The Hudson Bay Summit
Feb 27-March 1, 2018
Sheraton Hotel, Downtown Montreal

The Hudson Bay Summit was a huge success! Watch the highlights video here:

To submit a letter in support of forming the Hudson Bay Consortium, see the updated Vision Statement here.

Download the Conference Program here.



Following a long history of efforts by communities, organizations and interested parties in the greater James Bay/Hudson Bay region towards sharing knowledge and coordinated environmental stewardship, the inaugural Hudson Bay Summit will bring together these groups to formally create the Hudson Bay Consortium and move forward on activities and outcomes for environmental stewardship including Communications, Protected Areas, Coastal Restoration and Environmental Monitoring.

The Summit will build on momentum by a recently established East Hudson Bay/James Bay Regional Roundtable and ongoing successes of the Western Hudson Bay Roundtable, and bring these groups together to consider the Hudson Bay/James Bay region as a whole. Additional details on the history of background efforts, previous meetings and details on the approach of the Hudson Bay Consortium can be found on our website here:

Travel support is available to facilitate participation by northerners that do not have organizational support. Register now or contact us The deadline to register for the Summit is Jan 17th. Additional funding is now available for travel support, requests will be considered while funding remains available.

Focus Areas

Focus area

The Hudson Bay Summit will focus on a variety of cross-cutting themes and priorities relevant to Indigenous communities, with a focus on Indigenous-first approaches related to environmental stewardship, sustainable development, and community well-being. This includes protected areas and coastal restoration, community-driven research and monitoring, communications, Indigenous knowledge, education, and working together across the complex jurisdictional landscape of the region.

The Summit will explore the above themes with a holistic approach that considers the interconnected nature of ecosystem and community health, food security, cultural identity and lifestyle.


  • Formally establish the Hudson Bay Consortium through signing of Terms of Reference
  • Deliver a report on priorities for coordination of protected areas efforts across jurisdictions
  • Deliver a report on issues affecting coastal ecosystems and priorities for restoration
  • Deliver a report on regional priorities for community-driven research and monitoring of climate and environmental change indicators
  • Establish Consortium working groups on key themes
  • Raise public awareness on the importance of the greater Hudson Bay / James Bay region
  • Delivery of a working document on priorities and next steps for the Hudson Bay Consortium
  • Improve networking, communications and access to reports and information of ongoing activities throughout the Greater Hudson Bay / James Bay region
Draft Agenda

The Hudson Bay Summit will take place over three full days from Feb 27th to March 1st 2018. Broad participation is anticipated from northern communities, indigenous organizations, nonprofits/ngos, industry and all levels of government. A banquet celebrating the creation of the Consortium is also planned for the evening of March 1st, along with cultural activities/entertainment. A number of high profile keynote speakers are being invited. To submit ideas for posters, exhibitor booths or other suggestions, see the participation page. Themes and workshops are listed below, a detailed Program will be provided when available.

A. Welcome & Background

Background and Introduction to Communities and Organizations

Brief overview of the history of environmental stewardship efforts that have led to the Hudson Bay Consortium and introductions to the communities, organizations and interested parties

Knowing the Bays

Maintaining a directory of Individuals, Organizations, Events and Documents/Reports for the greater James Bay and Hudson Bay region

B. Launching the Hudson Bay Consortium

Keynote Speakers:

  • Honourable Charlie Watt
  • Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanata
  • Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon
  • Hunter Tootoo, MP for Nunavut
  • Stay tuned for additional keynote speakers, coming soon

Formal launch of the Hudson Bay Consortium

C. Workshops

Protected Areas Workshop

The concept of Protected Areas is a current priority for the Federal Government as well as many communities and other organizations. In this context, protection would in no way limit traditional Indigenous land use rather it would serve to increase the ability for Indigenous management and monitoring of the region, maintain traditional hunting and land use activities, ensure long term food security and sustainability, and protect these areas from impacts of development or commercial activities for the benefit of future generations. Sites and regions that have already experienced impacts can also be considered for protection in conjunction with restoration efforts. Defining Indigenous concepts of protection and conservation will be an important foundation for the discussions. A wide variety of frameworks or approaches are possible for implementing protected areas and innovative new ideas that allow flexibility for Indigenous priorities are currently being discussed for other regions. Impact benefit agreements are a key component, which can provide funding for long term monitoring in established protected areas. The workshop will focus on communities and regional organizations providing updates on their current status and priorities for protected areas implementation, examining regions where protected areas may fall into overlapping land claim regions, and considering possibilities for networking of protected areas across jurisdictions. Representative of the Federal government responsible for protected areas implementation and other experts will be participating in the workshop to help address questions, and a workshop report will be delivered to agencies interested in protected areas implementation. This is a key opportunity for raising community and regional priorities towards protected areas and coordinating across jurisdictions so the region can be better stewarded as a whole.

Workshop Coordinator: Stephanie Meakin

Workshop Sponsors: Polar Knowledge Canada, DFO

Coastal Restoration Workshop

Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently announced substantial funding for Coastal Restoration, towards identifying key changes in coastal environments, sources of impacts on fish, molluscs and marine mammals, and developing and implementing coastal restoration plans to mitigate impacts, as well as follow-up monitoring and maintenance. This workshop will serve to provide consultation on key community priorities for coastal issues and restoration across the greater James Bay and Hudson Bay region. Workshop outcomes will help develop next steps for local coastal restoration planning, developing proposals for coastal restoration funding, and coordinating among communities and jurisdictions on coastal issues. Linkages from coastal restoration to long term stewardship through establishing protected areas at restoration sites will also be explored. Interested parties are encouraged to articulate their priorities for coastal restoration in advance of the meeting to share with the group (see below for Additional Information).

Workshop Coordinator: Anu Rao

Ecological restoration is when people assist an ecosystem that has been damaged, to help it recover. Some areas can be restored more easily than others. Some can be restored through physical methods, for example by planting important species (e.g. eel grass, riparian plants), by constructing habitat enhancements (e.g. reefs), or by improving fish passage for spawning tributaries etc.. Other areas can be restored by changing the way people use it or manage it.

In this workshop, you can identify areas where coastal ecosystems have been impacted by natural or human causes in Hudson Bay and James Bay and where you think restoration is possible. You can also suggest what people need to do to help those areas recover.

Please think about these questions before the workshop:

1. Are there coastal regions that have been experiencing impacts or damage, and that need help to recover?

2. What could people do to help these areas recover?

In this workshop you’ll have a chance to mark some of these impacted areas, restoration needs and solutions on maps. A representative from your community will also be asked to speak to the group about these needs and possible solutions.

This will help show where restoration is most important and most possible in Hudson Bay and James Bay, which will be delivered in a workshop report following the Summit.

Community-Driven Environmental and Climate Change Monitoring Workshop

Environmental change driven by climate change and human impacts is a key concern for northern communities. Monitoring and understanding the effects of climate change is important for community adaptation, decision making, co-management and planning. This workshop will be led by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) towards understanding community priorities and key indicators for monitoring and community-driven research. An emphasis will be placed on coordinating research and monitoring efforts across the greater Hudson Bay/James Bay to better understand large scale changes. This will also be a unique opportunity to raise community priorities for environmental monitoring with the Federal government with possibilities for financial support in future years as a part of INAC’s new Climate Change and Clean Energy program.

Workshop Coordinator: TBD

Workshop Sponsored by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program

Education, Elders and Youth Workshop

Involving elders and youth in research, monitoring and environmental stewardship activities is a consistent priority of communities and Indigenous organizations. This workshop will work to determine ways to increase engagement of elders and youth in planning and coordination activities of the Consortium, as well as in on-the-ground environmental stewardship activities including protected areas, community-driven research and monitoring, coastal restoration and other activities.

Workshop Coordinator: TBD

Planning the Road Ahead Workshop

This workshop will focus on establishing Indigenous priorities for next steps for the Consortium at both regional and cross-regional levels. Establishment of working groups on key themes will be considered. For example, establishing a Voices From the Bay Part II project has been proposed by several individuals. A working document will be developed on an ongoing iterative basis throughout the Hudson Bay Summit, towards formalizing next steps and meeting outcomes of the Hudson Bay Summit. This workshop will therefore be an ongoing part of the meeting with a final workshop that will close the Hudson Bay Summit meeting.

Workshop Chairs: Joel Heath, Lucassie Arragutainaq, Andrew Hamilton