Naskapi First Nation of Kawawachikamach
My Interest in Business Ethics
Atlantic ; Quebec ; Northern Canada
Aboriginal - First Nations
Areas of Interest
Corporate Social Responsibility ; Development ; Economic - Environmental ; Economic - Social ; Education ; Human Rights ; Indigenous People ; Labour ; Resource Extraction ; Sustainability
Me in Brief
Philip Einish, for six years, was Chief of the Naskapi First Nation of Kawawachikamach. His interests in business ethics: Two Worlds - Culture World and Mining World, colliding of two worlds.
The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach (the "Nation") (originally known as the Naskapis de Schefferville Indian Band and later as the Naskapi Band of Quebec) is a First Nation with a population of approximately 850 registered Indians, who are also beneficiaries of the Northeastern Québec Agreement ("NEQA"). The majority reside in Kawawachikamach, Québec, located approximately 16 kilometres northeast of Schefferville. The village covers an area of approximately 40 acres and is situated on 16 square miles of Category IA-N land. There is ample room for expansion, whether for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes.
The vast majority of the residents of Kawawachikamach are Naskapi. Naskapi is their principal language. It is spoken by all of them and written by many. English is their second language, although many younger persons also speak some French. The Naskapis still preserve many aspects of their traditional way of life and culture. Like many northern communities, the Naskapis rely on subsistence hunting, fishing, and trapping for a large part of their food supply and for many raw materials. Harvesting is at the heart of Naskapi spirituality.
The traditional lands of the Naskapi Nation are located in northern Quebec and lie in a mineral-rich area north of the limit of commercial forestry. There is no potential for hydroelectric development in this area. The only possibility for a sustainable economy lies with mining. The Naskapi Nation is fearful that, if they are not able to develop economic opportunities in mining, their youth will be forced to leave their community to search for employment elsewhere. The consequence would be the rapid disappearance of a unique culture, forged in the environment of northern Quebec over a period of 400 years. The Iron Ore Company of Canada operated in this region in the town of Schefferville between 1954 and 1982. The Naskapi Nation was essentially excluded from any benefits associated with the operation of the Schefferville mine. Moreover, the mining activities during the operation created serious environmental damage, which was compounded by the lack of investment and information for mine site restoration and remediation.