An electrification project for Kitcisakik

(Val-d’Or) The Aboriginal community of Kitcisakik, which is still not connected to the Hydro-Québec grid despite being about a hundred kilometers south of Val-d’Or, could soon see how this important public service comes to the village as the Band Council, Crown Corporation and Quebec promise a major announcement this Monday morning.

Posted at 5:00 am

Ariane Kroll

Ariane Kroll
The press

The Anicinapek Council of Kitcisakik, Hydro-Québec and the Legault government have called a press conference “during which an important announcement will be made regarding an electrification project for the Kitcisakik community,” underlines the joint press release by the three parties released last week.

Located near the Dozois Reservoir, which supplies hydroelectric power plants on the Ottawa River, the Anishnabeg community of Kitcisakik is still not connected to the public grid. Residents must use gasoline generators, and public buildings in the community are powered by a diesel generator.

The community also took a public stance last year against the Hydro-Québec transmission line project to Massachusetts, in coalition with the Anishnabeg of Lac-Simon and Abitiwinni, the Atikamekw of Wemotaci, and the Innu of Pessamit.

Kitcisakik chief Régis Pénosway had accused Hydro-Québec of “selling the bear’s skin before it was killed.” In particular, the coalition accused the state-owned company of “illegally” producing electricity on its territories.

Talks were held with the indigenous communities that are members of the coalition, Hydro-Québec later reported. Wemotaci’s Atikamekw Council indicated in October that it had agreed to work on projects with the state body.

“Open the Way”

Hydro-Québec’s CEO, Sophie Brochu, has also made it clear that she wants Crown to bring the Indigenous community closer.

“We must pave the way and reach out to tribal peoples,” said Brochu in an interview with The press last November.

Connection to the electricity grid would be a tangible step forward for the residents of this community established in the La Vérendrye Game Reserve, but it is not the only public service that is sorely lacking. The village, which does not have reserve status, also does not have a water supply system, so the houses do not have access to running water. A sanitary building in the village offers toilets, showers and a laundry room.

In collaboration with Hélène Baril and Fanny Lévesque, The press

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