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Archive | Canada acquired the Mingan archipelago in 1983

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov20,2023

Archives | Canada acquired the Mingan archipelago in 1983

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The Mingan archipelago was purchased by the federal government in 1983.


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On June 14, 1983, Canada acquired the Mingan Archipelago. The decision, which is not unanimous, makes it possible to establish a unique co-management system with the indigenous community. Return to the archives on the controversial but beneficial purchase of this natural place of great beauty.

The Mingan archipelago is located on the North Shore of Quebec. The Quebec government declared it a heritage site in 1978. A project is on the table: creating Minganie Provincial Park.

But on June 14, 1983, the tide turned and Ottawa purchased the archipelago at a cost of $5 million. Quebec was unaware of this sudden transaction.

How was this possible? The territory belonged at the time to the Alberta oil company Dome Petroleum Ltd. However, purchasing from a private owner allowed the Canadian government to bypass the need for an agreement with Quebec. This is what journalist Louise Lafontaine explains to the Téléjournal of June 15, 1983.

The province reacted immediately and requested the return of the territory. However, the purchase was made legally, and Canada maintains its ownership of the Mingan archipelago.

The federal government is still keen to conserve and protect the natural site. In 1984, the territory was designated Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

The place is placed under the under the auspices of Parks Canada. But quickly, Ottawa decided to involve the indigenous nation living in Minganie.

The Innu indigenous community has lived and hunted on the Minganie territory for centuries. It is a territory that they claim as their own.

Following the purchase of the archipelago, Canada decides to share the control of the national park reserve. Ottawa is establishing a co-management system with the community.

Journalist Pierre Migneault details this direct and unprecedented involvement of the Innu in Téléjournal on April 19, 1989.

Co-management means that Ottawa recognizes the Montagnais [Innu] not only their link with the territory's past, but also their right to participate in their future.

A quote from Pierre Migneault, journalist

The great ecological and tourist value of the Mingan archipelago is not new. In the 1920s, Brother Marie-Victorin visited the region and cataloged unique and fragile flora.

After 1983, there was an unexpected increase in tourism in the region. In the space of two years after the purchase by Ottawa, there was a 70% increase in the number of visitors to Minganie.

And for good reason. On the show Montréal ce soir on July 16, 2001, journalist Paul Toutant painted an idyllic portrait of the place.

The archipelago has around forty islands, some of which are designed to accommodate tourists. Others serve as nature reserves, particularly for the many species of birds found in the region.

And you certainly can't fail to admire the limestone monoliths, unique to the country.

There are many reasons to visit this natural place of unique beauty. A corner of the country to discover, rediscover and preserve.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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