Notwithstanding its vastness, wealth and heterogeneity, Northern Quebec is best known for its large-scale water, forestry and mining resource development projects. The primary goal of resource exploitation, which is driving these major projects, is currently taking precedence over the challenges of residing and co-existing in a North in transition. Such southern aims often ignore the local indigenous and non-indigenous populations and the socio-territorial transformations generated by the primary goal, thereby forcing local populations to (re)define, and even (re)confirm their relationship to and rights over their territory. In Quebec, the 120,000 Cree, Innu, Inuit, Naskapi and non-indigenous people residing on land north of the 49th parallel are transforming it into a responsive, palpable and unique cross-cultural territory.
Against a background of high levels of mobility, the work of the Groupe de recherche sur les migrations, les mobilités et la cohabitation dans le Nord seeks to improve our understanding of the socio-territorial changes taking place in Northern Quebec. To this end, it is studying the everyday experiences of the people who live there. The ultimate goal is to provide more effective planning and give concrete expression to territorial development that is inclusive.