Without consulting the Crees, Hydro-Quebec is proposing to build a $2-million snowmobile trail to connect Radisson to Chibougamau.

Under discussion for at least a few months, Crees first heard about the plan just before Christmas.

The trail will cut through Nemaska and will allow tourists from the South to pass through Iyiyuuschii, which has Chief George Wapachee of Nemaska concerned.

“I would have some concerns because at least we think Crees should be informed about what’s going on in the territory,” he said.

“I know they are talking about opening up the territory, but if they want to open it up they have to involve the people more. They have to involve the tallymen. This thing is imposed on us. The area is very sensitive. (The trail) could scare game away.”

No impact study has been done on the economic, social or environmental effects of the trail. The snowmobile trail has yet to be discussed by chiefs at the Council/ Board level.

Meanwhile, Quebec has already allocated the funding for the project.

“It’s already done and we get told at the end,” said Chief Wapachee, who added that he was “surprised” when he heard about the idea for the trail.

“That kind of stuff doesn’t provide for good relations.”

All efforts made by The Nation to find out more about the proposed snowmobile trail have so far been unsuccessful.

Hydro-Quebec officials did not return our calls. Lebel-sur-Quévillon mayor Gerald LeMoynr, who is promoting the snowmobile trail, did not return our call.

Neither did anyone from the Conseil Régionale de la Radissonie, which is also involved.

It is also not known if Crees will get any of the work to build the trail. Apparently, it will follow the existing network of lakes, rivers and Hydro lines, and paths will be cut through areas that are otherwise inaccessible.