The hope and prayers of environmentalists are slowly dwindling.
The Em-1 reservoir north of Chibougamau is now blocking the Eastmain River. It will eventually result in the flooding of 600 square kilometres.
“I don’t have any regrets,” former Grand Chief Ted Moses told a reporter at the scene. “The way of life has changed. We cannot rely on hunting, fishing and trapping as a way of life anymore. We’ve joined the wage economy and we rely on that.”
About one hundred workers, along with Cree from the communities of Nemaska and Eastmain, were at the dam to watch the lowering of the gates.
Both gates have been lowered to the sill of the by-pass tunnel; the water level is beginning to rise.
The Cree Elders and tallymen were invited after the closing of the doors for a lunch at the round chalet at the EM-1 campsite. They told stories and they discussed about the Eastmain river.