The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la de la Rivière-Innuksuac following the submission in the fall of 2020 of a joint brief from the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. The legally protected status contemplated for this territory is that of a “biodiversity reserve,” which is governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act.
The Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de la Rivière-Innuksuac, which includes most of the Innuksuac River drainage basin, is adjacent to the Category I lands of the community of Inukjuak, as defined by the land regime established by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA). During consultations with the Inuit communities, the territory was identified as essential to the protection of the Innuksuac River drainage basin, a drinking water source, and the conservation of aquatic fauna. The territory covers essential, significant subsistence areas for the community of Inukjuak, especially because different species of salmonids, migratory caribou, and various fur-bearing animals are found there. Furthermore, the territory encompasses numerous types of terrestrial and aquatic environments that are scarcely represented in the network of protected areas in Nunavik.
No natural resource exploration or exploitation activity (mining, energy and forests) is allowed in the territory of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks will ensure the maintenance of the administrative and legal provisions that their prohibition requires.