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2003 Maxwell Studentship Recipient - Véronique Bussières

Aquatic refuge

Map: Steven Fick/Canadian Geographic
Véronique Bussières has undertaken a singular conservation challenge for her master’s thesis: to develop a concept for one of the country’s first community-based marine and terrestrial protected areas with the Cree village of Wemindji in northern Quebec. The area would encompass the rivière du Vieux Comptoir, its watershed, its estuary and an offshore zone along James Bay. Residents want a more formal role in managing and protecting resources, such as waterfowl and fish, that are critical to their economy.

“It’s a unique concept because we normally create either a terrestrial or a marine park,” says Bussières, 25, who is studying public policy and public administration at Concordia University in Montrèal. “The Cree see the land and sea as continuous and integrated ‘scapes.’”

Bussières has been awarded the $5,000 Maxwell Studentship in Human Geography from the Society. This summer, she is interviewing Wemindji residents about their ideas for a conservation plan.

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