigenous people."
In 2002, Quebec signed a historic agreement with the Crees, which included an envelope of $4.5 billion over 50 years.
The Innu and Atikamekws threatened Wednesday to block the construction of an electricity transmission line to Massachusetts, saying Quebec Premier Francois Legault is not listening to their concerns.
Simon said he is ready to continue lobbying against this important project.
"We are going to carry out an advertising campaign against Hydro-Quebec, against the government of Quebec (...) and we will continue the process in the United States, '' he threatened.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2020.