The greater Hudson Bay and James Bay region is a critical ecosystem for wildlife and communities that rely on them. Its historical significance is rivaled only by its huge potential for further economic development; yet it remains one of the least funded and understudied regions in Canada, lacking an integrated governance structure. Inter-jurisdictional challenges continue to complicate research and stewardship efforts.
After many years of planning and efforts by the communities and indigenous organizations of James Bay and Hudson Bay, 27 communities along with representatives from indigenous organizations, governments, academics and non-profits came together to officially launch the Hudson Bay Consortium at the inaugural Hudson Bay Summit in Montreal in the Spring of 2018. Community and organizational input created a shared Vision Statement and Guiding Principles for HBC participants.
Encouraging and facilitating cross-jurisdictional and cross-cultural communication, cooperation and collaboration in the pursuit of knowledge and means to protect, improve and steward the greater Hudson Bay/James Bay ecosystem for the primary benefit of the people, flora and fauna that live there.
As the communities, organizations, bodies of indigenous, local and regional governance and other interested partners of the greater Hudson Bay and James Bay coast, we are indicating our commitment to work together as a network through the Hudson Bay Consortium for the benefit of present and future generations towards a shared vision and common goals for the environmental stewardship and sustainable development of the greater Hudson Bay-James Bay ecosystem. In this spirit, participants will conduct themselves ethically and fairly, with community wellbeing and environmental stewardship as our priorities. In particular, we will:
- Respect different cultures, values, and the natural environment;
- Work holistically to ensure the Hudson Bay and James Bay ecosystem are managed as a common entity from both physical and human perspectives;
- Recognize Indigenous rights, self-determination and knowledge;
- Communicate and share information towards the pursuit of knowledge and coordination, without impacting the neutrality or decision-making abilities of existing governance and land claim structures;
- Allow all interested groups the opportunity to discuss mutual interests, goals, and responsibilities, and;
- Build strong linkages between Indigenous Knowledge and scientific knowledge towards strong understanding and stewardship of the Hudson Bay-James Bay ecosystem.