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Power from the north : the poetics and politics of energy in Québec Desbiens, Caroline 2002

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POWER FROM THE NORTH: THE POETICS AND POLITICS OF ENERGY IN QUEBEC by  CAROLINE DESBIENS B.A., Concordia University, 1992 M.A., University of British Columbia, 1997  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We  accept  this  thesis  as  conforming  THE UNIVERSITY  the  required  OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  November ©  to  Caroline  2001  Desbiens,  2001  standard  UBC Special Collections - Thesis Authorisation Form  http://www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/thesauth.html  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the head of my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n .  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada  1 of 1  2001/11/15 2:12 PM  ABSTRACT  In 1971, Robert Bourassa, then Premier of Quebec, launched a major hydroelectric scheme to be built 1400 km North of Montreal. Known as the "James Bay" project, the first phase included the creation of eight powerhouses, six reservoirs and the diversion of two rivers. These transformations necessarily impacted the local Cree people; a territorial agreement partly compensated them but remains controversial to this day. While northern communities overwhelmingly bear the ecological cost of the project, the bulk of James Bay energy flows south to the industrial centers of Quebec, Ontario and the U.S. The assertion then that "James Bay belongs to all the Quebecois" which was meant to ease political tensions about the project begs the question, "Who are the Quebecois" and how do the Crees fit within such a community? This thesis explore that question by looking at the Quebecois cultural production of territory and its resources in the north. If James Bay was out of reach, it was never out of view. Media and political discourses reiterated key elements of a Quebecois cultural relationship to place, some of which are contained in the rural literature known as the roman de la terre. Several elements of this literature and its broader context were recontextualized in James Bay, particularly as they pertained to the will to occupy the land and develop natural resources. This was an important aspect of making James Bay - a land historically inhabited by the Crees into a "Quebecois" national landscape. I suggest that this process was largely rooted in representations of nature that sought to bind it with nation and national identity. Thus James Bay demonstrates the close connection between identity and environmental struggles. For the Quebecois, the access to James Bay was supported by a territorial discourse that performed their own cultural past. This provoked an organized resistance from the Crees which constituted them as a modern political unit. A look at the cultural geography of the region highlights the political scales created in the accessing of resources that render their equitable and sustainable use more difficult to achieve.  ii.  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT LIST  p.  O F FIGURES  MAP OF QUEBEC QUEBEC  AND J A M E S  BAY - IMPORTANT  PORTFOLIO  p.  vi  p.  ix  DATES  p.  p.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 1  X  xiii p.  MISE E N S C E N E Opening "The world begins today" The politics of energy  ii  1  p. 7 p. 7 p. 7 p. 11  Viewing points The view from the balcony Viewing the land / viewing "the people" Locating theories Development: ordering North and South  p. p. p. p. p.  19 19 25 30 33  Geography of the field City and wilderness Conducting / enacting research Redirecting the gaze / relocating the field  p. p. p. p.  36 36 39 43  p.  46  p.  53  p. p. p. p. p. p.  58 63 63 67 69 71  See  what you  PORTFOLIO  will  see:  Power from  2  PROLOGUE The British Conquest and From French to British America Interpreting the Conquest The Patriot Rebellion The Durham report  early  rule  the  North  iii.  The nineteenth-century rural Rurality and religious ideology  ideal  p. 78 p. 78  Leaving the land La  Conquete  p. 81 du sol  ACT 1 - ROMAN DE L A TERRE: WRITING NATURE AS NATIONAL IDENTITY  p.  84  p.  92  An archetypal narrative?  p. 98  Maria Chapdelaine "Making land": wilderness versus rural nature Choosing rural nature, choosing the nation  p. 103 p. 104 p. 108  Trente Arpents Blood and soil: losing a cultural anchor Unnatural nature: the experience of exile  p. I l l p. 113 p. 117  L'Appel  p.  Homo  de  la  race  quebecensis  p.  Nature as national space Rivard,  Rural ideal and Quebec complementary natures?  contrary or  moderne:  l'economiste  3  ACT 2 - WILD AND RICH: SCRIPTING JAMES BAY AS A SPACE OF DEVELOPMENT Trading weapons, tapping nature's wealth Spectacle Recognizing a familiar landscape  121  p. 123  Jean Rivard, le defricheur / Jean Habitant, planner and economist Rural ideal, development ideal  PORTFOLIO  119  p. 127 p. 131 p. 134  p.  138  p.  141  p.  149  p. 157 p. 163 p. 165 iv.  Scripting Linking the dots A portable landscape Nature as a standing reserve  ,  p. p. p. p.  173 174 1178 181  Tracks Reading the land  p. 185 p. 186  Governmentality A father's attention Seeing like a national subject  p. 194 p. 198 p. 203  PORTFOLIO  p.  4  ACT 3 - BUILDING WATER: A GEOGRAPHY OF "THE PEOPLE" p. Women at work: in difference and solidarity p. Placing women: space and sexuality in the work camp p. Women with no femininity: reinscribing gender and race p.  210  216 227 228 236  Pioneers and water builders: contemporary James Bay as a "people's geography" Viewing the colonial past Working / owning the land  p. 243 p. 246 p. 252  Building  p.  258  p.  264  EPILOGUE James Bay - another look ; Natural resources - a political landscape Identity politics as environmental politics Performing/challenging the past through development Multiculturalism in the wilderness Power from the North: cultural critique as environmental study  p. p. p. p. p. p. p.  271 272 274 279 281 286 290  BIBLIOGRAPHY  p.  PORTFOLIO  water:  nature  as  national  resource  5  295  v.  LIST O F F I G U R E S  Figure 1: Map of Quebec Source: The Natural and (Hydro-Quebec, 1992), p.  p. ix Human 2.  Environment  of  the  La  Grande  Complex  Figure 19: The Order of Northern Conquerors Source:  Le  Soleil  (Quebec, 15 February 1969), p.  p. 22.  Figure 20: Bourassa. Father of James Bay Source:  Personal  collection  of  the  p. 201  author.  Figure 25: A prayer Source:  En  Grande,  p. 233 Vol. Ill, No 3 (March 1976), p. 2.  Figure 26: Strange trees Source:  En  Grande,  p. 233  Vol. IV, No 15 (August 1977), p. 2.  Figure 27: Sketch of the Robert-A.-Boyd Park Source: Societe des Sites Historiques de Radisson, Pare Concept d'interpretation (Radisson, 1999), p. 27.  p. 247 Robert-A.-Boyd  I  Figure 28: A country of giants. Homage to the water builders Source: Societe des Sites Historiques de Radisson, Pare Concept d'interpretation (Radisson, 1999), p. 22.  Robert-A.-Boyd  p. 252 I  PORTFOLIO 1 Figure 2: Bienvenue, Wachiya, a la Baie James Source:  Nord-du-Quebec,  Baie  James  p. 2  (Quebec Guide Touristique  1999/2000), p.  Figure 3: LG2 machine hall Source:  The La Grande  Complex  P. Turgeon, La  - Phase  1 (Hydro-Quebec,  1991), p.  25.  p. 4  Radissonie  (Montreal:  Libre-Expression,  1992),  p.  111.  (Montreal:  Libre-Expression,  1992),  p.  110.  Figure 5: LG2 escalier de geant Source:  P. Turgeon, La  1.  p. 3  Figure 4: LG2 main dam Source:  152  Radissonie  p. 4  Figure 6: Power. Key to becoming "Masters in our own house" Source: A. Bolduc and D. Latouche, Quebec un siecle d'electricite (Montreal: Libre-Expression, 1979), p. 260.  p. 5  Figure 7: Now or never! Masters in our own house  p. 6  Source: A . Bolduc and D. Latouche, Quebec un siecle d'electricite (Montreal: Libre-Expression, 1979), p. 276.  Figure 8: Nationalisation. Key to the kingdom Source: A. Bolduc and D. Latouche, Quebec (Montreal: Libre-Expression, 1979), p. 277.  p. 6  un siecle d'electricite  PORTFOLIO 2 Figure 9: Power for the Quebecois Source:  Forces  48  p. 54  (Montreal, 1979).  Figure 10: A source of energy that belongs to us Source: Forces  97  p. 55  (Montreal, 1992).  Figure 11: Quebec's North. What is it for you? Source: Forces  p. 57  48 (Montreal, 1979), pp. 92-93.  PORTFOLIO 3 Figure 12: Secretary behind her desk Source: En  Grande,  p. 142  Vol. 11, No 5 (May 1975), p. 4.  Figure 13: Pleasures of landscape. Bourassa viewing the La Grande... p. 144 Source:  P. Turgeon, La  Radissonie  (Montreal:  Libre-Expression, 1992),  p.  110.  Figure 14: LG3 dam. "A concrete arm holding the La Grande" Source: Forces  68  Figure 15: LG2 escalier de geant Source: Le  Reseau  68  Forces  104  Forces  68  p. 147  (Montreal, 1993-1994), p. 40.  Figure 18: LG4. A global geography Source:  p. 146  (Montreal, 1984).  Figure 17: Maestro Bourassa Source:  p. 145  (Hydro-Quebec, 1990), p. 2.  Figure 16: Rushing waters. Another view of the escalier de geant Source: Forces  p. 145  (Montreal, 1984).  p. 148  (Montreal, 1984).  vii.  PORTFOLIO 4 Figure 21: "Developing a [rational] vision for the future" Source: Forces  104  (Montreal,  p. 211  1993-1994).  Figure 22: Profession pionneer Source: Forces  p. 212  48 (Montreal, 1979).  Figure 23: Worker as "Hydro-Quebecois" Source: A . Bolduc and D. Latouche, Quebec (Montreal: Libre-Expression, 1979), p. 404.  p. 214 un siecle  d'eTectricite  Figure 24: Under the gaze Source:  Hydro-Qu6bec  p. 215  archives.  PORTFOLIO 5 Figure 29: A handshake (JBNQ Agreement) Source:  P. Turgeon, La  Radissonie  p. 267  (Montreal: Libre-Expression, 1992),  p.  117.  Figure 30: The Odeyak Source: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Astchee), Never James Bay Crees stand against forcible inclusion into an (Toronto: E C W Press, 1995).  p. 268 Without Consent: independent Quebec  Figure 31: International outreach - Earth Day 1992 Source: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Astchee), Never James Bay Crees stand against forcible inclusion into an (Toronto: E C W Press, 1995).  p. 269 Without Consent: independent Quebec  Figure 32: Another look at the escalier de geant Source: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Astchee), Never James Bay Crees stand against forcible inclusion into an (Toronto: E C W Press, 1995).  p. 270 Without Consent: independent Quebec  viii.  QUEBEC AND JAMES BAY - IMPORTANT DATES  1534  Jacques Cartier plants a cross in Gaspe in the name of the Roy de France .  1611  First recorded contact between natives and Europeans in James Bay.  1670  The Hudson Bay Company is incorporated by the British Crown.  1760-63  British conquest of New France. 60 000 French colonizers remain.  1763  Paris Treaty. France cedes its Canadian colony to England.  1774  Quebec Act. Quebec gets its language, old civil law and freedom of religion.  1791  Constitutional Act. Divides Upper and Lower Canada.  1837-38 French Patriot uprisings and defeat. Main leaders executed or sent into exile. 1839  Royal inquiry into the Patriot uprisings (Durham report).  1867  Canada's Constitution Act. "One dominion under the name of Canada."  1912  Quebec frontier is extended North to the Hudson Strait.  1944  Creation of Hydro-Quebec.  1944-59 Maurice Duplessis is elected four times as Prime Minister of Quebec. His leadership is referred to as "La Grande Noirceur" and ends with his death in 1959. 1960  Election of Jean Lesage leader of the Liberal Party. Beginning of the Quiet Revolution.  1962  Lesage and his government are re-elected with a mandate for the "nationalization of electricity", symbolized by their campaign slogan "Maitres chez nous."  1967  General Charles de Gaulle's "Vive le Quebec libre!" Creation of the movement for Sovereignty-Association by Rene Levesque.  1968  Pierre Elliot Trudeau becomes Canada's Prime Minister.  1970  April: Bourassa elected Prime Minister. October: Political crisis which ends with the assassination of Pierre Laporte.  1971  April: Bourassa launches the James Bay project. July: creation ofthe "Societe de developpement de la Baie James" (SDBJ)  1972  Cree and Inuit people seek an injunction against the project in the Quebec court.  1973  Judge Albert Malouf orders construction to cease on the La Grande complex. His decision is reversed a week later.  1974  Labour dispute leads to a riot at the LG2 work camp. The site is closed for over a month.  1974  Grand Council of the Cree is formed with Billy Diamond as Grand Chief.  1975  James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement is signed between the Cree, Inuit, and Naskapi and the governments of Quebec and Canada.  1976  Rene Levesque defeats Robert Bourassa to become Quebec's Premier.  1979  LG2 Complex is inaugurated.  1980  First Quebec referendum on separation from Canada. "No" side wins with 60% of the votes.  1982  Patriation of the Canadian Constitution and creation of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  1985  Bourassa defeats Rene Levesque and is re-elected. During the campaign, he proposes to pursue Phase II of the James Bay project (Great Whale).  1988  Bourassa announce that construction will begin on the Great Whale river in the spring of 1989.  1990  Cree and Inuit people network with environmental groups to lobby against Great Whale. Their cause receives international attention at an Earth Day rally in New York City. xi.  1992  New York Power Authority cancels energy buying contracts with Hydro-Quebec.  1993  Bourassa resigns from his position as Premier of Quebec. He dies of cancer in 1996. Parti Quebecois elected with Jacques Parizeau at its helm.  1994  Jacques Parizeau cancels the second phase of the project "indefinitely", stating that it is no longer a priority of his government.  1995  Second referendum on separation. The "no" side wins again with only 50.6% of the votes.  xii.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I wish to thank the following people for their help throughout the writing of this thesis: Dan Gibbons for formatting the images; Alan Penn for offering invaluable comments and suggestions; Derek Gregory, Geraldine Pratt, Cole Harris, Allan Pred and Neil Smith for showing me how to stick with difficult questions. During the research process I have benefited tremendously from my exchanges with other geography students: I thank Alison Mountz, Margaret Walton-Roberts, Helen Watkins, Wendy Gibbons, Minelle Mahtani, Laimis Briedis, Etienne Rivard, and Bob Wilson at UBC, as well as Cheryl Gowar and Noriko Ishiyama at Rutgers. The members of my family in Montreal - Natalie, Rita, Jean-Yves and Lise - provided endless encouragement along the way, as did my in-laws here in Vancouver. I thank each one of them. I am grateful also to Annemarie Gockel for remaining a close friend throughout the Ph.D. Finally, thank you Aurian for taking every step of this thesis project with me. Your turn now.  xiii.  PORTFOLIO  1  r.  Figure 2: Bienvenue,  Wachiya, a la Baie James  (tourist  brochure)  Figure  3:  L G 2 machine  hall  Figure  5:  LG2  escalier de geant 4-.  MHfll < 1*  [PREMIERE  IA  EDITION  ""  -~ •  ****** «-» ; K ** * «  METEO  - • "•—  C e s f te p e o p l e vs le trust, offirme A l Jean Lesage  L electricite: clef qui nous rendra MAlTRES chez nous ft* (Wit **<t*« « » ' wit prmrj * M  Iw  -tcrs •-'  <MM** if wut i. rwamiiar'.  pBIBi  • «  Is » • > I'/uuaiu  • . . ^ ! . / .<•,.>•.. j i r e *  inuptuifiiAMRir'  f.'.v/ .. f:-'.«.! (Me M . . - . I J - . ; - - •'•Jlic OB-JI^IT" W <0*»n "iff m W « t f * W « = <>#. • <ippnnmi  V* J* IMMF »<*-  « • M »«* —  • ** •*- - • m  M M . lapalme el Levesque: "II falfaif du courage..." Lesage attaque , v violemment T U N , r - : \  Apres 1a' dmission de Heredfth  w r  Des bagarres eclatent a 1 Universite du Mississipi De-us perscww  soul  tofe,  piusiears son! biessees •  W, «,  f  ,!»  -  • « •••  "  — fiw  i^;.... ..  -  v» w—v 11. M M U  La prese a loyte liberie air Quebec  Urn *  • JtsTi  |Iej debard«vn En p«9« 5  jMoirse ou Texos  MM j En peg* 1$  "It* fkmnaKi la tib«ri*  nous  OHWMSJ  mix «tckrv*s,  cei/* <i*s f » m m « l i b r v V  Figure 6: Power. K e y to becoming "Masters  ** faj^.-S^imT tu" |* *<** *- lUdocJwt; Men* EowdMnitotu ZSTJ*  in our  ,0  own  l  fl  house' 5.  X  6.  MISE EN S C E N E  "// ne sera pas  dit  Nous sortirons de  que nous vivrons pauvrement sur une terre aussi riche.  notre inferiorite economique. Le gouvernement, qui a un  grand role a jouer dans ce projet, Vassumera pleinement."  1  Robert Bourassa, Premier of Quebec James Bay launching ceremony April 30th 1971 Opening "The world begins today"  It has been thirty years  since  the above words in front of five his Liberal government  Premier  thousand  Robert  ecstatic  Bourassa  supporters,  pronounced cheering  for  and the miraculous growth it promised to bring to  the province of Quebec. After completing his first year in power, Bourassa had gathered his party congress to look back on the beginning of his term and announce future.  the  direction his government  The audience  for their leader to delayed  his  would take for the  immediate  had waited impatiently in almost complete  darkness  enter the  entrance  for  the  Bourassa suddenly appeared of white  light.  Waving  brightly illuminated stage. Having sufficiently crowd's  mood  to  reach  highest  point,  on stage at the junction of two brilliant beams at  his  supporters  who  gave  standing ovation, he left the platform to go sit in the representatives of his own riding. Seated thus  and  him  a  triumphal  first  row  amongst  plunged  into  darkness  "It will not be said that we will live poorly on such a rich which has a great part to play in this project, will assume it Lacasse, Baie James: V extraordinaire aventure des derniers (Paris: Presses de la Cite, 1985), p. 67. 1  its  land. The government, entirely." Quoted in R. pionniers canadiens  7  like the rest of the government giant  Bourassa  symbolically joined the  screens,  produce  audience,  for  a preview of the the  Quebec  the  other  spectators' ranks  monumental  population:  James Bay hydroelectric  and  this  to  show  show  would  seen  despite  as  a  seventeenth  of  century.  important century.  relations  Electricity  Quebec's political strength sector - the  devoid of economic  trading 2  since  to the  the  had  government  3  known  had  been  going  become  back an  more fully  region this  to  the  the  energy  of electricity - which had been  created  in  in the  1944  of  an  mid-twentieth mandate  to  municipalities, enterprises and citizens of Quebec  at  Hydro-Quebec  when  to the  emblem  of  had  turned  its  with  a  acquiring the  private-sector  province's  sights  on  he  launched  the Quebecois cultural  the  project,  imagination  as  that a  anglophone  Northern  resources very soon after its creation; but, it was on the night speech in 1971,  as  activities;  take-over  energy corporations, most of which were run by class.  three  about  province, this  natives  the cheapest possible cost. It did so by gradually  business  be  and social  of a period of state expansion  Hydro-Quebec  provide energy  with  production  so-called "nationalisation"  precursor  were  his  project.  a wilderness  history  of  witness, on  they  For most Quebeckers living in the south of the was  members  of  James  national  water  Bourassa's  Bay  entered  territory,  one  The first recorded meeting between Natives and Europeans happened i n 1611. In 1670 the fur-trading "Hudson Bay Company" was incorporated by the British Crown and granted a vast portion o f land known as "Rupert's L a n d " , corresponding to what is today James Bay, Hudson Bay and the Northwest Territories. H B C officials a r r i v e d in Eastern James Bay that same year to establish the first trading post i n Charles Fort. Rupert's land became part of the Canadian U n i o n in 1870 and Quebec's Northern frontier was extended i n 1912 to reach up to the Hudson Straight (see map). D . Francis and T. Morantz, Partners in Furs: a history of the fur trade in Eastern James Bay 16001870 (Kingston and Montreal: M c G i l l - Q u e e n ' s University Press, 1983), pp. 16 and 24. 2  See C . Hogue, A . Bolduc and D . Larouche, Quebec, L i b r e Expression, 1979), pp. 228-349.  3  un  siecle  d'electricite  (Montreal:  8  which would hold tremendous economic, political and cultural significance for the expansion of the Quebecois nation. According to the initial plans,  the  James  Bay  development  scheme  was to have encompassed three phases with a projected total cost of n e a r l y fifty billion dollars: these were the La Grande,  Nottaway-Broadback-Rupert  (NBR) and Grande-Baleine (Great Whale) complexes only ,the La Grande  Complex was  completed,  at  (see a  map). In the  cost  of  end,  approximately  thirty billion dollars. Its installed capacity is 15 700 megawatts (MW), and is  thus  capable  population  of  generating  of only seven  since three  quarters  of  large  surpluses  million people. Quebec's  energy  since  This is all the is  supplied  Quebec's cold winters generate long periods of high  the  provincial  more  remarkable  by  electricity  demand.  Although La  Grande has only a fifth of the Colorado river basin, it produces and a half result  of  times eight  as  much energy  powerhouses  and  as six  its  generating  reservoirs  on  stations. the  and  about three This is  river,  and  the the  diversion of two additional rivers: 87% of the Eastman river basin and 41% of the Caniapiscau were rerouted potential. The  into the La Grande to nearly double its  4  largest  powerhouse  of  the  La  Grande  Complex  referred to as LG2 but recently renamed in honour of Robert  -  originally  Bourassa  who  died in 1996 - currently has a capacity of 7 326 M W , which is more than twice that of the Hoover dam.  5  LG2 includes three central elements that  Hydro-Quebec information brochure, Le Complexe Subsequent details about the powerhouse are taken (Montreal: Societe d'energie de la Baie James, 1980).  4  La from  Grande (1998), p. 17. The LG2 Powerhouse  The Hoover dam possesses 2 000 MW of installed capacity. The completion of additional structures (known as LG2A) in 1992 places the complex third in the world in terms of size, after Guri in Venezuela (10 300 MW) and Itaipu in Brazil and Paraguay (9 940 MW). If completed, the Three Gorges project in China is poised to take 5  9  have been widely celebrated  as  marvels of  main dam - two and a half kilometers holds  back the  waters of  the  modern technology.  long and fifty-three  LG2 reservoir, which  First, the  stories high -  has  a  capacity  of  twenty-three million cubic feet of water. Secondly, the machine hall where the  generators  are  found  is  located  more  than  one  hundred  underground; measuring half a kilometer in length, it was carved  meters straight  into the granite and is the largest of its kind in the world, housing sixteen turbine  generator  units.  It  indicate its scale by saying  became that  it  common was  during  twice the  its  contruction  size of  to  the Chartres  cathedral in France: indeed, the machine room is commonly referred to as the  "Underground Cathedral", a figure  perceived  connections  supernatural  status  between are  also  of  technology rendered  speech  strongly  and divine metaphorically  suggesting the  power.  Scale and  in  third  6  the  key  element of LG2, which is the spillway  mechanism adjacent to the dam and  reservoir.  the  The  spillway  has  become  most  recognizable  project and is referred to as the escalier de geant. Its  icon of  twelve  the  descending  steps - each of which is twelve meters wide and twenty meters high - are intended to regulate the flow  of water when valves are open  to release  overcapacity in the reservoir above. The reference to giants has been a key figure in the symbolic enframing of the region by the Quebecois, adding a  the first rank. Hydro-Qu6bec, Le Complexe, p. 17. In order to be consistent with the time period, I refer in this thesis to what is now the Robert Bourassa Complex by its original name of LG2 (La Grande 2). The following description offers one example: "Quand je penetre enfin dans la salle contenant une des turbines, une telle impression de puissance illimitee s'impose a moi que je me dis que si la technologie pouvait arriver a creer un dieu, il ressemblerait a ce groupe turbine-alternateur... Dans un vacarme presque insoutenable, je me prends a songer a ces moulins a prieres tibetains qui, en tournant, sont censes procurer au fidele les merites attaches a la repetition des formules sacrees qu'ils contiennent. Quelle priere proferent done a leur fagon les turbines de LG-2?" P. Turgeon, La Radissonie: le pays de la Baie James (Montreal: Libre Expression, 1992), p. 114, my emphasis. 6  10  decisively epic tone to the construction  project.  During the first ten years,  7  between 1971 and 1981, a total of one hundred  thousand  people  worked  to build these various structures, with a maximum of eighteen thousand employees during the  peak period prior  to the  inauguration of  1979. It is this decade - and, in particular, the emphasis on vision  and spectacle in representations  constitutes  the  focus  of  this  thesis:  of  this  the  then  LG2 in  established  LG2 complex  period,  and  its  -  that  predilections,  coincided with important changes in Quebec whose impacts still shape the national question in the province today. While the James Bay development was little more than a blueprint in 1971,  the Premier wanted to make it  clear from the very start that he was thinking on a grand scale and that he was  about  production.  to  treat  the  Indeed,  population  casting  all  of  Quebec  ambiguity  to  aside,  a the  truly  spectacular  short  film  that  presented the project to Bourassa's audience in Quebec City was entitled "The world begins today."  8  The politics of energy  For  all  its  presumption,  such  an  assertion  was  none  the  less  consistent with the series of major political, economic and social changes that were taking place in Quebec at the  time,  known collectively  "Quiet Revolution." Canada's only French-speaking been  the  significantly  center  of  reduced  a  francophone  when  the  culture  English took  whose over  province,  as  Quebec  territorial grasp the colonies  the has was  of New-  A similar reference is found in the Cree's "Giant Beaver Story" where Giant Beaver is a mythical figure whose travels and various actions have become toponymic references throughout the region. Brian Craik, personal communication (March 2000). 7  8  Hogue et al., Quebec,  p. 353.  1 1  France  in  1760.  The  sixty  thousand  French  settlers  who  remained  continued to develop a rural landscape along the  St.-Lawrence river that  provided  language  which  a physical  connected  backbone  the  for  reproduction  their culture, of  a  distinctive  and  tradition  religion  with  the  maintenance of a rural way of life. The Quiet Revolution was envisioned as a critique and a break from this deeply sedimented ideology. It was set in motion with the election of Liberal leader Jean Lesage in June of  1960,  after sixteen consecutive years of the conservative rule of Jean Duplessis.  9  A  champion of nationalism  strongly  based  in  tradition,  Duplessis  sought to maintain the religious and agricultural character of  had  Francophones  through social pillars such as the patriarchal family, parish life, and a cult of the past encapsulated by the rural sphere.  10  In deliberate  and marked  contrast, Lesage's arrival brought about the secularization of the provincial state  and the  deployment  gradually redefine  of  a series  social institutions  francophone  that  most  state  was  the  in-depth  reforms  that  would  and reshape the character of Quebec  society, especially for its the  of  members. Starting from  effective  tool  available  the premise  for  francophone  Quebeckers - or Quebecois, as the term emerged then - to retain their language Lesage  and and his  improve  their  ministers  socio-economic  were proponents  standing of what  in they  the called  province, a "new  nationalism" entrenched in strong government. The central plank of their second election platform in 1962 was the nationalisation of electricity. The liberals conducted the campaign under the banner of a slogan that was to Lesage's cabinet became known as 'I'equipe du tonnerre' and was followed by two subsequent governments before the election of Robert Bourassa in 1970. While historians identify the 1960-66 period as the Quiet Revolution in a strict sense, the "spirit" of this era is recognized to have lasted at least into the early eighties. P.-A. Linteau et al., Histoire du Quebec contemporain, Tome II (Montreal: Boreal, 1989), p. 423. 9  1  0  lb id., p. 347.  12  become the emblem of the Quiet Revolution: Mattres chez nous ("Masters in our own house", see Figures 6, 7 and 8). Rene Levesque, who was minister of  natural resources  Hydro-Quebec's  from  take-over  1961  to  1964,  played  an  important role  in  of eleven private utilities across the province, a  process which he viewed as the "decolonization" of the energy sector from the  control  of  anglophone  "colonial  barons."  The  11  nationalization  of  electricity was advertised as the "key to the kingdom" that would finally put the  francophone  industry  and  majority of  Quebec in control of  its  own territory,  development.  These changes, and many others, led to a renewed sense of pride whose  and a  culmination  Levesque's referendum Robert  wave  of  political  may  have  separatist on  nationalist  -  and  his  very  government  independence  Bourassa was  affirmation  not  from  well in  policies  toward  Francophones in  been  1976,  Canada  a separatist  by  -  in  national  the which  19 8 0 -  1 2  but he was, resources  and  imbued with his own brand of economic nationalism  Quebec,  election  of  Rene  called  the  first  Unlike L6vesque, none  the  less, a  development that was  were  in large  measure fully congruent with the spirit of the Quiet Revolution. Bourassa's first  action  after  officially  launching  the  James  Bay  project  was  to  introduce a bill to the National Assembly - known as Bill 50 - to create a corporation  which  would  oversee  all  aspects  of  northern  development,  R. Levesque, Memoirs (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1986), pp. 170-171. Although he started his political carreer as a Liberal, L6vesque founded the "Movement for Sovereignty-Association" in 1967, which became the Parti Quebecois prior to its election in 1976. 1  1  Separation was rejected in this referendum by a majority of 60%. A second referendum was conducted on October 30th 1995 under the leadership of Jacques Parizeau. This time the "No" side won by a razor thin majority of 1.2% (54 000 votes). The plebiscite saw an outstandingly high voters' turnout, with 93.5% of eligible voters casting their ballot. 1  2  13  whether in the area of  water resources,  tourism. To specifically  address the  forestry,  creation  mining, transportation or  of  a  hydroelectric  this "Societe de developpement de la Baie James" ("James Bay Corporation",  subsequently  referred  to  as  SDBJ)  created  network,  Development  a  sub-division  which would be known as the "Societe d'energie de la Baie James" ("James Bay  Energy  remained  Corporation",  firmly  province's  committed  SEBJ). to  13  the  Throughout goal  of  the  developing  1970s,  Bourassa  and fueling  the  industrial base with what he called "Power from the North."  With their strong focus on electricity strengthened  the  Quebecois  and northern resources,  sense of territoriality to  such an  his  14  policies  extent  the economy of which James Bay was to be the engine was constituted  that as  an unequivocally nationalist one. The question of who would benefit from such  a  mammoth project  made  it  rife  with  political  conflict  from  its  It is important to note that Bourassa ran into fierce opposition when he sought to challenge Hydro-Quebec's hold on the province's energy policies by creating the two separate institutions. Although meant to be distinct at the beginning, both became subsidiaries of Hydro-Quebec which was to run the installations once they were built. Since further development has been halted in the region, the SDBJ is now defunct and the activities of the SEBJ have been redirected to providing local and international engineering expertise for large-scale energy project. The fact that, from the moment of its creation, the SEBJ was in some sense a phantom corporation that could hardly be distinguished from Hydro-Quebec was strongly apparent during my fieldwork. Although most documents pertaining to the first phase of the p r o j e c t bore the sole stamp of the SEBJ (not that of Hydro-Quebec), their archives were filed with those of Hydro-Quebec. I spent some time researching in the current SfiBJ resource center, but found little relevant information. From what I could gather b y inquiring with the staff, most of the current employees of the SEBJ - a small set of offices located in a Hydro-Qu6bec building - were working on projects with no direct link to James Bay. For an overview of the debates around the creation of the SDBJ and Hydro-Quebec's position when Bill 50 was introduced in the Quebec parliament, see R. Leroux, "Une bataille de Titans qu'Hydro a remportee." La Presse (October 1979), p. 4. 1  3  The expression - in French, L'tnergie du Nord - is the title of a book Bourassa wrote after completion of the first phase of the project, which he dedicated to Quebec's youth. The book was translated into English and clearly aimed at a Northeastern American audience, the potential buyers of Quebec's electricity surplus. R. Bourassa, L'Energie du Nord: la force du Quebec (Montreal: Quebec/Ame>ique, 1985). 1  4  14  inception. Commenting on these conflicts,  Robert Boyd, then president  of  the SEBJ, stated that: Cette politisation de toutes les couleurs a eu desastreuses: elle a masque savoir la satisfaction  des  elle a  menace  serieusement  aux arguments  toujours ete meilleure  principal  sa  credibilite...  la passion  information  que la population sur  le  projet  de  the  "politicisation" of  the  avait la  le  tranquillement la  de raison. Pour notre part, nous  convaincus  mentioning  du projet - a  Heureusement,  cede  definitive, ce projet appartient a tous les  In  consequences  besoins energetiques du Quebec - et  temps a fait son oeuvre et place  l'objectif  deux  droit  baie  avons a une  James. En  Quebecois..  15  project,  Boyd  was partly  referring to the court injunction obtained by the Cree in 1973 to stop work on the La Grande complex, conflict  and to the negative press  that opposed First Nations people  to the James  that ensued. The Bay  developers  generated harsh criticism - in Quebec, in Canada and internationally those who saw the scheme as both an illegal  appropriation of  - from  territory and  a serious threat to the environment. What I wish to emphasize, however,  is  that these conflicts should not be seen as the derailment of a project that ought  to have  gone  smoothly  simply  because  it  "belonged  to  Quebecois": that it was in some way a purely technical project.  all  the  On the  "This politicising under every banner has had two disastrous consequences: it obscured the central objective of the project - that is, to meet the energy needs of Quebec - and it seriously undermined its credibility... Fortunately, time has done its work and passion is quietly yielding to reason. For our part, we have always been convinced that the population had a right to be better informed about the James Bay project. In the final analysis, this project belongs to all the Quebecois." See "Le Projet appartient a tous les Quebecois." En Grande Vol. 1.11 (November 1975), p. 11, my emphasis. 1  5  15  contrary, I suggest that, through assertions like Boyd's, James Bay was not "depoliticized" but was rather rendered  more  intensely  political  term "Quebecois" was by no means a generic or inclusive  one.  since  the  From  the  narrative of conquest in which the project was framed to the signing of an agreement  with native people, James Bay showed - and continues to show  - that policies aimed at economic expansion cannot be separated from the cultural becoming of a community; indeed, it is also these economic that  shape  "community"  and  control  and  the  "nation"  boundaries  should  not  of  the  nation.  be  understood  Here  policies  the  terms  unproblematically:  while both imply the sharing of a common set of discourses and practices, it is important  to  common  Culture  basis.  remain is  attuned  to  a powerful  the  processes  that  create  agent in fashioning  such a  not  only  the  community, but also the scales at which a sense of community is shared. I suggest that it is precisely the production of various scales where meaning is shared that gives culture - understood as an active agent of the "takenfor-granted"  within  a  particular  group  -  an  economic  and  political  dimension. The case of James Bay is exemplary in this regard: what was portrayed on the one hand as a rationalised economic territory's resources  was  also a platform  for  plan to exploit a  Quebecois  nation-building.  This platform was built at the expanse of the local cultural ecology  of the  Cree, and the legitimate territorial rights that followed from it. In insisting uncritically that the project "belonged to all Quebecois", the architects James Bay avoided the  more difficult question  of who  could  share  accepted meanings of this community and accept the scale at which meanings  were - or aspired to be  -  circulated.  An examination  of the  these of  the  cultural and political geography of the first decade of the project can shed light on that question and show how intricately connected  culture, politics  16  and economic development  can become within the structure of the nation.  Such an analysis is the main purpose of the present study. That  Bourassa never  consulted  with  the  native  inhabitants  of  the  James Bay region - the Cree, the Naskapi and the Inuit - before launching the Cree  project heard  provoked them about  the  into  mounting' an  hydroelectric  project  organized from  a  opposition. day-old  The  Montreal  newspaper picked up by Philip Awashish in Chibougamau. Shocked to read that the "project of the century" was to  destroy  ancestral  a  1971  territories,  Awashish  organized  where elders and chiefs discussed  vast  meeting  at the  government  eight thousand five  in  November  of  native  end of June  a course of action: this led to a  court battle and the signing of a territorial agreement Canadian  amounts  1975.  16  hundred people in 1970,  with the  Amounting to  Quebec and  approximately  the indigenous  population of  Northern Quebec has more than doubled since thanks to a recent population boom that is widespread across  native  Canada. The main feature of 17  the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) was its division of the land into three categories with variable rights over each of them.  B. Richardson, Strangers 80-84. 1  6  Devour  the  Land (Post Mills, V T : Chelsea  Green,  18  1991),  Its  pp.  These numbers are derived from S. McCutcheon, Electric Rivers: the story of the James Bay project (Montreal and New York: Black Rose, 1991), p. 42; Hydro-Quebec information brochure, The Natural and Human Environment of the La Grande Complex (1992), p. 55. 1  7  Category 1 includes Cree and Inuit villages and lands reserved for exclusive native use (1.3% of the whole territory); category 2 encompasses public lands with exclusive hunting, fishing and trapping rights for natives (14.4%); category 3 corresponds to public lands where native retain their harvesting rights (84.3%). G . Beauchemin, "The Unknown James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement." Forces 97 (1992), p. 16. For a critical assessment of the agreement ten years after its signing, see S. Vincent et al., Ten Years After. Proceedings of the Forum on the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (Montreal: Recherches amerindiennes au Quebec, 1988); R. Mainville, "Visions divergentes sur la comprehension de la Convention de la Baie James et du Nord Quebecois." Recherches Amerindiennes au Quebec Vol. 23.1 (1993), pp. 69-79. 1  8  17  implementation  brought  massive  changes  in the  education,  social  services  and economic infrastructure  of the territory. The latter can be regarded in  some  Quiet  measure  as  another  Revolution  some segments of native society. These and  Quebecois people  uneven  colonial  reconfigured  into a  relations  into  a  new  that  different  in  Quebec,  transformations  relationship,  have  marked  cultural  and  newly re-elected  each political  Cree  intended forged  now  bypassed  market  for  the  the  Quebec  their  Cree  the  complex  and  group  have  been  geography.  1990s,  fight  government  shortly  against  to  go  were  the  Their  19  after  a  successful  in  their  them  approach:  to  project,  straight  surplus power of Great Whale. To do  Audubon Society and Greenpeace which helped They  within  brought  alliances with major environmental groups such as the  awareness.  time  Bourassa announced that the second phase of the project,  Great Whale, would go ahead. In renewing the  have  where  relationship reached a point of crisis in the early  this  to so,  the they  Sierra Club,  raise  international  in March  1992,  the  New York Power Authority, Hydro-Quebec's biggest client, canceled a four billion dollar contract. Using the media in the  1990s as strategically as the  proponents of development had done during the 1970s, the Cree were able to  disseminate  challenge  the  more dominant  broadly  their  narrative  of  territory. This shift in perspective was  own  counter-narrative  Quebecois captured  and  nation-building by  thus in  to their  Grand Chief Matthew  Because the Cree constitute the largest group and were more directly affected b y the development than the Naskapi and Inuit, they have been at the forefront of the struggle over James Bay resources. The Inuit communities of Ivujivik and Povungnituk refused to sign the JBNQA and conflict necessarily arose between them and the Cree who accepted to negotiate. Because a full account of these complex relations is beyond the scope of this thesis, I focus on the interactions between Cree and Quebecois. It must also be noted that while Cree communities are spead across the Northern part of Ontario and the Prairie provinces, this thesis refers specifically to the Eastern James Bay Cree. 1  9  1 8  Coon-Come's when he asserted become  that, for the  Cree,  "Bourassa's  dream has  our nightmare."  Viewing  20  points  The view from the balcony  If the three decades that followed  Bourassa's launching of the James  Bay project were an important era for everyone in Quebec, they also have a much more personal significance for me since they stretch across the span of my own life. Growing up in a Montreal during the  1970s and 80s, it often  almost  francophone  exactly  suburb of  seemed that James Bay was  the sole engine driving Quebec's political and economic life; its effects were palpable in the working-class  milieu that surrounded me since  provided many of our family friends  and  neighbours  with  the project  their regular  source of income. From a child's - and at the time exclusively francophone -  perspective,  kitchen-table  discussions  yielded  many  intriguing  details  about the mammoth scale of the project, the struggle it shaped between the power of technology and the "forces of nature", the tensions it created between workers and their "bosses" or, even more intense, between and "Indians". Added to these oppositions, of  gender.  The majority of  overwhelmingly  masculine  I now realize, was the question  these discussions  work  space  whites  pictured James  Bay as an  where  the  presence  seemed paradoxical and literally out of  place:  an imaginative  that did not bode well for the role of  women  within  the  of  women  geography  nation  these  "Bourassa's dream has become our nightmare. It has contaminated our fish with mercury. It has destroyed the spawning grounds. It has destroyed the nesting grounds of the waterfowl. It has displaced and dislocated our people and broken t h e fabric of our society." Quoted in M . E . Turpel, "Does the Road to Quebec Sovereignty Run Through Aboriginal Territory?" In D. Drache and R. Perin, Negotiating with a Sovereign Quebec (Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 1992), p. 104. 2  0  19  workers were supposed to be so actively building. exchange  of anecdotes and  far-away  and  almost  popular  mythical  In this  information, James location,  richly  casual, everyday  Bay emerged  defined  as  through  a the  language of those who had stories to tell. The  gradual  construction  of  this  imaginary  territory,  which  took  place during the first ten years of my life, was given an intensely physical form  by  the  transportation  sight  of  a  gigantic  machine  resting  on  the  bed  of  trailer. The driver was a neighbour setting out to deliver  cargo to LG2. He had caused  quite a stir by taking a detour  a his  through  a  succession of small suburban streets to give us all a sense of the scale of the James Bay construction site. Just as the something of the ocean's  expanse,  so the  size of a whale can suggest  magnitude  metal summoned up an image of an almost  of this vast block of  infinite territory. For myself,  and I imagine for many of the people gathered around  this  spectacle,  the  idea that such a remote destination, such a vast space, could belong to the territory  of  geographies.  Quebec  required  a  great  expansion  of  our  The occasional fleur de lys that bloomed across  imaginative the  windows  and balconies of our working-class lives were sure signs to us that a nation was in the making; the shape  and  contours  of  its  space,  however,  much harder to grasp. The journey of this iron limb made us acutely  were aware  that its destination and all the resources that region contained were part of Quebec's territory too since, as "James  Bay belonged  to  political  all the  discourses  repeatedly  Quebecois." And yet,  as  I  assured  us,  now realize,  whether the privilege of this citizenship, this sense of collective ownership, could be claimed by all the inhabitants of the  geographical  space  known as  Quebec independently of language, class, race or gender was a pivot of the  20  national debate. For the indigenous population of the North, the politics of energy that was intended to make them proud Quebecois spelled a policy of assimilation. Thanks to the economic boom that would be brought to the region, it was argued that the Cree should take the opportunity to move beyond  their subsistence  activities  and become  fully  integrated  market economy. If the Cree were now to be invited into nation, it was under the  assumption  -  indeed  the  the  condition  -  into  the  Quebecois that  they  would adopt a "proper" framework of interaction with the land that would benefit the national economy. And so, of course, the question must still be asked with regard to James Bay and the national subjects,  like myself,  it helped to produce: "Who are the Quebecois  Running through  the present  study is a critical anxiety  people?"  21  concerning that question  that  since the  latter cannot simply be answered by saying that the Quebecois are those who live in Quebec. Rather, the term must be understood in the context of the cultural, political and linguistic history it bears, and of how this history produces and maintains difference within the national body. Life experience, academic interests each  other  throughout this  study. When  and cultural I  imagine  identity myself  thus inform back at  the  kitchen table or on the sidewalk where my sister and I contemplated that The phrase is taken from an article by Sallie Marston, "Who are 'the people': gender, citizenship, and the making of the American nation." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 8 (1990), pp. 449-458. From its emergence, the term "Quebecois" has generated conflict because it is seen to represent only the francophone population of Quebec at the exclusion of racial and linguistic minorities, and of other French speakers who live outside the province. For those who do not speak French, "Quebecois" is indeed a problematic designation because it is virtually untranslatable, thus making language the condition of entry into the national community. For a broad discussion of this question in the Quebec context see, among others, M . Elbaz et al., eds., Les Frontieres de I'identite: modernite et postmodernisme au Quebec (Sainte-Foy: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1996). For a Cree perspective on self-determination, see Grand Council of the Crees, Sovereign Injustice: forcible inclusion of the James Bay Crees and Cree territory into a sovereign Quebec (Nemaska: Grand Council of the Crees, 1995), pp. 9-36. 2  1  21  giant machine, the extent  to which the James  Bay project  everyday life in the 1970s becomes vivid once again. Its  inhabited our  constant  presence  on every media surface provided a framework for social interaction in my immediate  community as well as a point of reference  for other, external  world events which it helped us to grasp and make sense of. Through the constant flow of text, images and everyday conversation about James Bay, I  was able  geographical  to envision sphere  what  I  would  now describe  as  a  social  and  extending far beyond my immediate surroundings. For  if James Bay was out of reach, it was never out  of  view. From  1983, the La Grande complex had a filmmaker/photographer in  1977 to  residence  who produced more than thirty films which were shown across Quebec i n different  venues,  Simultaneously, numerous  in addition to other video an  brochures,  extensive pictures  campaign  documents  of  and company  public  and slide  relations  publications that  shows.  generated were  made  available through traveling kiosks of information. Public relations also did much to socialize the workers themselves into a highly particular sense of their part in the project, in an effort to make of  the La Grande Complex. If these measures  them failed  convinced  to reach all of the  population, special radio and T V programs were guaranteed reach of this publicity still further.  Each  major  ambassadors  stage  to extend the  of accomplishment  was marked by an inauguration, the most important of which  were shown  on live television throughout the province. This mediatizing of James Bay represented what could  be  understood  as a form of travel writing "in reverse." Indeed, during the erection of the 1  dams, it is not the people of Quebec who traveled to the construction sites so  much as the construction sites  that  traveled to them, thanks  to  the  22  broad diffusion of  media  barrage  the late seventies and early eighties was a controlled response  to the  negative  of texts and images. In large  publicity  injunction  the project  had initially  measure,  the  received. In addition  to the  obtained by the Cree and Inuit in 1973, a labour conflict that  escalated into a riot brought, once again, the closure of the construction site during March resolved  and April  1974. It was not until  and a territorial agreement  project was somewhat  rehabilitated  signed  this  with  labour dispute was  native  people  and the development  that the  corporation  free  to mount an extensive public relations campaign to improve its image and regain some form campaign climate  and its dominant of resistance  remember passive  of public approval.  also  that  audience.  22  messages,  it is important  and confrontation neither  While  the  this  Although my focus will be on this  Cree study  in which nor  to  they  the  remember  emerged,  Quebecois  analyses  the  and to  constituted  dominant  "effectiveness"  of this  a  discourse  adopted by the agents of development in James Bay, I wish to stress the  the  discourse always remains in question.  that  In fact,  the excessive appeal to spectacle by Bourassa and his government is itself an  indication  that hegemonic control over the meaning  and becoming of  the project was impossible to achieve: the effort to "stage" James Bay like a theater production was meant to suggest that the project scripted and that its outcomes  were  known.  was already  In presenting  it as such, the  Liberals sought to introduce an element of control - a horizon in  which  teleological  the project  would  - to a series  of  appear events  intrinsically whose  2  of meaning  inevitable and  unprecedented  For details on both set of events, see Hogue et al., Quebec, Electric, pp. 42-63; B. Richardson, Strangers, pp. 296-327. 2  logical,  fully  pp. 363-370;  social  and  McCutcheon,  23  environmental  impacts  would otherwise  made them visible  as  contingent,  unpredictable and hence subject to criticism. The public relations forms of  campaign  of  the  late  seventies  outreach that were directed toward non-native  people  the South of Quebec. Although organized trips did take James  Bay,  their  experience  of  that  space  was  used  various  living in  some visitors  arguably  as  to  tightly  controlled as that of others - the vast majority in Quebec - who happened to visit one of the information kiosks in their schools, places of work or various public spaces. Indeed, both groups got their first impression of the mammoth  scheme  narrative  the  through  the  development  Hydro-Quebec's  archives  mediation  of  text  corporation wished reveal  a  detailed  and  to  images,  impart to  procedure  and  the  that  the  project.  anticipated  every aspect of a visitor's stay at LG2 from the moment of their arrival. They were to be met at the local airport, taken through an identification check,  then  conducted  on  schedule  from  site  to  site  until  they  were  delivered back to the airport, usually at the end of a full day or overnight stay.  Buses  viewing  would  platforms,  ensure where  transportation the  various  of  these  groups  spaces and structures  would be interpreted for them by tour guides hired and development  to on  display  trained by  corporation. For the most part, these presentations  of facts and statistis that stressed both the unique nature of and the engineering magic that made it possible, all the  different  the  consisted  the complex  while  reasserting  the necessity of the project for the economic future of Quebec. Moments in a strict itinerary that regulated what was and was not to be seen, these viewing platforms and their stock interpretations  provided  an  of James Bay where the reality of "being there" could in no way  experience ensure a  24  broader understanding of it. Framed in this way, James Bay was a site  whose  visual  surface  alone  was  offered  for  spectacular  while its content was withheld as much as possible Because  it  discursive careful  was  geographically  production  of  handling by the  think  that  these  provided me  sense of  Quebecois  people  formed  James  yet  was  a  governments  and  institutions  -  along  "people",  something  of  like  Quebec's  with other  as a  strategic  well nation  as  so  for  through  Indeed,  a  -  the  that required  involved.  influences  scrutiny.  central,  affair  North  with  enjoyment,  critical  politically  Bay  representations  spectatorship a  remote  from  virtual  I  Southern  with  an early  an intimation that these the  act  of  collectively  viewing or working for what became known as "the project of the century." In this way, the textual and visual narrative of James Bay was element  of my own - it has to be said,  community" Without  in  the  sense  a doubt this  that  Benedict  narrative was  very  homogenous  Anderson  territorial;  gave  I now  to  the binding -  "imagined  that  understand  was partly through this focus on a spectacular land and nature  term. that  23  it  - conjoined  as "territory" - that the nation's racial contours were drawn in James Bay.  Viewing the land I viewing "the people" Notions of  "land" have always  supported a sense of national identity  in Quebec, and yet the meaning of the term has been highly unstable and subject  to  change.  Nations  and  nationalisms  are  contextual  entities;  Anderson sees the emergence of the nation as co-extensive with that of p r i n t capitalism which reshaped European conceptions of time. The imagined world called up by the novel and the newspaper is one in which a variety of actions are performed at the same time by individuals who are not necessarily aware of one another, but can conceive that they exist simultaneously across time and space. See B. Anderson, Imagined Communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (New York: Verso, 1983), p. 26. 2  3  25  although space,  they  the  represent  sense of place which they  the concrete based  strategically  economic  nationalisms  themselves  and the  abstract  time  and  articulate cannot be detached  and political context  then,  in  in  which it  constructions  of  emerges.  nature they  from Place-  24  entail, can  be seen as something that emerges out of these material factors. In Quebec, the  transition  from  the  "traditional  nationalism"  crystallized  in  the  Duplessis era toward the "new nationalism" of the Quiet Revolution offers rich framework for tracing changes in notions of as they relate reformulated movement  to in  cultural response  away  expansion. This  from  identity. to  the  rurality  movement,  Each  of  societal  toward  however,  is  land,  these  modernity,  because  traditional Church, before  the the  analyzing chiefly  anchors rural  of  sphere  twentieth how  based  work  economy  were  northern  expansion.  the  life  had  undergone  25  for  French-Canadian  to  of  support  The building  up)  major  by  a  and statein time  so characteristic  what  Francophones  was  -  were the  seen farm,  transformations  as the well  In this thesis, James Bay is a key site for  experience  resignified  priority  and  century.  traditional in  -  about  neither linear nor uniform  of  a  argue,  development  (catching  Quiet Revolution became  I  brought  and space. In large measure, the rattrapage the  nature and territory  concepts,  changes  a  of  concepts  farming, the  of  land  and  rurality  and  an  project  an extensive  of energy  a  nature, agrarian  state-sponsored network  in and  Homi Bhabha argues that the nation constantly substitutes a heterogeneous present for a homogenous past which is also, I believe, reflected in the subsumption of a diverse territory into an abstract space: "For the political unity of the nation consists in a continual displacement of the anxiety of its irredeemably plural modern space - representing the nation's modern territoriality is turned into the archaic, atavistic temporality of Traditionalism. The difference of space returns as the Sameness of time, turning Territory into Tradition, turning the People into One." H . Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1990), p. 149. For a discussion, see F. Dumont, "Quelle revolution tranquille?" In F. Dumont, ed., La Societe quebecoise apres 30 ans de changements (Quebec: Institut quebecois de recherche sur la culture, 1990), pp. 13-23. 2  4  2  5  26  beyond James Bay was meant to provide low-cost energy boom  that  would  principally  benefit  the  southern  for an industrial  population  of  the  province. This expansion could not take place without the elaboration of a discourse  capable  native  people  larger  than  in the  of  legitimizing  the  the  North,  whom  benefit.  for  The  appropriation  nation,  the  cost  with  geographical concepts and homogenizing  of  resources  was  its  from  disproportionately  broad  repertoire  view of the people,  of  provides the  symbolic apparatus for constructing such a discourse. As it pertains to the Quebecois, my understanding of land ("la  terre")  refers to the ecological base that has provided a matrix of cultural identity and  economic  relationship, from the focuses  each  field on  subsistence. one  altering the  to the  farming,  Numerous  national more  practices  have  scale at which the  its  symbolic  this  land is perceived,  territory and beyond.  particularly  shaped  My initial rendering  analysis  within  a  popular form of rural literature known as the roman de la terre. Literally "the novel of the land", this set nineteenth  century  was  of  works  produced  a powerful  vehicle  for  chiefly  articulating  during the  cult  the of  tradition and the dominant idea of the time that the survival of FrenchCanadians in North America depended  on their ability  to establish  and  maintain a strong land base. In these works, "nature" is understood as a 26  C. Pont-Humbert, Litterature du Quebec (Paris: Nathan, 1998), pp. 36-37. The roman de la terre begins with the publication of Patrice Lacombe's La Terre paternelle in 1846 and is seen to end with Ringuet's Trente arpents in 1938. This last work effects a strong symbolic closure with the main character failing to hold on to his ancestral land, which is spelled by his exile, in his old age, to an American industrial center. The whole production includes few novels - with no more than ten major works which makes its popularity and social impact seem disproportionate in relation to the number of books published. One way of explaining this unevenness is the fact that it became a useful ideological vehicle about the importance of keeping religion, language and land together in order to preserve a French cultural heritage in North America. The central message of the roman de la terre served the interests of 2  6  27  foundational category for the nation as the essence of Francophone identity is largely seen to reside in  the  rural  landscape.  By  grounding  identity in nature, the roman de la terre presents various  characters  seek to protect their heritage from change via foreign elements, latter  posed  the  threat  not  only  of  encroachment  cultural  but  who  since  the  ultimately  of  assimilation. Nature is seen as an essential realm providing a secure anchor to  language  and religion.  discursive categories demonstrate  how  By  reading  James  Bay  in  the  light  of  the  created through the rural novel, my analysis seeks to  traditional constructions  as constructions of national identity  of  nature continue  to function  in contemporary Quebec. They do so  through the reiteration of a Quebecois "poetics" about the land - what I also call a "mythico-poetic" framework - that has to a large extent given rise to the "politics" of energy in James Bay: that is, to the struggles fought over  meaning,  particularly the  meaning  of  water,  land,  identity  or the  environment. What I wish to argue in juxtaposing the poetics of land to the politics of James Bay  is  that  the  narrative  dominant discourse of the nation also contributes form.  Indeed the images and texts  structure  adopted  by  the  to determine its spatial  surrounding James  Bay  articulated a  struggle over land between Quebecois and Cree in such a way that cultural geography and the production of space were placed squarely at the center of  the imagined community. While Benedict Anderson has provided considerable insight  construct of the  nation, his concept  of  an imagined community needs a  critical reading capable of questioning how communities imagine themselves  but also  their territory  and  into the  everything  it  Quebec's religious elite at a time when this elite exercised a very the population. These points will be further discussed in Act 1.  not only  contains strong  through  influence  on  28  dominant of  discourses.  I believe  de-essentializing  the  nation  national imaginings are set imagined political  community survival.  Anderson's without  against,  the  sufficient  itself  second  to  edition  imagines  important  the  space  institutions:  these institutions,  of  the  its  power.  census,  the  Anderson argues,  his  "nature"  understated, "spatialized" dynamic  in  the  and in  imagining  more  the  relation  between  of  of  a  own  map  and  communities the  national  nature  and  ways  the  the  "colonial"  examining museum.  examine  revisions,  the  I  which  three  Through  able to  remains, in  spaces  Communities,  how  the  important  the  cultural and  Imagined  He did so by  27  of  through which  the colonial state was  specifically  creation  its  more directly  "the geography of its domain." Despite these of  analysis  assure  of  Anderson revisited his concept to address state  stops short of its goals  and the mechanisms  territorializes  In  concept  role  suggest, nature  territory. By emphasizing  national  imaginings,  this  is the  study  explores how, in a nationalist context, the social relation to the land is also connected In  to the production of nature. James  development  is  Bay, one  the  process  where the  forefront as a key elements  of  nature of "natural" resources qualitatively  different  agrarian economy, that  ground  naturalized  from  of  product of  of  in much the  I  argue  that  economic  comes  to  the  although  the  produced through the discourse of industry the  nature  cultural same way  its  imagined  through  rurality  and  important elements: notably  identity.  In  short,  that the nation is  recourse to nature as a foundational category.  Anderson, Imagined,  through  natural resources  nation-building.  it retains some of  notions  state-formation  is an  those  resources  become  homogenized  in its  Quebec's claim to the North  pp. 163-164.  29  was of  established  by placing resources  in  nature, which involved a  process  separating them from the human sphere - that of the Cree - in which  they  were  already  embedded.  In  short,  produced  as  "natural"  resources  thus became "national." This strategy relied on the affirmation of a  dualism  between nature and culture, with the Cree of course firmly locked into the first category. Representing a central feature of the roman de la terre, this dualism  travels  into  intact. Much of this  James  encounter  although  thesis endeavours  account for what happens they  Bay  to  it  does  not  to trace that  Quebecois  concepts  necessarily  movement,  of  Locating  the  and also  to  It is  once  in that  comes into sharper focus - that of  - which is produced simultaneously as a political and cultural through  so  land and nature  Cree understandings of these same categories.  encounter that a third element  do  territory  entity  in and  national imagination.  theories  In examining the  formation of this national territory and its  links to  the cultural politics of James Bay energy, the roman de la terre provides a n important indication of how culture for  granted as  they are  policy. Postcolonial  produces  activated  theory  has  and  meanings  actualized  examined  how  in  that  become  social  culture  and  actively  taken  economic constitutes  what we take to be material reality: A  central concern  close,  to  make  of  postcolonialism  visible  -  the  is  relations  to  elucidate  between  -  to  dis-  culture  and  power. It aims to do so in such a way that culture is seen not as superficial, fundamental  not  as  (which  a  screen for  its  or a  cover  critics  for  typically  supposedly means  more  politico-  30  economic)  relations, and above all not as a "reflection" of  world. Culture is practices  and  seen instead  as  performances  a series of  that  enter  the  representations,  fully  into  the  constitution of the world.  2 8  Along these lines, representations  of Quebec's North during the 1970s can  be said to have renewed the region's importance by placing it at the center of the province's  economic  development  at  a  moment  when  Quebecois  people were actively redefining their national identity. The North that was reasserted for the Quebecois during this period was  simultaneously  and a discourse. Both were equally material and discursive, created the space of the "other" and the space of the categories acquire an additional layer of in  Quebec  often  refer  to  complexity  themselves as  a place  both  actively  "Quebecois."  These  because Francophones  "Nous autres  Quebecois",  thus  signaling their own history of marginalization as the defeated people of the British Conquest. Through his study of Orientalism, Edward Said has called attention  to  the  material  reality  intricate as  ways  categories  in  of  which  meaning  discourse created  is  in  constitutive language  of  become  spatialized. Using Michel Foucault's notion of discourse, Said asserts that: [W]ithout possibly which  examining understand  European  produce  -  the  ideologically, Enlightenment D . Gregory, manuscript, 2001), 2  8  2  9  E. Said, Orientalism  Orientalism the  as  enormously  culture  was  able  Orient  politically,  a  discourse  systematic to  cannot  discipline  manage  -  sociologically,  scientifically, and imaginatively period.  one  and  by even  militarily,  during the  post-  29  "(Post)colonialism p. 6.  and  the  Production  of  Nature"  (unpublished  (New York: Random House, 1979), p. 3.  3 1  Similar processes can be identified in the relationship between  North and  South in Quebec, yet it is important to remember  critique of  that  Said's  Orientalism is specifically about the construct of the Orient and should not be extended uncritically - nor be given carte  blanche - to explain other  colonial geographies. While staying attuned to its context as well as to the fact that theory often breaks down when it travels, I invoke Said's work specifically as a set of tools for its objects.  This  characterized  process  by  is  ruptures,  understanding  neither  smooth  inconsistencies  how nor  and  colonialism  constructs  uncontested  but rather  oppositions,  as  is  the  passage of colonialism from past to present. The projected "decolonizing" of Quebecois  people  through  the  Quiet  Revolution  and  beyond  has  been  marked, I argue* by a simultaneous "recolonizing" - uneven as it is - in a different language (French) and in a different  space  (in this  study, James  Bay). Relevant to this process is a simple but telling distinction: capitalism, such as it fueled the drive toward the "development" of a new region, is inherently expansionist. barrier  to  its  Its production of space and nature could admit no  advance  in  James  Bay,  as  Bourassa  indicated  when  he  launched the project without consultation with the Cree. On the other hand, colonialism, even as it was intimately implicated in the  Northern advance  of this capitalism, was predicated on the production of barriers, of a series of constitutive the  differences  between "us" and "them", Quebecois and Cree,  colonizer and the colonized.  In this  imbrication  of  capitalism  and  colonialism, race and class were further intertwined while the gap between whites and natives  was,  conversely,  further widened. The phrase I have  already alluded to, which was repeated like a mantra since  the beginning  of the project - "James Bay belongs to all the Quebecois" - was an attempt to cover over these differentiations, instabilities and gaps. Although  there  32  has been some effort in Quebec to identify this process with more precision and contest the essentialist terms of belonging in which it was  conducted,  much work remains to be done: I envision the present thesis as a step in that direction.  Development: ordering North and South  The spatial and discursive orderings the above  expression  suggests -  "James Bay belongs to all the Quebecois" - are determined by the colonial past of Canada and Quebec; their productions of nature and space continue to entrench what is in effect a colonial present. The James Bay story is a narrative of conquest: that of nature as well as that of space, together as a new  national territory. After  all,  other  large-scale  works  of  engineering  had taken place in Quebec before LG2 and would continue to do so even as it was being built. Yet, I would argue that none of these realizations given  comparable importance  they took place in areas that  in  geographical  temporal  distance  distance;  31  national  had long  Quebec's sense of its history and the  the  been  geography.  30  imagination settled  was  simply because  and integrated  into  When it came to James Bay,  between North and South was  translated as a  seen as underpopulated - in large part even "empty" -  and therefore free for the taking, the conquering and exploitation  of this  Although they were also momentous events, the building of the Place Ville Marie high rise, the Quebec City bridge, the Montreal metro or the Olympic stadium did not embody the same territorial element as James Bay. Only the construction of the Daniel Johnson dam on the Manicouagan river during the nineteen-sixties called forth similar epic tones and was in many ways a rehearsal for James Bay. See Hogue et al., Quebec, pp. 299-331. 3  0  For a discussion of this concept, see J. Fabian, Time and the Other: how anthropology makes its object (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983); A. McClintock, Imperial Leather: race, gender and sexuality in the colonial contest (New York and London: Routledge, 1995). 3  1  33  remote  region  history  by  offered  inscribing  a chance new  -  to  write  and clearly  another very  chapter  "modern"  of -  Quebec's  markers  of  presence over its physical territory. In Quebec, as elsewhere in Canada, the performed as a frontier of collective  "North" was  realization.  produced and  There the retreat of a  32  raw, "wild" nature was simultaneous with the advance of culture, signified  through  science  North as  virgin  territory - a solely physical mass devoid of any human geography  - the  James Bay development discursive, South,  to  while  relations  and  Framing  scheme provided the means,  access,  transform  also keeping  signified  technology.  by  the  and  link this  two  distinct.  these geographical  the  broadly  at once material and  "wilderness" The  lived  markers of  to  Quebec's  and  imagined  "North" and "South"  are reminiscent of those commonly invoked at the international scale, but here the polarities are reversed. In Quebec, the South is characterized by a population  belt  dense  comparison  in  Patterns living  of reflect  in  the  resource those  to  St.-Lawrence what  extraction, that  lies  North  industrial  commonly  global North and South relations,  valley  which of  the  is  fourty-ninth parallel.  development  determine,  disproportionately  and  although  standard  of  simplistically,  with Southern Quebec being  significantly  The North has been broadly envisioned as a frontier of colonization in Canada in ways that are reminiscent of Turner's concept of the Western frontier in the American context. This view, however, does not account for a critical reading of Turner's "frontier thesis" which regards it as the glorification of a long-drawn process of colonial conquest and territorial dispossession for native Americans. If t h e frontier thesis can at all be applied to Canadian history, its critique is of course also relevant in the Canadian context. For further discussion see F. J. Turner, The Frontier in American History (New York: Henry Holt, 1920); J. M . S. Careless, "Frontierism, Metropolitanism, and Canadian History." In C. Berger, ed., Approaches to Canadian History (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1979), pp. 63-83; W. Cronon, G . Miles and J. Gitlin, "Becoming West: toward a new meaning for Western history." In W. Cronon, G . Miles and J. Gitlin, eds., Under an Open Sky: rethinking America's western past (New York: Norton, 1992). 3  2  34 O  more  prosperous.  The force  33  materialize  should be  enough  of  these  evocations  to  persuade us  and the  that  they  spaces they  are  more than  discursive categories. In James Bay, the North became  the pervasive icon  of  performative  an  imaginative  geography  with  extraordinary  and  practical force which gave the "new nationalism" of the 1970s some of its hopeful appeal. The images it called forth - its frontiers and landscapes  but  also its resources, regions and the technicalities of access to them - helped to delineate  the nation's  inside  and  outside  by  assigning  each  cultural  group to its "proper" place. The latter categories were also constituted by a Western  understanding of  Building examined sites  the  us  3 4  some  of  Edward  Said's  imaginative geographies  constituted  legitimate. enables  on  development.  through  the  To see development to  trace  its  of  a  these  discourse,  especially in the post-World War II period.  35  on  the  discourse  of  Northern  to  theorists  and social  these  historical and geographical  problematize why so many societies endeavoured  focus  recent  development  practices as  ideas,  the  material  imaginaries  theorists  specificity "develop"  have  argue, and  to  themselves,  In the context of this study, a  development,  such  as  it  became  dominant through the James Bay project, allows me to show how the Cree Barri Cohen remarks that: "The very word 'North' (which demands its own critical commentary) is capitalized as a proper name in most native, Canadian government, land-claim, public policy, scientific and geographical texts, signifying it as an object of knowledge and surveillance in the spatio-political consciousness of Canada if n o t North America. The south, on the other hand, bears a lower-case, connoting that its power is dispersed across the nation, and hence dominant." In this thesis, I have chosen to capitalize both in order to indicate their mutual constitution both as concept and as place. B. Cohen, "Technological Colonialism and the Politics of Water." Cultural Studies 8.1 (1994), pp. 35-36.  3  3  See J. Crush, ed., Power of Development (London and New York: Routledge, 1995). The book acknowledges those who critique Said for what they see as an over-reliance on discourse at the expense of a political and economic analysis (p. 8). A . Escobar, Encountering Development: the making and unmaking of the Third World (Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 6. 3  4  3  5  encounter with development also meant an encounter with a new cultural production of their environment: one  which was  taken for granted by a good  proportion of  perspective,  however,  development  management  would  Western  be  determined  not  in  left  non-natives. meant  that  relation  to  practicalities of fish population, water quality or thaw but in terms  of  water  reserves,  unmarked and thus From  a  "proper" the  seasonal  Cree river  day-to-day  freeze-up  megawatts and potential  and  surpluses.  Hydro developers became the new land managers through the building of an energy network, and in that process the land itself was made new. In the  Quebecois  repositioned, whereby  nationalist  development  control over  legitimate  means  to  framework began  to  land and use guarantee  the  within resemble  of  natural  survival  of  which  James  a  liberation  resources  were  a language  Bay  was  discourse seen as  and culture  under threat. Here my use of the term "liberation" outside of its usual reference to the poorest of the poor is  shocking but deliberate as it is  meant to disclose the complex power relations that determined the way in which society  Quebecois identity  was  mobilized by  of European origin whose past  was  the  project.  marked  by  Members of a colonial relations  with the British, the Quebecois were able to effectively claim and articulate a status that was at once subaltern and dominant in order  to  legitimate  their advance into native territories. I suggest that "development", like the "nation",  also  supported  Geography  this  of  provided  the  conceptual  and  geographical  tool-box  that  endeavour.  the  field  City and wilderness  36  That became  the  discourse  of  development  shapes  material  geographies  abundantly clear to me in the process of locating "the field" and  defining  "fieldwork".  36  comparative  With  an academic  background in semiotics  and  literature, I had come to rely on the assumption that most of  what I needed to know, analyze or discuss could be found in a text. As a result, the field was a new and unfamiliar concept when I set out to do research for this project: I was unsure where to find it and, if by chance I did, what to do in such a place. I had lived away from Montreal for nearly seven years and my initial impulse once I had a proposal in hand was to go back to the city where I was born. After project  unfolded  between  two fieldtrips  Vancouver, Saint-Eustache,  during which the  Val d'Or, Montreal,  Radisson and Fort George, with occasional glimpses of Chisasibi and a few interstitial  touch-downs  in  native  villages  strongly Montreal - and eventually and in the  United States -  on  the  way,  I  realized  how  other urban centers located in Quebec  gathers  these places  to  itself,  and does so  according to the imaginative geographies of North and South that had been produced by the James Bay project. Not the text for it was only through distance  afforded  "ungathering",  of  by  the  Vancouver,  inserting  Quebec's  surprisingly, this  process  that  I  largest  of could  returned me to  writing, begin  metropolis  and from the the  back  work into  of  those  other locations. There are many reasons for the prominence of a city in a study that explores development in a region that is commonly perceived a s remote, isolated and untouched. Some of these reasons will unfold as the  For a discussion of key issues related to the experience of field and fieldwork from a feminist perspective, see "Women in the Field: critical feminist methodologies a n d theoretical perspectives" with contributions by H . Nast, C. Katz, A . Kobayashi, K . England, M . Gilbert, L . Staeheli, and V. Lawson. Professional Geographer 46.1 (1994), pp. 54-102. 3  6  37  writing  proceeds,  others  are  more  immediately  linked to  the  fieldwork  experience in itself and I need to explain these here. From an urban perspective, the first building phase in James Bay was a media spectacle projected on a screen whose bright source of light was qualitatively different from the material spaces in which Cree people lived their lives, and where they saw their landscapes hydroelectric  development.  This  irrevocably  modified  by  "nature" of James Bay was produced for  consumption in the South and it was the details of that production I  sought  to piece together during my first fieldtrip to Montreal, where I conducted archival research for a period of nine months. During that period, and in an additional two months the following year, my discomfort with the process of fieldwork never  relented.  As  with  any  research  project,  questions  of  methodology arose at every turn: What angle would allow me to get to the most  important questions?  materials  that  would  What was  best  the  inform the  "right"  thesis?  method  How  to  would  gather I  the  effectively  tackle endless boxes of dusty paperwork without losing focus, or my mind? I wanted building  to trace the James Bay story, blocks  came  together  to  known as a Francophone growing most  nationalist  decade.  form  understand how the the  imagined  up during what  My chief  task  was  to  discursive  geography  I  had  was  arguably Quebec's  scan  newspapers  and  magazines on dizzying microfiches, don white gloves to dig into pile after pile of archival material, unearth pieces of  paper that  with meaning but more often  musty  had  so  briefly  emerged.  regained the  Wading  through  the  could come  alive  dark from which they  flotsam  of  bureaucratic  everyday, I got a very real sense of how the past is at times collected accepted even - with little coherence or organization.  Through this  process,  38  the archivists  at  Hydro-Quebec, the  Fondation Lionel Groulx  where  Quebec  I conducted  National the  Library  research  and  the  were invaluable  for their help but also for their optimism.  Conducting/enacting  research  While it is not usual to refer to the archives as "the field", the extent to  which access to  physical  ability  documents  depended  hours  in  material circumstances  surprised me. Going into the archives  embodied practice requiring not just long  on  badly  ventilated  seemed to me an  mental but physical  places,  moving  and  boxes,  effort.  I spent  breathing  dust,  getting hungry or frustrated, needing help. I woke up early, got home late, traveled through the city to libraries, universities find a book, talk  to  someone,  view  a  and research centers  documentary.  I  wondered  to  about  physical disability and the logistics of covering so much distance in such a small time had I not the  freedom of a healthy  feeling safe in the public space of the city.  37  body and the  In the process, I came to  realize how archives can behave very much like interviewees. tell some stories,  they withhold others thus making  partial and context-specific.  In this  luxury of  our  While they  findings  always  sense, archival research is fieldwork.  Archived texts are active agents of our research, framing and directing our encounters with useful information in the same way that speaking do. Tables of contents are the small talk that signals An  unopened  redirects  file  forgotten  the inquiry,  the  when  same way  everything  else  subjects  what may be there. has  been  a recording machine  so  put  away  often  does  Vera Chouinard and Ali Grant have discussed the issues associated with conducting academic research in a heterosexist and ableist society. See V . Chouinard and A . Grant, "On not Being Anywhere Near the 'Project': revolutionary ways of putting ourselves in the picture." Antipode 27.2 (1995), pp. 137-166.  3  7  39  once turned off. There is a privacy to boxes of documents laid to rest in unlit rooms; if the researcher is to entice  them to come alive,  to open  themselves to a public gaze, this requires the greatest of care. The archival clerks behind the desks sometimes seemed to be the discrete guardians of memories  and institutions  under too  much scrutiny.  As  I  requested a  picture, photocopy or box of material, I feared that I was divulging to these custodians some of my own predispositions and biases  in indicating  the direction of my research. This was, after all, Quebec where sensibilities are ever-present and near the surface but seldom  nationalist dangerously  explosive. Combined with the fact that archives are not always adequately organized, that the filing process can be sketchy and uneven, I came to recognize that doing research is an experimental process,  like throwing a  net which may catch a few interesting objects. Yet we so often set out to capture the ocean. These practical challenges were the easy part. Much more paralyzing was the uncanny sense that my quest was  somehow  prurient and that I  needed to apologize for it. Through nine months of research, I created my own James Bay archive which I took with me to Vancouver and revisited for several months. During these months, I put together the skeleton of a thesis which followed me back East, this time for a much more condensed research trip. Over this shorter period, I conducted interviews with various academics who had worked with the Cree, as well as with  policy advisors  and environmentalists at Hydro-Quebec and the Grand Council of the Cree. In addition, I conducted a focus group with eight individuals (two  men and  six women) who had worked in James Bay. These meetings were meant as a way to share and situate my research and find points of connection with  40.  on-going it  was  issues not  interviews,  concerning hydroelectric development  my  intention  I did not use  to  write  a  thesis  a tape recorder but  in James  Bay. Since  that  would  be  took  notes  which  based  on  I would  transcribe and comment on after each meeting, and use as a guide for my writing. freer  Interestingly,  interaction  some surprises with  the absence  during  when  these  people  disarming frankness.  thesis,  these encounters  of a tape recorder seemed  discussions;  expressed  Though  they  yet  to  allow  for  the  latter  also  generated  their biases,  even  their prejudices,  are not analyzed at length  provided an important  layer  of  in the  understanding  of  the James Bay project that I could not have grasped by focusing solely on the  archives. In addition to these meetings conducted in Montreal, I flew  to visit Hydro-Quebec's installations on the La Grande river,  up North  and meet with  some people in Radisson and see Chisasibi - old and new since I was lucky enough to make it to the island of Fort George.  Throughout these  and  second  38  various encounters  - real  fieldwork as  this  travels  research trip  was  meant to be - I tried diligently to speak of and about my own people, the "Quebecois people", even as I realized that the term Quebecois had no fixed meaning which I could readily enlist for the purposes of my project. I felt at times  like an  "imperial  traveler"  meant  to  view  the  field  from  the  Now that construction has been completed on the La Grande river, the village of Radisson continues to house mostly Hydro-Quebec employees who run the installations and is the only permanent white settlement in the territory. Approximately one hundred kilometers West is the native village of Chisasibi which stands where the La Grande meets the bay; it was relocated to the mainland from Fort George island in 1987. The increase in water debit caused by the damming of the L a Grande had rendered movement to and from the island difficult by keeping the river from freezing in the winter and accelerating the rate of erosion of its banks. A traditional summer gathering place for the nomadic Cree people, Fort George had become a fur trading post in the 17th century. It is now a depopulated yet intensely lived place as Chisasibi people return to their houses on the island for vacations, reunions or to celebrate various holidays. 3  8  41  detached  perspective  knowledge.  39  supposedly  At other  ("Quebecois-ness"), such  a  more  manageable,  times,  a pure  designation  I  was  by  my  grasp  right back into  of  Western  my Quebecitu.de  laine with all the labels, legacies and emotions  entails. but  afforded  it  40  This made the field  also  brought  sense that my research was getting  about  a  of  vision  somewhat  too personal.  41  significantly uncomfortable  To complicate matters,  as someone who had been studying and living comfortably in English for several  years,  I was  also genuinely  "Anglo" when  interacting with  other segment of Quebecois society for whom daily life is mostly in English. I came to realize that - contrary to the pure  that  conducted  laine - I was much  more detached from my Anglo identity and thus more at ease to conduct research as a hybrid, and therefore This  was  ironic  Quebecois, politics  since  whether  in  territorially  speaking,  Anglophone, Francophone or Cree.  surrounding James  identification  fact,  harder to pinpoint, bilingual subject.  Bay  are proof  that  this  all  of  us  Yet, the nationalist territorial  basis  applied way,  is  through  the  process  of  place.  In my experience  in a  that research is performative; by this I mean  that it calls on various aspects of a researcher's identities  42  of  - "We are all Quebecois because we live in a place called  Quebec" - is still on shaky ground. What I learned from all this, decisively  were  deploying  these  identities  and that it  that  then, research was not conducted  research so  is  takes  much as  M . L . Pratt, Imperial Eyes: travel writing and transculturation (New York and London: Routledge, 1992). See also E. Said, "Representing the Colonized: anthropology's interlocutors." Critical Inquiry 15 (1989), pp. 205-225. The expression pure laine (pure wool) is often used in Quebec to designate Francophones whose ancestry is thought to be directly linked to the original French settlers. It can be used in a pejorative sense to signify a lack of openness to diversity. K . England, "Getting Personal: reflexivity, positionality, and feminist research." The Professional Geographer 46 (1994), pp. 80-89. 3  9  4  0  4  1  For a discussion of performativity in relation to gender, see chapter three in J. Butler, Gender Trouble (New York and London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 79-141. See also 4  2  42  enacted as I James  constantly  Bay  had  repositioned  been  a  myself  spectacle  to  during  hear  different  stories.  my  childhood,  If  research  accomplished several years later allowed me to rethink, act upon and open up the very spectatorship that had partly created my own subject position as a Quebecoise.  Redirecting the gaze I relocating the field  For these reasons, influential  concept  knowledge  is  particular - or argument  was  of  my approach was "situated  acquired rather  from  knowledges"  where  somewhere,  thus  "many" particular -  developed  in  informed by Donna Haraway's  dialogue  she  always  subject  with what  proposes  articulating  position(s).  she  that all  saw  a  Haraway's  as a need to  develop a feminist version of objectivity that would escape totalization  and  relativism, which are both ways of "being nowhere while claiming to be everywhere equally", a process she identifies as the god-trick.  43  call  to counter Western science's view  somewhere  from  nowhere  with  problematizes vision and the binary oppositions  Haraway's views  from  it reproduces:  "Feminist objectivity is about limited location and situated knowledge, not about transcendence might become  and splitting of  answerable  A. Coffey, The Ethnographic (London: Sage, 1999).  subject  and object.  In this way we  for what we learn to see."  Given the initial  44  Self:  fieldwork  and  the  representation  of  identity  D. Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective." In Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: the reinvention of nature (New York: Routledge, 1991), p. 191. For a more geographical approach to Haraway's concept, see also G. Rose, "Situating Knowledges: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics." Progress in Human Geography 21 (1997), pp. 305-320. Haraway, Situated, pp. 190. For an elaboration of this concept and of the politics of vision, see G. Rose, "Looking at Landscape: the uneasy pleasures of power." In Feminism and Geography (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), pp. 86112; C. Katz, "All the World is Staged: intellectuals and the projects of e t h n o g r a p h y . " Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10 (1992), pp. 495-510. 4  3  4  4  43  context in which I had learned to see James Bay (what I have called "the view  from the balcony"), Haraway's work and that of her  some invaluable tools as I undertook this  project.  critics  offered  It encouraged  me to  keep drawing links between biography and research rather than to them  apart. In turning the  gaze onto  Haraway called adopting partial  my own ways of  seeing  split  - what  perspective - I found a site from which  my research could open up and enable me to build connections.  While I  sympathize with the criticism positionality has given rise to - chiefly, that it can distract from the goals of research by focusing too much attention the  researcher  -  I strongly  believe  that  this  process  did not  enlarge my perspective. The images of my childhood and how  on  limit but  they  molded  my subjectivity as a Francophone were my first exploration into the role James  Bay played in  shaping the  term  "Quebecois"  as  a  reference  of  identity. I am only one subject of that era, but I was also constituted as a Quebecoise  through it, which connects my viewing  place in a suburban  neighbourhood to a larger social and political sphere. In this sphere, Cree, the  Quebecois,  the  dams,  the  rivers,  Bourassa,  Whale project, the workers, the planners or myself interrelated  the  the  aborted Great  are all important and  actors.  If ethnography was involved in this research project then, it was an ethnography  of  myself  and  of  the  Quebecois,  exploring  the  cultural  relationship to space and place that was reiterated through James Bay. My discomfort about asking the Cree to become, yet cultural and  my  information about land and nature was own  culture's  relationship  to  these  again,  the  providers of  eased by making myself  things  the  engine  of  this  inquiry. To some extent, this explains why the Cree are not as present as  44  they should be in this thesis. Throughout the research, I struggled  with  the  issue of how to develop a relationship with some Cree people in which they would  be  more  like  partners  in  the  inquiry  than  "informants."  The  elaboration of such a relationship takes time and will no doubt unfold over the course of many upcoming years of research. For me the attempt build  such  a  relationship  was  complicated  by  issues  of  to  academic  "discipline": indeed, my interest in questions of culture did not make me a n anthropologist no more than my interest in questions of space limited m y role to that of a geographer. Many anthropologists have studied the Crees and  worked  with  them,  becoming  some  through their battle  for territorial rights.  invaluable  stone  academic  stepping  for  my  of  their  strongest  advocates  Although their work was an  45  research,  I  felt  strongly  that  m y  background and the underlying goal of the thesis - to question  the cultural politics that sought to appropriate James Bay resources "for all the  Quebecois" -  called  for  a different  kind  of  interaction  people in James Bay: one which would be based on their agency  with  native  as political  subjects interacting with Quebec's attempts at nation-building. But for such a relationship to evolve,  the process of that nation-building in Cree land  had to become clearer to me. And it was this that finally  - and I think  necessarily - redirected where I had imagined "the field" to be and what I should do in such a place. The agency of the Cree in giving representation to  their  territorial practices  and  defending  their  land  was  what  initially drawn me to this research. The clashing between them and Quebecois over resources government  for  each  in James  group  as  Bay has  well  as  produced new redefined  their  Among others, see in bibliography the work of H . Feit; T. Morantz; D. Francis; R. Preston; R. Salisbury; C. Scott; A. Tanner.  4  5  had other  structures of concepts  of  T. Morantz and  45  nationality, both shared and separate. It is that interface making its way through text, people, archives and dams that  constitutes  "the  field", and  must be further understood if conflicts over land in Northern Quebec are to be resolved more equitably. This thesis represents a first and partial step in negotiating this complex terrain.  See  what you will  see:  Power from  the North  "But Levesque," [the executive] kept on repeating in a voice colored by several whiskeys, "how can people like you imagine you can run Shawinigan Water and Power?" "People like you." Or better still, people like you Quebecois. This was exactly the  way the  British  and French  had treated the  Egyptians a few  years before: how the devil did people like  that think they could run the Suez Canal? "My friend," I replied, "just wait a little and you will see what you will see."  46  These are the words in which Rene Levesque recounted a with an anglophone energy  executive  shortly  before  meeting  Hydro-Quebec  took  over the last privately owned utilities of the province in 1962. Levesque's response - "you will see what you will see" - to the executive's arrogant remark  anticipated  what  James  Bay  was  to  become:  the  project  was  literally a show. Its many installments were watched on TV and followed in the daily papers. It had heroes and villains, moments of victory as well as defeat, and brought on stage some of the most well-rehearsed themes of Western civilization; including the encounter with the rebellious other or  R. Levesque, Memoirs,  pp. 181-182, my emphasis.  46  the inevitable triumph of progress and modernization. On the day that our neighbour exhibited a mammoth machine  to  his  neighbourhood  audience,  the effort of imagination that was required of us to envision this immense hydroelectric project required also a simultaneous  imagining of the nation:  one which rested primarily on the spectacular enframing of its territory. I n that spectacle was the possibility of decolonization for the Quebecois. With its state-of-the-art course  of  engineering  rivers,  James  structures that could divert and control the  Bay  was  truly  a  larger-than-life  spectacle  seemingly put on with the willful intent of showing what those who had been  disparagingly  known  as  "water  carriers" were  capable  of  doing.  47  Indeed Levesque was right, we would see what we would see. This dramatic unfolding was meant to reach some closure in October 1979 when the first completed  powerhouse  (LG2) brought  together Robert  Bourassa and Rene Levesque, who by then had become Premier of Quebec, with the  latter  officially  setting  into  generate James Bay's first electricity.  motion  the  turbines  It seems fitting  which  would  that the climax of  this show never reached its TV audience: a mysterious  sabotage operation  broke off communication at the precise  Levesque  activate  the  machinery.  48  mechanism This,  that  I believe,  would is  moment  when  symbolically  significant  turn  because we  on  was  the  to  giant  cannot start  to  R e f e r r i n g to a type o f l a b o u r o f t e n p e r f o r m e d b y t h e m i n the p a s t , the Qu6becois were designated as porteurs d'eau to i n d i c a t e t h e i r l o w socio-economic status. The t e r m i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n the c o n t e x t o f J a m e s B a y . T h e fact that p o o r , l a n d l e s s F r e n c h Canadians were often reduced to t h i s kind of work frequently becomes a point o f reference for s h o w i n g the progress and development o f the Quebecois via HydroQuebec. Channeling vast quantities of water through a state-of-the-art energy network a c r o s s the p r o v i n c e , they are still symbolically connected to t h e i r past as "water carriers" but have managed to e v o l v e into a fully modern and prosperous society. 4  7  There was an inquiry into this sabotage which perpetrated by disgruntled union members. However, d e t a i l s c o n c e r n i n g the r e s u l t o f t h i s i n q u i r y i n the 4  8  was suspected of having I h a v e n o t b e e n a b l e to Hydro-Quebec archives.  been trace  47  understand  the  spectacular politics  of James  Bay without  staying  attentive  to what does not make it onto the screen or into the realm of public view. In the so  same  should  way that fieldwork entailed creative and  the  representations.  writing I  have  stay  attuned  tried  to  to  the  acknowledge  thesis as a series of "Acts" rather  than  window for looking at James Bay, each  blindfolds these  chapters. makes  evolving  strategies,  and  by  biases  of  constructing  Each  the  is  devised  as  a  some things  visible  while  leaving others backstage. This simple semantic shift is meant to remind the reader  that  even  as  distinct  characters  come  to  the  foreground,  stand back but continue to inform how the events unfold. has  remarked that  in  addition to  challenging  must also look for other modes of to  privilege  motivates of  that  battle  the  "indicative"  research is question.  to  produce  mood,  telling  of  the  "truth"  of of  conflict that  "what  over  James  this  also,  Pratt  researchers  their work since us  space:  Geraldine  seeing,  usually the attempt to push beyond Thirty years  49  representing  ways  others  text  tends  is"  when  what  the  very  limits  Bay have I  seen a  believe,  is  a  limitation on what can be learned from James Bay. Although this thesis is overdetermined by text, my nod to the words is their  meant to acknowledge  structuring  absences,  and  performative  their constituitive thus  hopefully  in  structuring  these  frame, their biases  push  the  debate  and  beyond  truth-making. Much  writing  in  recent  British  and  North  American  human  geography has sought to assert the role of representation in the politics of space as well as that of space in the politics of representation.  50  G. Pratt, "Research Space 18.5 (2000), p. 649. 4  9  Performances."  Environment  and  Planning  D:  By framing Society  and  See H . Lefebvre, La Production de Vespace (Paris: Editions Anthropos, 1974); D. Cosgrove, Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape (London: Croom Helm, 1984); D. 5  0  48  James  Bay as a series of Acts where  interact,  my intent  different  is also to explain how  actors,  every  representation  also locates a subject position. When a Cree hunter even through a translator, the size of his court of law, it becomes evident  objects and events  trapline  is  in  that the struggle  of  unable an  space  to  convey,  exclusively  white  over the space of James  Bay was also fought on a discursive terrain; that is, over the categories shape  perception,  subjectivity. key  distinct and  in  Quebec's  Acts: Act  how  spatial  relations  In discussing these categories,  51  moments  guide  they  past  articulated  and  notions  then  of  Bourassa's  leadership; Act 3 examines the geography  role played of  portfolios  that  by  "the  and  representations people."  signal  James Bay for a  prosperity  the  distant  national  of  labour  Interspersed importance  and  audience.  I  have  retracing  with  nature into  realization of  three  gathered  in  some  view  the as  in  Robert  anchoring sections  the  "staging"  key  images  separate portfolios as a support for the text but also as a way  to  thesis,  each  portfolio  identifies  a are of  into  emphasize  the visual intensity of the project during the initial building years. Like Acts that compose this  a  workcamp and  these  played  for  under  the  solidarity  in-between  images  of  the roman de la terre  2 focuses on how James Bay was brought progress,  ground  proceeds  land  of  symbolic  the  the thesis begins by  landscape  the  lay  1 discusses dominant themes of  have  Quebecois; Act  colonial  and  that  a dominant  the  viewing  point and suggests the role of the gaze in shaping this position. In each of  Cosgrove and S. Daniels eds., The Iconography of Landscape (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); T. Barnes and J. Duncan, Writing Worlds: Discourse, Text and Metaphor in the Representation of Landscape (New York and London: Routledge, 1992); J. Duncan and D. Ley eds., Place/Culture/Representation (New York and London: Routledge, 1993); G . Rose, Feminism and Geography (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993). Boyce Richardson describes Devour the Land, op. cited. 5  1  this  event  and  others  like  it  in  his  book  Strangers  49  these Acts and portfolios, I approach the cultural landscapes of James Bay not as a basis for, mirror of or commentary on the political economy of the province. For me these landscapes  are closely  connected  to  the political  economy of Quebec, and nationalism represents the glue, at once fluid and solid, between  territory, resources and population.  When I visited the dams I was at first disconcerted by the difficulty of  separating  physical  the  imaginative geography  structures that I  was  that  filled  my  contemplating. Although  head  from  the  various platforms  along the guided tour were meant to provide the distance of spectatorship, mental pictures merged with the actual engineering works I was seeing: there  stood  the escalier de  geant, underground  cathedral  and  modern  pyramids that had so often beckoned me from my childhood TV screens. There stood the wide open spaces  that  disarmed me  in  the  way  they  demanded to be viewed as the very wilderness I had gone there to take apart. Even more puzzling was the fact that my critical analysis of this concept  could do little  to shake  the  fear  of  becoming  lost  which I  experienced when I first looked across the La Grande river to what seemed like a limitless expanse of land. I felt as though my body had turned inside out  to  become  part  of  a  mute  landscape  where  everything  rested,  speechless. But that feeling was short-lived. Standing on the same spot a day later I realized that a constant buzzing sound pervaded the whole scene as electricity silence there  climbed the  had been  in  this  wires  from  landscape  the  was  powerhouse.  in  the  The only  mental picture I  carried with me. My visit also encompassed the trace of familiar sites who, to my surprise, reemerging  in  had  now  different  vanished  clothes,  from  some  of  their  initial  place  them  meant  for  but the  were  tourist  50.  industry. The spaces where labourers ate and slept, had a beer, thought of going South; a huge  cafeteria  where  the  rare female  construction worker  edged her way through a tangle of eyes; Fort George in the winter holding against a faster river now rushing away with its banks. Without a doubt these various sites born from the national imagination of Quebec were now part of  a new  sense of place,  along  with  its  new  physical geography.  Consequently, this research shows that cultural geography is in some sense a physical geography, boundary with  which  we  environmental  and that the academic division between them is a must  incessantly  question, especially  when  u  dealing  struggles.  As someone shaped for the first twenty years of my life by an almost exclusively  white francophone milieu, James Bay throws my attachment to  all these geographies into ambiguity. thinner the further I get  With  from home,  I  my native miss  the  language  stretching  neighbourhoods  where  French could be taken for granted and recognize why control over space is so often viewed as the shades  of  belonging  are  safest  means  recalled  in  of the  cultural image  of  machinery that clogged up our street on a sunny few  cars had to drive half-way onto  the  survival. the  large  Saturday  sidewalk  These  many  piece  of  afternoon.  A  and very  slowly  to  detour around this gigantic mass out on a limb. Later, I went up to our balcony to see our neighbour turn his noisy engines on, blow his horn a few times, then move up the street while waving at us. Maneuvering with great caution, he managed to go around the block - no doubt shocking a few more residents with the size of his cargo - and reappeared facing the boulevard. Then he turned away from view to go rejoin the highway would take him along an unfathomable distance  that  up North, to James Bay  5 l  where - ironically enough - none of us lived. I remember being elated b y the whole event  and talking about it with my sister for many days to  come. Yet, it left us with a curious feeling that perhaps we did not ponder long enough and which this thesis is an attempt to revive: What exactly had been the purpose of this exhibition and who precisely was it meant for?  52  PORTFOLIO  2  53.  Le printemps des solitudes  nordiques  ,4  [a Baie-James : TEnergie pour les Quebecois, jrace a I'energie de Quebecois.  C O M P A G N I E  Figure  9: Power  for the  P E T R O L I E R E  I M P E R I A L E  LTEE  Quebecois  5 4.  Figure  10:  A source  of energy  that  belongs  to  us 5 5.  Laval, October 17,  1982  V a n c o u v e r , November 4,  2001  It is a cold Sunday night, I turn on the T V to s e e it filled with a bright landscape of rock and sky suddenly inundating the room beyond the s c r e e n . After moving over a large body of water, the camera c o m e s to a full stop onto a grand piano which is resting, and surprisingly miniature  on o n e of the stairs of the escalier  de geant.  awkward,  The  crooked  familiar  spillway  towers above the piano, threatening to wash this pebble away by unleashing torrents of water in a second. French singer Gilbert B e c a u d is undisturbed as he plays the piano and sings into a microphone. T h e s c e n e looks too vast and windy for his words to be captured into  this  tiny  device; I suspect they have long been swept up by the cold air and what I am hearing is a studio recording barely matching his moving lips. "Mister 100 000 volts in J a m e s Bay" is the title of this special program. I am mesmerized. There has never been a show like this in the c r a m p e d universe of S u n d a y television.  Song follows after s o n g in this windswept stage. B e c a u d looks debonair wearing a wellcut suit, hands in his pockets or holding a cigarette as he sings a duo with a young star Quebecois music s c e n e , Martine  St-Clair. Something about a lost love, they sing  of  with  the their  backs turned to e a c h other. T h e n it is a native child sitting alone at the piano, crying. Or B e c a u d again, next to a teepee and fire, also shedding a tear as he sing about "The Indian." There is a drama  unfolding  here,  too  big  for  this  screen  and  at  the  same  time  diminished  by  the  ridiculousness of this production, only I do not understand what this drama is. A dancer stands on top of the L G 2 dam taking wide leaps into the air. His bare body against the rocks makes m e cringe, as do these linear cuts into the land, the giant stairs, the spillway, the d a m turned into a television set. I feel uncomfortable but compelled to watch, not just the s o n g s , but also every sponsor's m e s s a g e . It is late into the evening when the credits finally roll off the s c r e e n . "This special presentation was brought to you by the S D B J ,  S£BJ,  the  Radisson regional  bureau,  Nordair, Hydro-Quebec..." T h e names flow upstream against the rocky face of the escalier  de  geanf like water being s u c k e d back into the reservoir, against the regular course of the river.  5 6.  PROLOGUE  Appeals to the past are among the commonest of interpretations  strategies in  of the present. What animates such appeals is  not only disagreement about what the past was,  but  really is past, over  and  what happened in the past and  uncertainty about concluded, or  whether  the past  whether it continues,  albeit in different forms, perhaps. Edward Said, Culture  and Imperialism, p. 3.  5 8.  Any explanation of nationalism in Quebec needs to take account of the fact that social and economic processes  which take place all  Canada are here captured by a strong discourse  of  identity  across  predicated on  key events that shaped the social world of what used to be a French, then a British colony. If Levesque's defiant warning - "You will see what you will see" - anticipated the nationalization of electricity and the of  economic  complex  development  colonial relations  across  the  province,  it  that have produced the  Quebec over a long period of time. It is  also space  those relations  "spectacle"  harked  back  to  and society  of  that  so strongly  contribute to the maintenance of what I have called a "colonial present" in the Northern part of the province: a present where culture but also nature have been enrolled into heterogeneous conjunction  of  both,  territory  has  regimes forcefully  of  power.  emerged  as  Through the  the  material  expression of a distinct national identity for the Quebecois. This identity is founded  culturally through space but also  politically,  each  category  bleeding  into  the  economically, ideologically and other to  form  what can be  regarded as a Quebecois "territoriality."  1  "Sur le socle que dresse la realite socio-culturelle, le territoire temoigne d'une appropriation a la fois economique, ideologique et politique (sociale done) de l'espace, par des groupes qui se donnent une representation particuliere d'eux-memes, de leur histoire, de leur singularite." / "On the platform that socio-cultural reality erects for itself, territories signify an appropriation of space - which is at once economic, ideological and political (social then) by groups that fashion a particular 1  5 9.  Countless territoriality, the  practices  through  the  some of them figuring  collective  memory.  While  activity  settling  of  agricultural lands and  around  them  charged  with  have a  Such  contestation,  pursued  nationalist content  each  multi-faceted community.  of  its  This  the  was  distinct  that  highly  malleable  articulations  draws  that gives meaning  iconography  may  developing  region  revivifying  and  a  attachment  to place, meant to foster  with  political,  the  in  into  and  travels  the  itself  to  the  North  turned  to  than  life  that  -  is  not  without  integration of  "transplantation" to  geography  to a  necessitated  provide that  was envisioned  physical  but  reconfigured  structures  to  and the national  fold  a commitment  economic  Quebecois  contributes  In James Bay, the  sense  developed  subject  land  and is  the  landscapes  always  the  in  only  Quebec,  impact  place  this  the  material  and  of  others  means  to  from  root  early  of  and  national  about its prosperity. How this attachment secure  way  symbolize  very applied  industrial  the  no  continues  3  -  by  cultural and  losing the force of its dominant meanings. newly  at  predominantly  rural  immobilized by it; on the contrary, it  a  are  French-Canadians in  content  is  iconography 2  by  fashioned  more  farming  productive  identity.  centuries  into  of  an  the land  could  and  the  bring  sought a  to  political  territory. In the pan-Canadian context, Audrey Kobayashi remarks that:  representation of themselves, their history, and their singularity." G . D i Meo, "Geographies tranquilles du quotidien: une analyse de la contribution des sciences sociales et de la geographie a l'etude des pratiques spatiales." Cahiers de Geographie du Quebec 43.118 (1999), pp. 75-93. For a discussion of the links between iconography, landscape and cultural memory, see D. Cosgrove and S. Daniels, eds., The Iconography of Landscape: essays on the symbolic representation, design, and use of past environments (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). 2  "Les symboles de l'iconographie ne sont d'ailleurs pas rives au sol. lis circulent avec la diffusion des idees et les mouvements des hommes. Cette circulation des iconographies accroit encore la fluidite de la carte politique." J. Gottmann, La Politique des Etats et leur geographie (Paris: Armand Colin, 1952), p. 223. 3  6 0.  The  interests  landscapes Indian  of  of  Canadian francophone  Reservation,  simply  political struggle  as  cultural  objectives  are  as  Trois-Rivieres,  diverse the  as  Kahnawake  Such places landscapes,  that  cannot  must be seen, therefore,  but as be  manifestations  accommodated  over  of  without  and contradiction.  4  Nowhere is this politicisation of geography better exemplified struggle  the  Vancouver's Chinatown and Toronto's old  elite district of Rosedale. not  citizens  James  Bay  resources:  indeed,  struggle "on the ground" with the Cree, but  the also  Quebecois  than in the fought  simultaneously  this  through  the cultural production of the region as a series of landscapes that were at once new and familiar for the South, and highly relevant to its political and economic interests. this  These landscapes are the various scenes  thesis and, accordingly, I too  envision  my analysis  that  compose  of them  as  a  political project. As will become clear in the writing, the central goal of such a project is to challenge some of the more enduring boundaries of the Quebecois nation and open them to other  Canadian  provinces,  Quebec  the diversity of its must  increasingly multicultural composition of  change  its  and  population. Like adjust  people. From  to  the  a geographical  point of view, this is more easily accomplished in relation to urban space than to rural or sparsely populated areas.  Cultural  difference  and ethnicity  have started to become theorized in Quebec through the space of the city, envisioning it as fragmented, multiple and crisscrossed by various identity claims that are expressed  spatially.  In contrast,  A. Kobayashi, "Multiculturalisni: representing and D. Ley, eds., Place/Culture /Repres entation 1993), p. 224.  a  the rest  of  the national  Canadian Institution." In J. Duncan (New York and London: Routledge,  6 1.  territory  appears  granted; especially  disproportionately  blank,  the North  remains  the Quebecois national  which  imagination.  The fact  abstracted  and  deceptively that  taken  homogenous  Bourassa  their consequences  for  native  homogenous constructions  communities.  strongly expressed their presence on the narratives  of belonging  While  the  in  could launch  James Bay without notifying its local population is a powerful the material implications of such  for  example  of  Cree  of  space, and have  since  land and reinscribed their own  in James Bay, the other non-urban spaces native  people inhabit across Quebec - whether it be the countryside, the reserve, the North, or the  Great North - continue  to be represented  as blank in  renditions of the nation as a spatio-political unit. Therefore, each act that composes this thesis represents  my own attempt to give back some of the  space of the Quebecois nation to the multiple communities not by speaking for them but by naming the  that compose it,  processes  whereby  my own  culture's relationship to space sought to represent itself as universal. Before turning to this analysis, I need to describe some key in Quebec's history that repeatedly  flash  through notions  of  moments  nature, land,  and identity such as they have been configured in James Bay. There has been extensive research on the historical geography of the province and an inclusive  account  literature  than is  would  necessitate  relevant  here.  5  a  more  detailed  Rather, I have  discussion  chosen  three  of  the  dominant  See, among others, the following studies about the history and geography of Quebec: R. C. Harris, The Seigneurial System in Early Canada: a geographical study (Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1966); F. Ouellet, Histoire economique et sociale du Quebec 1760-1850 (Montreal and Paris: Fides, 1966); L . Dechene, Habitants et marchands de Montreal au XVIIe siecle (Paris: Plon, 1974). See also the following three volumes of the Qu6bec historical atlas: S. Courville et al., Le Pays laurentien au XIXe siecle: les morphologies de base (Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1995); S. Courville et al., Population et territoire (SainteFoy, Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1996); C. Boudreau, S. Courville and N . Seguin, Le Territoire (Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1997). 5  6 2.  constellations  of  conquest and  events  early  which  rule, the  I  refer  to,  nineteenth  summarily,  century  as  rural  the  British  ideal and  the  conquete du sol. I approach each of them not so much as a time period but rather as an important ideological emblem of social relations events whose memory and  spatialized  their meaning become  has  been  anew over  time:  in new  and  active a  process  different  re-spatializing  decontextualisation process  of  these  their  which  environments  increasingly taken-for-granted.  and  beyond  The  immediate  continually and  repeated  meanings  and political  them  extension,  to  recycling to  and, in a a sense, misinterpretation; yet  of remembering, with the consequence  reactivates  allows  contributes  context  their  such is the  that any study of nation-  building should seek to understand the past not only as a set of events but also as a set of discourses. What follows then tries to account for how three  above-mentioned  perhaps  more  sets  importantly,  of  events  how  they  are  interrelated  have  fashioned  but the  also,  the and  dominant  discourse of Quebecois identity into the twentieth century. My intent is not to offer the definitive version of each of them but to understand how they helped prepare the ground for the production of James Bay as a Quebecois cultural landscape pushing into Cree territory.  The  British  Conquest  and early  rule  From French to British America  It is difficult to speak of the conquest of New France by the English (1760-63)  outside of the various ideological positions  that have presented  these events either as a benefit to the French-Canadian population or as its greatest evil, with various shades of meaning in between. I will address  6 3.  these debates in discussing  the conquest,  but I need to lay out a few  historical markers before doing so. French settlement in what is today Canada was formally undertaken in 1603 when King Henry IV of France chartered the colony of Acadia, sending there, in the following attempt  to live through the winter. year  -  gravely  settlement did, however,  some  eighty  colonists  who would  A disastrous death toll - thirty-five  6  died of scurvy that French  year,  weakened  this  initial  move west along the  implantation.  St.-Lawrence river  and continued to spread inland in pursuit of the fur trade: "By the 1680s, French  fur  traders  had  built  posts  around  the  Great  Lakes,  on  the  Mississippi River, and well into the Canadian Shield north of Lake Superior; farther north, the Hudson's Bay Company had mouth posts on James and Hudson  Bays."  7  established  With  fishery  several  river-  and fur-trading  constituting the main economic activities of the colony, any agriculture that subsequently  developed  in the  St.-Lawrence valley  during  the  eighteenth  century did so as a way of fulfilling the subsistence needs of the families i n place.  8  The  establishment  of  a military presence  was  also  a mainstay of  economic activity in the early colonial outposts of New France as settlers were  fighting  battles  with  the  Indian Nations  and trying  to  curb  the  Jacques Carrier and the Sieur de Roberval had made earlier attempts (in 1541 and 1543) to establish a colony near the present site of Quebec city but with no success. See J. G. Reid, "The 1600s: French Settlement in Acadia." In J. M . Bumsted, ed., Interpreting Canada's Past - Volume One (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 47, 51.  6  C. Harris, "The Pattern of Early canadien 31.4 (1987), pp. 291. 7  % Ibid.,  Canada."  The  Canadian  Geographer/Le  Geographe  p. 294.  6 4.  economic power of their European rivals across  the territory. French and 9  English rivalries mounted as each power sought to secure its colonial bases and expand overseas trade. A decisive  battle took place  in 1759  Plains of Abraham near Quebec City, with generals Wolfe leading the opposing armies. Montcalm's troops  and Montcalm  were defeated and Quebec  surrendered at that time, followed by Montreal in September year.  This effectively  10  underwrote  the  on the  conquest  of  New  of the next  France by  British - which was later ratified by the Treaty of Paris in 1763 meant  that  the  throughout  the  geographical continent  expansion  was  severely  and colonial hold curtailed.  It  has  the  - and  of  the French  been  estimated  that 65 000 French colonists resided in Canada at the time of the conquest, in what was then the the bulk of speaking  St.-Lawrence colony.  Canadian French  communities  centralized  in  what  exist has  speakers  and  elsewhere  become  the  11  This -  in  population  although Canada  province  of  now  forms  smaller  French-  has  remained  -  Quebec.  Francophones  constitute the majority of the province in a proportion of approximately  80  per cent. The immediately  defeat  on  ensued  the were  Plains followed  of by  Abraham three  and  the  important  events  edicts  British Crown that, for French settlers, defined the approach of  that  by the  the new  The "Indian Wars", as they are known, were fought with the Iroquois on the shores of the St.-Lawrence. Between 1608 and 1760, Canada experienced less than fifty years of peace. See W. J. Eccles, "The Social, Economic, and Political Significance of the Military Establishment in New France." In A . I. Silver, ed., An Introduction to Canadian History (Toronto: Canadian Scholar's Press, 1991), pp. 57-76. Eccles concludes his article by stating that "for the better part of two centuries war, and the threat of war, was one of the great staples of the Canadian economy" (p. 76). For details of these battles, see J. Lacoursiere, Histoire populaire du Quebec, des origines a 1791 (Sillery, Quebec: Septentrion, 1995), pp. 293-325. 9  1  0  See J. Henripin, La Population canadienne Universitaires de France, 1954), p. 13. 1  1  au  debut  du XVIIIe  siicle  (Paris:  Presses  65.  colonial government. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 imposed British civil and criminal law as well as the use of English as the official most significant public office  language.  Its  impact was that it barred French-Canadians from holding  and thus fully participating in the decision-making sphere of  the colony. It did so because all citizens were required to pledge  allegiance  to the British Crown; since the Monarch was also the Head of the Church of England,  this  Catholic faith.  amounted, 12  for the  Canadiens,  to  a  renunciation  of  their  While the Proclamation of 1763 tried to enact what was in  effect a policy of assimilation, the latter  proved  difficult  to  implement  since the French greatly outnumbered the British in their former colony.  13  British Governors James Murray and Guy Carleton pleaded with the Crown that such an approach might lead to rebellion and jeopardize the goal of fostering Act of 1774  allegiance  from the  long-term  francophone population. The Quebec  heeded the two governors' position by authorizing the French  civil code of law, recognizing the French language as well as the Roman Catholic  Church,  and  by  generally  working  to  Canadians rather than striving to assimilate  them.  assimilationist  the  policies  and acknowledging  French and their institutions,  the  Quebec  accommodate  French-  By abandoning previous  cultural specificity  Act effectively  of  recognized  the them  as a "distinct society" within the British colony. Finally,  the Constitutional  Act of 1791 was  period  another  determining  moment  British rule: it roughly divided the British and  of  this  French  of  populations  early into  J. Conway, Debts to Pay: English Canada and Quebec from the Conquest to the Referendum (Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 1992), p. 13. French settlers initially set their group apart from the European metropole by referring to themselves as "Canadiens" rather than "French." This became their usual designation until other residents increasingly adopted the term, in English and French, with Canada emerging as a nation around the time of Confederation (1867). In Quebec, there were thirty Canadiens to each English settler. J. Morchain and M . Wade, Search for a Nation: Canada's crises in French-English relations 1759-1980 (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1984), p. 12. 1  2  1  3  66.  Upper and correspond  Lower to  Canada,  Ontario  and  assembly to each entity  thus  establishing  Quebec.  per cent  act  although a British  some measure of power over them. made up 90  The  of the  14  the  boundaries  also  granted  that an  today elected  governor and council retained  With this  population  of  act,  the French-Canadians  Lower  Canada  with  the  remainder mostly British and Loyalists who had crossed into Canada as a result of the American War of Independence.  Interpreting  the conquest  Assessing  the  impact  of  population has been a subject  the of  conquest  constant  on  debate  the  French-Canadian  among  historians, and  this, in turn, has influenced how Quebec envisions its national identity. One important figure of this debate  has been  Michel  Brunet whose book La  Presence anglaise et les Canadiens advanced the thesis that the and political class of New France was "decapitated" the  result  activities  that  the  Canadiens  in a business  could not  by  effectively  the  business  conquest,  pursue commercial  environment so drastically changed around  and designed to serve British interests.  15  historians of the nineteenth  century as  with  Brunet viewed  them  English-Canadian  "romantics" who maintained  that  the British Conquest had enabled the people of New France to receive civil liberties the French Empire would have never granted them. Among them, 1  4  J. Conway, Debts,  p. 20-21.  "This colonial people had prematurely lost its supporting metropolis. Reduced to its own resources, it was doomed to an anaemic leadership of an economically independent bourgeoisie totally devoted to its interest as an ethnic group and capable of establishing a political, social, and cultural order suited to it. It had nothing left but a few institutions of secondary importance and the relative and inert force of numbers and social instinct." M . Brunet, "The British Conquest and the Decline of the French-Canadian Bourgeoisie." In A. I. Silver, ed., An Introduction,^. 111. See also La Presence anglaise et les Canadiens (Montreal: Beauchemin, 1964) and Les Canadiens apres la conquete 1759-1775 (Ottawa: Fides, 1969). 1  5  67.  Francis  Parkman maintained  that:  "A happier  calamity  never  people than the conquest of Canada by the British arms." Brunet  outlines  the  Victorian framework  their rendering: "[The] French in Canada were the  first  a  In his analysis  16  of these historians,  befell  that  colors  considerable  body  of an alien race to taste that liberty which is larger than English liberty and is the secret of the modern British commonwealth of nations." contrary,  for  Brunet,  French-Canadians  were  a  nation  who  conquered and occupied by a foreign power, thus becoming  18  that the  historians  he challenged  reflected  had  their own  In the same  social  context,  which was that of the Victorian era, Brunet's views on the conquest indicative of the paradigm  change  that  was  quickly  been  a minority in  their native land and losing their right to self-determination. way  On the  17  gaining  are  ground in  Quebec when he started publishing his work, which was at the time of the Quiet Revolution. The ideas advanced by Michel Brunet and other Quebec historians  were  significantly  questioned  by  Fernand Ouellet, who saw in  them the inscription of a French-Canadian nationality none was in existence - or at least none  nationalist  comparable  before to  1760  that  of  where today.  Speaking of these historians, he argued that: The whole of  their interpretation  of  Canada's history  logically  flows from this initial observation and from their idea of the nature of this nationality.  Quoted by Brunet, "The British Conquest and the Canadiens." In R. Cook et al., eds., Approaches to Canadian History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1979), p. 87. Brunet is quoting historian A. L . Burt. He also notes that Burt wrote a Canadian history textbook with a chapter on the French entitled "The Liberty to be Themselves." Ibid., p. 89. Ibid., p. 91. 1  6  1  7  1  8  68  These  interpretations  awakening  feelings  have  undoubtedly  and thus  had  the  reaching people's  they reflect reality? Is emotional  content  merit  minds.  of  But do  a guarantee  of their  truthfulness? Long before me, historians have suspected  not.  19  While it must be granted that several readings could be made of the events  of  1759-60,  government subsequent  did  it  take  is  place  important which  to  had  recognize important  that  a  change  repercussions  on  of the  development of the colony. The political and economic changes  that issued from the British takeover of Canada proved to be an important trigger for what became known as the "rural retreat" of the French, and consequently  their  merchant activity was  under-representation  from  in Montreal and Quebec City.  dominant  sectors  For many, the  re-lived during a period of insurrection in 1837-38  -  the  Rebellion" - which was followed by a Crown report that sought the cause of these events and to present conclusions  recommendations  of  conquest "Patriot  to explain  based on the  reached.  The Patriot Rebellion  Although the insurrection initially occurred in both Upper and Lower Canada, it lasted longer and was  significantly  more violent  in the  where rebels known as the "Patriotes" engaged in a series of battles over two years. The generation after  the  Conquest  latter spread  had seemed relatively  at peace with British rule, yet the new regime generated discontent both in Upper  and  Lower  Canada.  The  two  provinces  were  F. Ouellet, "French-Canadian Nationalism: from its origins 1837." In A. I. Silver, ed., An Introduction, pp. 258j-259. economique, op. cited. 1  9  facing  strongly  to the Insurrection of See also his Histoire  69.  entrenched political oligarchies that remained deaf to the demands respective pressing  elected issue was  assemblies.  For Upper Canada "Reformers", the  a monopoly  of  21  land ownership  opposed the interest the  American  organized, without  the  of settlers.  22  border but,  violence.  that  repeatedly  Small battles took place around Toronto  being  too  few  in  Reformers were quickly repressed  widespread  most  by absentee owners,  many of whom were part of a dominant merchant class  and  of their  Unlike the  numbers  by the  Patriotes  and poorly  British  military  of Lower Canada, the  Reformers have not been widely memorialized in English Canada and their rebellion is at times even regarded as reform.  having  delayed  proper democratic  2 3  By contrast, the events that took place in Lower Canada during the same  period  have  province. While both  received  a  different  movements  opposed  interpretation  in  the  an administration they  corrupt and standing in the way of the colony's development,  French saw  as  the battle of  the Patriotes also intersected with the ideal of founding a French nation in North  America.  The always-present  fear  that  the  long-term  goal  of  the  English were to assimilate the French added meaning to what the Patriotes were perceived to be fighting . for. As an elected party with Louis-Joseph Papineau at its head, the  Patriotes  enjoyed  broad popular support in the  election of 1827. They strove to get a series of grievances and resolutions adopted by the assembly, all of which were rejected by London in 1837  They were known as the Family Compact (Upper Canada) and the Chateau Clique (Lower Canada). F. Ouellet, "The Rebellions of 1837/8." In J. M . Bumsted, Interpreting Canada, p. 412.  2  1  2  2  2  3  Conway, Debts, Ibid.,  p. 24.  p. 25.  7 0.  via Lord John Russell's infamous "Ten Resolutions." resolutions  stripped the  Patriotes  of  Furthermore, these  24  their political power as an  elected  party. These extreme measures laid the ground for the insurrection which, like that of Upper Canada,  was  met  with  little  success  and  eventually  resulted in failure. The confrontations - chief among them those of SaintEustache, Saint-Denis and Saint-Charles -  were  significantly  more violent.  They ended in the burning of villages and farms by the British and led to the  hanging of  twelve  men among  the  ninety-nine  military who had  been accused of treason. Of those who remained in prison, fifty-eight sent  in  exile  and  the  rest  were  eventually  pardoned.  25  were  The most  controversial trial and execution was that of the Chevalier De Lorimier. On the night before his death, he wrote a political testament where he stated that he was dying without remorse since  he had desired nothing but the  good of his country. He ended with words that in some way nationalist  movement  l'independance! "  of  the  next  century:  "Vive  la  anticipated  the  liberte,  vive  2 6  The Durham Report The political project  of  the  Patriotes  remains  ambiguous  since  the  Rebellion did not broadly unite the population of Lower Canada into clearly expressed common goals. The difficulty of identifying and interpreting the context  of  their  motives  See G. Filteau, Histoire 159-191.  2  4  2  5  Ibid.,  des  and  Patriotes.  the  reasons  (Montreal: Les  for  the  Editions de  failure  l'Aurore,  of  their  1975), pp.  pp. 437-440.  Ibid., p. 438. The desire to keep the memory of those events alive in Quebec is exemplified by the release of two movies on the Patriotes in the last two years: Quand je serai parti vous vivrez encore directed by Michel Brault (1999) and 15 Fevrier 1839 by Pierre Falardeau (2001). 2  6  71.  insurrection has not prevented them from occupying a central place in the nationalist  imagination  of  Qu6bec.  From  this  perspective,  the  Patriotes  fought the last battle for the creation of a French nation in North America: their  repression  in  1838  is  seen  an important cause of  the  supposed  political apathy that took over the French population and endured until the re-emergence  of  a  strongly  militant  nationalist  movement  in  the mid-  twentieth century. This claim is partly supported by yet another change of policy toward the  French  Rebellion that was author,  the  enacted  commissioned  "Durham  in  the  by the  wake British  Report" (published in  of  an inquiry  Crown.  1839)  into  the  Named after  its  assessed  the political  climate that prevailed in the two provinces and recognized the need  for  reform. What Lord Durham identified as the root of the rebellions was to have a tremendous impact on Francophones: I expected  to find  a contest between a government  and  a  people: I found a struggle, not of principles but of races; and I perceived that it would be idle to attempt any amelioration laws or institutions until we could first succeed in the  deadly  animosity  that  now  separates  the  of  terminating  inhabitants  of  Lower Canada into the hostile divisions of French and English.  27  R. Coupland, ed., Report on the Affairs of British North America (The Durham Report) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1945), p. 15. Adopting a usage that was common throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Durham's use of the term "race" for what is today more generally understood as "culture" gives us a sense of how French and English were strongly perceived not only as separate but also incompatible entities, a notion that was supported and reinforced by their respective religion and class position. In a novel entitled L'Appel de la race (The Call of the Race), one author of the roman de la terre, Lionel Groulx, also regards the cultural differences between French and English as biological traits but seeks to revalue the French as the "nobler" race and the one chosen by God. I will discuss this novel in Act 1. 2  7  7 2.  Seeing that the problems of the colony resided in the inequalities between the two populations, Durham concluded that the only way to solve them was through the rapid assimilation of the French to the English. Regarding Lower Canada, he viewed the transformation of its character as an urgent matter  and  he  advised  the  Crown  to  design  and  implement  a  strict  program to make it an English province in the shortest possible delay.  2 8  Durham's  recommendation  was  legitimated  through  a  harsh  portrayal of Francophones, one where class differences between the French and English which had emerged in the colony over time were presented as essential French  cultural  attributes.  Canadians"  entrenched  into his  and  colonizer. inactive,  29  and  "The  text  "other" by representing  His  the the  report  English  contained Immigrants"  dualism whereby colonized  as  In this dual framework, the unprogressive"  people  two -  negative  French  were  clung  - "The  which  strongly  colonialism  the  who  sections  to  ancient customs and ancient laws." Durham blamed the  constructs image  an  of  its the  "uninstructed,  "ancient  prejudices,  British  government  for this state of affairs since it had left "the mass of the people without  any  of the  and  institutions  which  would  have  elevated  them  in  freedom  civilization." As a result: "they remained an old and stationary society in a new and progressive world"  3 0  Britain sought to implement Lord Durham's recommendations to anglicize Canada through the Act of Union of 1840. The territories of Upper and Lower Canada were to be united into a single colony with a democratic assembly where each province would have an equal number of seats. See Coupland, Report, particularly the last section "Conclusions and Recommendations", pp. 124-183. 2  8  Not surprisingly, Albert Memmi's Portrait du colonise (Paris: Gallimard, 1985) was widely read by militant nationalists in the 1960s for whom the Quiet R e v o l u t i o n represented a period of decolonization where these dualist images could be overturned. 2  9  3  0  These various quotes are from, Coupland, Report,  pp. 22-23.  7 3.  In contrast,  the  English  immigrants  characteristics  with  which  enterprising of  every  class of our  and  "regular" habits,  careless  they  competitors  industries  we  of  had the  are  were  seen  familiar,  as  countrymen."  succeeded French  of the colony. This was  in  race"  viewed  as  "exhibiting  those  Thanks  of  to  their  from  most  the  the  their  displacing  the most  "active"  "inert  and  profitable  by Durham not as an invasion  but as the creation of welcome opportunities: "the English cannot be said to have encroached on the French; for, in fact, profits  which had not  question visible  previously  the inequalities in  his  opportunities  failure created  that to  by  existed."  existed  consider the  they  The fact  between it  created  English confined  the  of  but in the  laborious  run  of  the  more  Canadians fully hold their ground against Durham's geographical cultural  dualistic  dimension  characteristics  common  portrayal when  of  it  the  nineteenth-century  incomplete Anglophones  and Francophones  in  Quebec  text,  it  and gave renewed  Ibid.,  its  -  resources.  made  so-called toughest  are generally  English;  the  the  French  31  "races"  understood, "racial"  not  the  employment  in  did  was  the to  and  acquires  report,  a  that  the  to  the  according  preclude  them  from  Biased,  sketchy  and  as the report may be - and has been recognized to be both by  British rule in Canada  1  that  two  clear,  -  as  for securing  3  the  French  time  where  groups  English rivalry."  of  making the best use of the land and of  Durham  French  artisans  becomes  usage,  two  injustice  forms of labour: "The more skilled class general  that  the  an  employments  reiterated  the category  of the  -  what it  cannot  force  to  be a  set  accomplished  at  underestimated: of  colonial  as  the a  meanings  "French" functioned as the inferior other of  the  pp. 23-27.  7 4.  category of the "English." Looking ahead, James  Bay created  represented become  as the  clearer  about  particularly  its  constructions  of  the the  thesis Durham  production  of  Quebecois  unfolds. report  For  is  native  people  now,  the  what  needs  -  were  which will  importance of meanings  of  to  be  discourse  -  in colonial  way in which these constructions impact  They do so  constructions of race so often  as  geography  nation; a point  taken-for-granted  race, and the  geographies.  imaginative  similar binary opposition  "other" of the  as  understood  material  a  the  largely because,  operate  in colonial  simultaneously  discourses,  as constructions  nature. One of the main functions of the dualism entrenched in the  of  Durham  report is to position the English as the one of the two groups who can successfully  territory and bring  forth its potential  for maximum prosperity. This they can do best because,  unlike the French,  the  English  effect control over the  can overcome  and "normalize"  nature.  Consider  these  two  renditions of each culture's farming ability, which I quote here in their entirety. Speaking about the French, the Durham report estimates that: Along  the  tributaries,  alluvial they  have  banks  of  cleared  cultivated them in the worst established  a  series  country of the  of  the two  towns  were  country were,  three of  strips  small  villages,  and of  its land,  farming, and  which  give  the  the appearance of a never-ending  street. Besides the cities which were no  or  method  continuous  seigniories  St.-Lawrence,  established;  the  the  rude  seats of government, manufactures  of  the  and still are, carried on in the cottage by the  family of the habitant,  and an insignificant  proportion of  the  population  derived  their  subsistence  from  the  habits  of  scarcely  discernible commerce of the province.  3 2  For his part, the English farmer: [C]arried  with  him  the  experience  and  the  most  improved  agriculture in the world. He settled himself in the  townships  bordering the  and  seigniories,  improved cultivation  slovenly  to  compete  farm of the habitant.  which the management,  Canadian made  settler that  a  government  with  He often took  source  of  soil  worn-out and the  very  farm  and, by superior  profit  The ascendancy  which had  only  which an unjust  had contributed to give to the English race in the and legal  profession,  their  own  skill and capital secured to them in every They have developed the resources constructed  the  had abandoned,  impoverished his predecessor. favouritism  and brought a fresh  or  improved  its  means  superior  energy,  branch of industry.  of the country; they have of  communication;  they  have created its internal and foreign commerce."  33  These  descriptions  envision  attributes which are given acquired.  In the  disorderly,  terms  set  unresourceful  organization,  planning  land  - as though genetically up by the  and unsystematic  and  management  industry.  skills  as  cultural  embodied - rather than  comparison,  the  French  appear  whereas the English stand for  Restating  one  of  the  most  basic,  overarching dichotomies of colonialism - that of nature versus culture - the inability of the French to bring rational order to the space of the colony 3  2  3  3  Ibid.,  pp. 21-22. See footnote number 41 for a definition of the  Ibid.,  p. 25.  habitant,  7 6.  means that they cannot properly tackle its "wilderness" to effectively  bring  it into the realm of culture, and thus financial prosperity. It comes as no surprise then that the report between  culture  produce the well  into  and  space  intensified for  the  French-Canadians,  symbolic and material content  the  twentieth  already  century.  important  which  continues  of nature, land  Following  the  dialectic to  and territory  Durham  report,  the  challenge of resisting assimilation for the French would increasingly hinge on their ability to produce a nature - and therefore a physical space - they could control and symbolize  as their  own  national  sphere.  Again,  Lord  Durham's imagination of the space of the colony gives us a sense of this struggle which involves both physical and cultural geography: The possession of the mouth of only those who happen to  the  have  St.-Lawrence concerns  not  made their settlements along  the narrow line which borders it, but all who now dwell, or will hereafter  dwell, in the great basin of that river. For we must  not look to the present alone. The question is, by what race is it likely that the wilderness regions  surrounding  districts  in  eventually country?  which to  be  the the  which now covers the rich and comparatively French  converted  into  small  Canadians a  settled  and are and  ample  contracted located,  is  flourishing  34  In the context of the Durham report and its powerful reiteration of cultural stereotypes  pertaining to the French and English, I want to propose that  much of the rural ideology of the nineteenth century and the landscape it  Ibid.,  34  p. 151, my emphasis.  7 7.  contributed to mold in Quebec can be understood as a form of response to the above question.  The  nineteenth-century  Rurality  rural  ideal  and religious ideology  [Djans  des  conditions d'oppression  (comme  en  comporte  en  particulier la situation coloniale), il n'est pas rare de voir surgir, dans  un  religieux  climat de  protestation  d'effervescence  salut  qui  collective,  constituent  des  une  mouvements  autre  forme  de  a cote de la revolte armee et parfois la precedent,  l'accompagnent ou en suivent l'echec.  3 5  To a large extent, the rural ideal of the nineteenth the  continued occupation  Francophones had  settled in the St.-Lawrence valley before the events of  1760-63 with the  of  the French language  of  and culture.  the  associated  areas  survival  and expansion  century  If  survival  was  material imperative for French colonists, living with policies of  always  a  assimilation  meant that it also came to be defined in cultural terms as a result of the British conquest; exacerbated. preserve  a process  which  The Catholic Church  French-Canadian  identity  the took  Durham  Report could  a leading  role  in  the  have only effort  to  by anchoring it in a traditional - i.e.  rural - way of life. In that process, the geographical environment of the  "In oppressive conditions (as can be found particularly in a colonial context), it is not rare to see the emergence, in a climate of collective effervescence, of religious salvation movements that constitute another form of protest next to armed revolt and sometimes precede it, accompany it or follow in the wake of its failure." G . Dussault, Le Cure Labelle: messianisme, utopie et colonisation au Quebec 1850-1900 (Montreal: Hurtubise H M H , 1983), p. 43. 3  5  7 8.  country  was  made  to  bear  provided the backbone  a  set  of  specific  of a nationalist  moral ideals  which also  territoriality. The French military  and political leaders who left Canada as a result of the  conquest  were  gradually replaced by a local elite largely made up of religious figures took on  a  substitute  role  for  the  state: in essence,  the  clergy  French-Canada's governing class and, by the end of the nineteenth strongly  exercised  that  role.  resilience of the Canadiens  Under  leadership  of  was viewed in teleological  evolution toward the pre-determined in North America.  the  Consequently,  end of  the  nineteenth-century  the  rural  became century,  Church,  terms:  re-creating  who  as  the  a linear  French nation  ideology  was  as  firmly anchored in the soil as it was in a Catholicism that took the mantle of  national  would  religion.  produce  The  strong  intersection  overtones  of  between  nationalism  messianism  whereby  and  the  god of an  oppressed people who were "poor francophone Catholics" fought them against  the "rich anglophones  Protestants.  3  religion  alongside  6  Sylvie Vincent has illustrated another aspect of the dynamic between nation  and religion  by  arguing  that,  faced  with  the  dual  difficulty  of  maintaining horizontal links - politically, economically and culturally - not only  with  France  but  also  with  Britain,  vertical links with a Catholic heavenly mother and her various  attributes  as  French-Canadians  father, but also with an earthly "nature",  "nation" and  pointing to the complex gendering of land through religion century  Quebec,  her  analysis  alerts  developed  us  to  the  fact  that  in  "land."  37  In  nineteenththe  national  landscapes these concepts helped to shape were also heavily gendered. One 3  6  Ibid.,  p. 49.  S. Vincent, "Terre quebecoise, premiere nation et nation premiere: notes sur discours quebecois francophone au cours de l'ete 1990." Discours et mythes I'ethnicite (Montreal: ACFAS - Les Cahiers scientifiques #78), pp. 227. 3  7  le de  7 9.  aspect of this geography is expressed in the importance of the family in the rural sphere. From 1831 to 1961, the French-Canadian population grew from 553 000 individuals to over five million. This prodigious increase 38  is  known as the "revenge of the cradle", a demographic phenomenon in which the Church played a considerable  part by maintaining the  environment capable of fostering  such a population boom.  "revenge"  in terms of  Catholic moral 39  demographic presence is  conquest and the subsequent policies  another  reference  that sought to assimilate  Here the role of the Qu6becois mother in  maintaining  a  reverberated  socially  and  spatially  through  the  organization that existed around the parish, which was  to  the  the French.  distinct  heritage was an important part of the traditional nationalist role  The idea of a  cultural  discourse. This tight  form  of  facilitated by the  structuring of the land base along the form of the rang a"habitat. As a land pattern,  the  perpendicular  rang to  is the  characterized  by  St.-Lawrence;  this  narrow division  fields  usually  ensured  that  farming family could have equal access to the river and enjoy with roughly the same topography  as  that of its  running every  a property  neighbours.  40  With each  rang running parallel to the river and land holdings cut through them on a perpendicular grid, houses would be close to each other at the end of their  As a frame of reference, demographers Henripin and Peron mention that, between 1760 and 1960, the total world population was multiplied by four whereas French-Canadians saw they numbers increase by a factor of eighty. J. Henripin and Y. Peron, "La Transition demographique de la province de Quebec." In H. Charbonneau, ed., La Population du Quebec: etudes retrospectives (Montr6al: Boreal Express, 1973), p. 24. 3  8  Ibid., p. 15. H. Miner, St. Denis: a French-Canadian parish (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1966), pp. 21-24. For a discussion of the genealogy and adaptation of this land pattern in New France, see L . - E . Hamelin, Le Rang d'habitat: le reel et Vimaginaire (Montreal: Hurtubise, 1993). Hamelin's analysis is at once empirical and interpretive and thus constitutes a rich example of the connection between physical and cultural geography in the St.-Lawrence valley. See also, Harris, Seigneurial, op. cited. 3  9  4  0  8 0.  respective fields and linear clusters would develop to form a village, often stretching  between  community  church and  school.  relations, the geometry  By  closely  binding  farming and  of the land can be said - using the  feminizing of nature common in the rural/religious discourse of the time to have "nurtured" its  Leaving  the land  Despite the  this  nineteenth  losing existing  descendants.  many of  strong  century  connection  also  saw  their children to  between nature, nation  both the  "mothers" attraction  beyond the original homeland of  the  and religion,  and "mother-country" of other  environments  Laurentian valley.  Indeed,  the Church's efforts to embed the French population in the soil of Quebec did not mean that characterized  so  the  tension  much of  the  between French  movement presence  and stability in  North  that had  America  was  resolved. Part of that tension is explained by the fact that the colonizing sphere of the French was significantly reduced as a result of the conquest, an issue which is encompassed in the concept of L'Amerique  frangaise. In  relation to the ideal of a "French America", Quebec could easily appear the mere fragment of an empire that used to stretch from the "Atlantic to the Rockies and Rupert's land to the Gulf of Mexico." the colony, the extensive involvement  41  From the initial days of  of the Canadiens with  fur trading  had allowed further advance inland as well as contact with native people, and made mobility an important aspect of the relationship to space. In its strong emphasis on place and place-making, the rural ideal can be said to  S. Courville, Rives d'empire: le Quebec et le rive colonial (Ottawa: Les Presses de l'Universite d'Ottawa, 2000), p. 7. See also, C . Morissonneau, "Mobilite et identite qu6becoise." Cahiers de Giographie du Quebec 23.58 (1979), pp. 29-38. 4  1  8 1.  have outlined a contrast between the figures voyageur dilemma  (traveler) between  and that of the habitant two  modes  of  potential outcomes for the nation.  interaction 42  of the coureur de bois and (farmer), thus staging with  the  land  and  the their  Here the question of what geographical  space - the open horizon of the coureur de bois or the bounded sphere the habitant francophone  could  homeland  serve was  best a  the  central  establishment issue.  between these various spatial imaginaries  and  expansion  of  of a  Although  the  intersections  and practices  are  multiple and  deserve further discussion, what is important to retain for the purposes of this study is that, through the nineteenth century and beyond, the role of the rural in claiming and consolidating a French-Canadian nation in North America  entailed  the  discarding  of  other conceptions  of  nature  from other experiences of space. The same process takes place Bay but with different  kinds of  yielded in James  "natures" - and their attendant archetypal  heroes - competing for a different space. The Church's disapproval of those figures who blur the boundaries - both spatial and cultural - of the nation seeks to guard against  the divergent  productions of nature these  figures  The coureur de bois was a fur-trader who circulated in the back country establishing and negotiating trading relations with native people, and using their knowledge to circulate through the territory: as a result, he was perceived to be a hybrid figure whose way of life took him across cultural boundaries. Often envisioned as a Utopian figure in the Quebecois nationalist imagination, t h e love of mobility and adventurous spirit of the coureur de bois offered the possibility of reconquering the lost territory of New-France. As for the voyageur, he was generally a man hired to travel with a discovery mission to portage across land, carry supplies and accomplish other physical labour involved in the expedition. French-Canadians were often chosen to fulfill that role because of the territorial knowledge and cross-cultural ties they had previously developed as coureurs de bois. Finally, the habitant often stands in sharp contrast against these two figures for his lack of mobility. The term refers to the French farmers who helped to mold the agricultural landscape of Quebec and connotes the traditional way of life associated with it. The verb hab iter means to live in and/or to occupy a given space; more than a farmer, the habitant was also someone who occupied the land, shaping and being shaped by it through language, religion and culture. These various colonial archetypes have been fictionalized in song, myth and literature. 4  2  82.  threaten to oppose  to a traditionalist nationalism which is  hard at work  binding nature and nation inside the rural sphere, and producing the kind of  rational nature  the  French,  according  to  Durham,  were  so  severely  lacking. And yet the rural  countryside  from  quite  biggest came,  a different  threat  in the  to  maintenance  nineteenth  space than that  expanse of the American continent. which exercised  the  of  of  tradition in the  and early twentieth the wilderness  or  century, the  vast  Indeed, it was the space of the city  an even stronger pull away from the  rural  sphere. The  concentration and rapid growth of the French population along the initial axis of the  St.-Lawrence yielded a tremendous  demographic pressure  on  the region and created the need for an expanded land base. Single farms could not sustain alone the large French-Canadian family: if the first-born son could hope to take over the ancestral land, those among his siblings who did not enter a religious order faced the limited options of either settling  a new  agricultural property,  looking  for  work  in  Montreal  or  Quebec city, or emigrating across the border toward the industrial centers of the United States. By the second half of the nineteenth century, Quebec was  "literally overflowing...  its agriculture  was  being  transformed;  new  lands were more and more remote from the central areas of the province; and  urban growth  was  still  uneven  and  could  not  absorb  the  excess  population of the countryside. It was the city, however, that was now attraction."  43  the  Between 1840 and 1930, Quebec suffered what seemed like a  S. Courville and N. Seguin, Rural Life in Nineteenth-Century Quebec (Ottawa: T h e Canadian Historical Association, 1989), p. 15. For a discussion of the various factors that converged to cause this migration, see A. Faucher, "Explications socioeconomiques des migrations dans l'histoire du Quebec." In N. Seguin, ed., Agriculture et colonisation au Quebec (Montreal: Boreal Express, 1980), pp. 141-157.  4  3  8 3.  true "hemorrhage" of its French-speaking population as nearly one million people  relocated  departures  was  in New  England.  powerless  to  44  The Church's negative  stop them,  change of values and lifestyle this  view  of  these  and powerless also against  emigration  brought  about.  the  Exodus on  this scale posed the danger of diluting the French population and, for the Francophone elite, made the political imperative to "cling to the land" all the more pressing.  La  conquete  du sol  Although the Church did try to follow the flow of emigration to help recreate the social structure of the parish in the United States, the opening of new farming land within  Quebec  was  envisioned  as  a  more  effective  solution to the dual problem of dispersion and assimilation caused exile of Francophones. The latter part of the nineteenth spreading  of  the  population  from  its  Laurentian  different areas: on the north shore, settlers headed of Montreal and Quebec City, and in the south  shore,  valley,  they  reached  into  and into the Lower  leaders of this colonisation  the  was  the  into  to  saw  settle  the  the  many  back country  Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean; on the  Eastern  St.-Lawrence  core  century  by the  Townships,  and  Cure  Gaspe  Antoine  up  area.  the  Ottawa  45  One of the  Labelle  (1833-1891)  whose relentless support for the clearing of new land made him a central protagonist memory  of was  this  movement  frequently  during his lifetime,  evoked  to  support  but  also  subsequent  projects, notably in the wake of the Great Depression of 1929  4  4  4  5  Courville and Seguin, Rural  beyond. His colonization when  the  Life, p. 15.  Ibid., p. 15.  84.  Quebec and  federal  governments  sought  to  alleviate unemployment  cities by sponsoring the  move of previously urban  also, onto new land. The  Abitibi-Temiscamingue, which  south  of  James  Bay,  movement  which  lasted  was  transformed  roughly  twenty  by  families,  this  years  "return  from  to the fifties. Two separate plans were put into effect assisting those who sought to establish themselves many of them had only mixed results. several  decades  after  the  death  of  Although  is  the  and  in  the  farmers  situated directly to  the  land"  nineteen-thirties  specifically  aimed at  on colonisation lots, but they were put into  Cure Labelle,  these programs  effects can  be  regarded as a projection of his own work in that they strongly called upon a religious and heroic discourse to enlist potential them  in their In  endeavour.  settlers,  and  46  1868 Labelle was appointed priest of a parish north  (Saint-Jerome)  and, though  encourage  he remained  in that function until  of Montreal the  end of  his life, the impact of his activities was felt across the province. Among his numerous works he led a successful campaign for the building of a railroad between  Montreal and  establishment and  was  Agriculture  Saint-Jerome;  founded  a colonizing  society for  of new parishes; traveled to Europe twice to recruit  named and  assistant-minister Colonisation,  of a newly created  all the  while working  Quebec for  the  settlers;  Ministry of  industrialization  Filmmaker Pierre Perrault has documented this important period in a movie trilogy produced by the Canadian National Film Board: alternating interviews with the local population of Abitibi with promotional films taken from the archives that extolled the virtues of opening new land, Perrault takes a critical look at the way people who were publicly celebrated as heroes of colonization were subsequently left to their own devices in a region ill-suited for agriculture. These movies are entitled Un Royaume vous attend (1976), Le Retour a la terre (1976), Gens d'Abitibi (1980, with Bernard Gosselin). See also "Les plans de colonisation et la consolidation du monde rural: 1930-1950" in O. Vincent, dir., Histoire de I'Abitibi-Temiscamingue (Quebec: Institut quebecois de recherche sur la culture, 1995), pp. 235-281; S. Courville, "Emparons-nous du sol!" in Le Quebec: geneses et mutations du territoire (Sainte-Foy (Quebec): Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 2000), pp. 235-290. 4  6  8 5.  and expansion  of his own parish which acquired city  What was most remarkable about  Labelle  was  the  status in  evocative  1881.  4 7  quality  was able to give his mission by conveying it in Utopian and  he  messianic  terms. He was a colorful and convincing speaker who represented his cause in  words  Labelle  that  could  essentially  strongly  captured  mobilize and  people  embodied  and  in  governments.  his  speeches  What  was  the  "national messianism" that had pervaded the Church's ideal of establishing a homeland for the French. With Labelle, this ideal was unmoored from its Laurentian  core  and sent  into  other  geographical  directions. The  however, was firmly looking to the North, a sphere which he untouched  and  therefore  ready  for  the  expansion  of  priest,  viewed  as  Francophones. I n  supporting the settlement of several parishes in the upper reaches  of the  St.-Lawrence valley, he also significantly expanded another territory which would  give  James  Bay  its  evocative  power:  this  territory  was  the  imaginative geography of the North. In a letter where Labelle admitted  the  intentions of his program, he stated: Nous les enfants du  Nord, nous les  empire de l'Amerique du Nord, renouveler vieille anglais  en  France,  Amerique les nous  faits  qui devons  cette terre  de  nous  fondateurs les  hommes  glorieux conquerir  l'Amerique  par  de ce  et sur  notre  futur  design6s a  celebres les  de la  Philistins  vigueur,  notre  fecondite, notre habilete, et par ces secours d'en-haut... Un jour nous  serons  gouvernee  nation  par les  independante  hommes  qui  l'ont  et  cette  fondee...  nation  L'immigration  francaise va devenir ruisseau, riviere et fleuve dans les  4  7  G. Dussault, Le  sera  temps  Cure, pp. 36-37.  8 6.  a  venir et  c'est alors  que la  revenche  de  Montcalm  sera  accomplie par la voie pacifique de la force native de la race frangaise  sans raeme bruler une  cartouche.  Ce  sera la  plus  grande victoire que jamais nation ait accomplie: conquerir nos conquerantsA  8  Labelle's dream of "conquering the conquerors" can be understood as a dynamic, political response their native land following  to the colonized position of the French in  the defeat of New France. Furthermore,  "reconquest" by the British after the insurrection of  the  1837-38 - which, in  the nationalist memory, had been sealed by the Durham report - was being challenged by a reconquest of the land. The slogan that determined movement  was  "Emparons-nous which  the  electricity  unequivocal about the imperative of territorial possession: du  sol!"  Liberal -  49  specifically  "Maitres  through water.  Half a century later, the catch phrase under  conducted chez  imperative; only this time, expressed  this  the  their nous"  campaign -  for  contained  I contend,  the strong  nationalization echoes  the cultural meaning  imagination  of  In both contexts,  the  its  natural  50  this  of land was  resources,  North functioned  sphere as well as a frontier of regeneration.  of  of  as  a  more Utopian  Like all Utopias, it was an  "We children of the North, we founders of this future North American Empire, we the men designated to renew in America the glorious and famous acts of old France, we that must conquer this land of America against the English philistines through our vigor, our fecundity, our skills, and through help from above... One day we w i l l be an independent nation and this nation will be governed by those who founded it... French immigration will become a stream, a great river in the years to come and it is then that Montcalm's revenge will be accomplished, without firing a single shot, through the peaceful way of the French race's native strength. This will be the greatest victory any nation has ever accomplished: to conquer our conquerors." Ibid., p. 90, my emphasis. 4  8  4  9  the 5  0  Morissonneau, Terre, land!" Ibid.,  p.  65.  The  expression  translates,  roughly,  as  "Let's  take  over  pp. 105-124.  8 7.  ambiguous  territory. For Labelle and for the  supported  his  program, its  mythical  force  other  was  religious  sustained  by  and endlessness, or so it seemed, of its physical contours. designated  as  proponents. key  "the  North"  would  In his book Terre  builders  geographical  of  this  Promise,  myth  de  Saint-Pere  with  the  fraction  Nantel of the  of colonisation,  vision  of  the area  each  Northern  imaginaries  who fluidity  Indeed,  Morissonneau  of  its  identified refer  to  diverse proportions: whereas Labelle is a of Qu6bec, Ontario and the Prairies, Edme  envisions  the  whole  of  Langelier and Arthur Buies nearly the entirety Alphonse  the  Christian  whose  spaces of extremely  proponent for the lower reaches Rameau  change  leaders  and Testard de French province.  Canada;  of Quebec; and  Montigny limit  the  Although they  51  these myth builders  as a virgin region, the North is  use  viewed  a  Jean-Chrysostome  frontier  envision  common  Guillaumeto  a  small  different  symbolic:  as a space where  spaces  represented  descendants  of  New France could fulfill their providential mission of establishing a catholic nation in the American continent. be  normalized and brought  civilization.  Translated  into  Produced as  within  the  discourse  horizon by  religious leaders - and into practice by the population  -  the  decisive  brought into sharp focus,  question as  is  the  a wilderness,  posed  of  the  it  European meaning national  underlying  Durham  in  regions  that  the  surrounding  wilderness the  which  comparatively  which the French Canadians are located,  now small is  of  covers and  the  report  is  imperative  of  "By what race  rich  contracted  eventually  and  1  Ibid.,  ample  districts  in  to be converted into  a settled and flourishing country?" I suspect this is a question that  5  of  the French  his  geographical  the British conquest, the rural ideal and the conquete du sol: is it likely  and  messianism  spatial expansion by  demands . to  Premier  pp. 125-147.  8 8.  Robert  Bourassa, like Labelle, sought  to answer.  Indeed, looking  not  so  centrally at the forest but at the major rivers in James Bay, Bourassa too saw a wilderness that should be converted into a flourishing country. As  I have  reference clearly  points  as  tried to in  in fact  show  Quebecois two  "Conquete du sol" -  in  memory  reference  the  this  colonial  discussion  -  which  points, past  that  is,  of  can  three  now  "British  reappears  into  dominant  emerge  more  conquest" and  the  present  not  because of an unbroken link between them but because this past has been encapsulated in such a powerful geographical imaginary, i.e. the idea of the North. This imaginary is, as I have indicated, in no way linear nor static yet there is no doubt - as several researchers in Quebec have demonstrated that it has played a central role in Quebec's social, economic, and political becoming. Like all myths - or should we continue to call it that given that it has been so extensively  materialized - the imaginative geography of the  North is an emotional construction, built from those that appeal most strongly to identity and political the  power  development  to  will  these  convictions  into  moments  of  convictions,  existence.  The  history  and have James  Bay  project gathered this power by using the performative force  of spectacle, by "putting on a show" and gathering its  audience  rubric of "all the Quebecois people" to whom the resources  of  under the the North  unquestionably belonged. If that much can be granted, Bourassa, I suggest, was  Levesque's best ally  Quebec from Canada  by  but on  focusing expending  his its  leadership not on "separating" governmentality  further North  since separation is first and foremost a shift in spatial relations.  Although  Bourassa claimed that through hydro development "the past was no longer  determining  the  future",  52  he too was taking on the English and daring  them to "see what they will  see": which  was  that  manage the land and, in doing so, manage themselves order to transform  the wilderness  the  Quebecois could  as a people. But in  into their own settled  country,  they  would have to define the terms of that country's nature. I now turn to an analysis of the  roman de la  terre  in order to explore what these terms  might be.  Bourassa, La Baie James, p. 133.  9 0.  Montreal,  J u n e 12,  Vancouver,  1981  April 25,  2001  My classmates and I get on the bus early for a field trip that will bring us to the Olympic stadium where the "Floralies" are taking place. Our teachers have been talking for weeks about this special event where vegetation from around the world is to be fitted and displayed inside the velodrome. T h e place is crawling with children like me brought in to s e e this exhibition.  The  green racing tracks have sprouted a circuit of plants and flowers, e a c h one outdoing the  other  with s h a p e s and colors we hadn't known ever existed in nature. I move erratically around this loop  with  my  friends,  admiring  the  various  microcosms,  taking  note  of  the  flags  and  descriptions planted to delimit the greenery. Exotic natures occupy their booth generously in a tangle of textures and smells. Others hold back in restraint, raddled and pruned into geometric gardens. Since this is our geography lesson for the week, there is homework to b e done. W e words and pictures to distinguish tropical remember the countries e a c h environment  from  temperate,  A m a z o n i a n from  draw  Arizonan, and  to  belongs to. Filling the p a g e s of our notebooks,  we  c o m e to the end of our tour to something called "taiga." I draw a stick figure for a tree and dotted rock to indicate what the display tells me is "lichen." This s p a c e s e e m s bare, enough,  and rather  unstable with its boggy  soil rippling  like  waves  -  although  not  a  green  what  I  am  standing on is merely a photograph. Everything looks as though it is waiting to take on a more definite  s h a p e ; trees in mid-growth,  bogs heavy with water, the  uncertain  contours of  patches - this environment waits to be firmed up and finalized. Along this tour, collected shells, flowers  lichen  my mind  has  and fruit from e a c h display. Not knowing what to take from such  a  place, I cannot form an understanding of it. I look for a clue by moving over to the edge of t h e booth where I read the name "James Bay" next to the insignia of Hydro-Quebec. Suddenly, a c o m e s up. T h e exhibit  around me becomes crisscrossed with electric  lines,  and  the  light  strange  nature of J a m e s Bay is rendered as familiar as my living room.  91.  ACT  1  ROMAN DE LA TERRE: WRITING NATURE AS NATIONAL IDENTITY  Au cours des deux sidcles qui s'ecoulent depuis la Conquete, le Quebecois  tente  territoire  au  germination.  sans  point  cesse d'en  "Avoir des  de  seduire  paraitre  et  d'epouser  V efflorescence  ou  racines", "prendre racine", "se  que  metaphores litteraires; Us portent un sens strict rendant  compte de  la  suprematie du  quelqu'un on doit etre de et  la  donner  des racines" et, a Vinverse, "se sentir deracine" sont plus des  son  d'enracinement, le  Villusion  lieu  sur  I'etre: avant  d'etre  quelque part. Lieu de ressourcement  territoire  donne  ainsi  au  d'une existence concrete, d'une immersion  Quebecois dans  le  reel, au moment meme ou la realite de l'histoire lui echappe.  1  Luc  Bureau, Entre Veden et Vutopie, p. 161.  "In the course of the two centuries that follow the Conquest, the Quebecois repeatedly attempts to seduce and wed his territory to the point where he seemingly blooms or sprouts from it. 'To have roots', 'take root', 'give oneself roots', and, on the contrary, 'to feel uprooted' are more than literary metaphors; they bear a strict meaning demonstrating the supremacy of place over being. Before being someone, one must be somewhere'. A place of regeneration and rootedness, the territory gives Quebecois people the illusion of a concrete existence, of an immersion into the real at the very moment when the reality of history escapes them." 1  9 2.  Recent academic debates have called attention  to the ways in which  nature is not external to the human sphere but is the product of a complex set  of  lines,  relations Margaret  between societies FitzSimmons  their  environments.  Along  these  and  other  proposed  that  geographers  social scientists should "[t]ry to see Nature,  like  History, like Geography,  and Space, as a  conceptual  material,  has  and  practical  and  reification of what are essentially social  reconstruction  relationships."  1  and  As a narrative of  the land and of life on the land, the roman de la terre, which was written over a hundred years from 1840 to 1940, embodies in its constructions of nature  many  of  sphere  so central to French-Canadian cultural  this Act, I want  the  to  socio-economic  show  that  in  relationships and  "discursively  that  made  economic  through capital and roman  technology.  encapsulates has  not  Indeed,  merely  the  traditionalist  produced a discourse  rural  survival. In  delimiting"  roman de la terre also helped to create the channels of its  the  2  nature,  the  transformation nationalism of  identity  the in  Quebec, it has also provided the backbone of economic policies meant to lift M . FitzSimmons, "The Matter of Nature." Antipode 21 (1989), p. 107. For an exploration of those debates, see also, among others, N. Smith, Uneven Development: nature, capital and the production of space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984); B. Braun and N. Castree, eds., Remaking Reality: nature at the millenium (London and New York: Routledge, 1998); W. Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: rethinking the human place in nature (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996); D. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: the reinvention of nature (New York: Routledge, 1991); P. Blaikie, The Political-Economy of Soil Erosion (London: Methuen, 1985). 1  2  Braun and Castree, Remaking,  p. xi.  9 3.  the Quebecois from their inferior socio-economic  standing in the province;  even when these policies erected themselves in opposition to the old world of the roman, and the society it claimed to represent.  This was particularly  evident in how the Quiet Revolution - of which James Bay is a product used and expanded the state to improve the status of Francophones, but it is also true of the movements of colonization that sought to  counter  pull  encouraging  of  exile  colonization, social  and  the  pressures  territorial  which  without  functioned  expansion  Following judgment  unemployment  by  during Labelle's time and beyond. Each of  mobilization called upon  modern,  of  that  various  to  anchor  and economic  the  Patriot  3  of  national  these periods of  nature,  identity  traditional and while  fostering  Durham's  infamous  development.  Rebellion  French-Canadians  literature",  ideas  the  were  rural novels -  and a  Lord  people  along  with  "without other  history  narrative  and  forms  -  opened an important discursive space where the social and economic life of Francophones, as well as their relationship to the land, could be signified. A hybrid between fiction, moral pamphlet and social commentary,  the  roman  de la terre stands in sharp contrast to the modernism of French European novels written at the same time, which the Quebec religious elite saw as the  expression  of  a  degenerate  culture  who  had  lost  both  faith  and  morality as a result of the French Revolution. In its prose, the roman de la terre aimed to create an inspirational "realism" in which French-Canadians could see themselves  and  their  values  represented.  This programme  consolidated and popularized by the ''Ecole patriotique"  3  Quoted in C . Pont-Humbert, Litterature  du  Quebec  whose  leader,  was the  (Paris: Nathan, 1998), p. 32.  9 4.  Abbe Casgrain, spelled out the principles writers should aspire to in the following  terms:  Si, comme il est  incontestable,  la litterature est  moeurs, du caractere, des aptitudes, du genie  le  reflet  des  d'une nation, si  elle garde aussi l'empreinte des lieux ou elle surgit, des aspects de la nature, des sites, des perspectives, des horizons, la notre sera grave, comme  meditative,  nos  energique  et  spiritualiste,  missionnaires, perseverante  religieuse,  genereuse comme  nos  evangelisatrice  comme  nos  pionniers  martyrs,  d'autrefois...  Ainsi sa voie est tracee d'avance; elle sera le miroir fidele de notre petit peuple...  4  With its idealist turn of phrase, Casgrain's declaration suggests that the roman de la terre can hardly be a "realist" rendition of peasant life: rather,  it  uses  agriculturist  the  narrative framework of  the  novel  ideology. As I have already suggested, 5  to  epitomize  an  this ideology can be  "If, as it is incontestable, literature is the reflection of the customs, character, aptitudes and genius of a nation, if it retains also the imprint of the places where it emerges, of their nature, sites, perspectives, and horizons, then ours will be grave, meditative, spiritual, religious, evangelical like our missionaries, generous like our martyrs, energetic and resilient like our pioneers of before... Thus its direction has been traced in advance; it will be the faithful mirror of our small people..." Quoted in M. Servais-Maquoi, Le Roman de la terre au Quebec (Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1974), p. 9. 4  Michel Brunet defines this ideology in these terms: "L'agriculturisme est avant tout une facon gen6rale de penser, une philosophie de la vie qui idealise le passe, condamne le present et se mefie de l'ordre social moderne. C'est un refus de l'age industriel contemporain qui s'inspire d'une conception statique de la societe. Les agriculturistes soutiennent que le monde occidental s'est egare en s'engageant d a n s la voie de la technique et de la machine. lis denoncent le materialisme de notre epoque et pretendent que les generations precedentes vivaient dans climat spiritualiste. Selon eux, l'age d'or de l'humanite aurait ete celui ou l'immense majorite de la population s'occupait a la culture du sol. Avec nostalgie et emoi, ils rappellent le 'geste auguste du semeur.'" / "Agriculturalism is first and foremost a general way of thinking, a philosophy of life that idealises the past, condemns the present and is suspicious of the modern social order. It is a refusal of the contemporary industrial age based in a static view of society. The agriculturalists maintain that the Western 5  9 5.  regarded as "geographical" in that it contributed to shape a space that is both discursive and material, that of the rural. Casgrain himself that  link  by  stating  that  emerges,  its  nature,  attributes  a  "mirror-like"  literature  perspectives  is  pervaded by  and  function  to  the  horizons. literature  registers  sites  where it  However,  Casgrain  whereas  I  wish  to  emphasize instead the ways in which, as a vehicle of cultural meaning, the roman de la terre is implicated in productions  of space. While my analysis  focuses on this body of literary works, it is important to note from the outset that the roman de la terre is part of a broad social, spatial and historical context that defines a French cultural relationship to the land in Quebec, and cannot be taken to stand over and above  the  other elements  that form this complex landscape. What can be understood as a "Queb6cois sense of place" farming, discourses  emerges  fishing, -  logging, historical  from  a  diversified  mining, writings,  traveling,  set  of  practices  trading,  newspapers,  -  hunting  religious  whether -  and  pamphlets,  colonization brochures, folk tales, monographs, paintings, etc. The roman d e la  terre  follows  more  agricultural expansion,  than  two  hundred  years  of  in and beyond the St.-Lawrence  settlement lowlands,  and during  which a very distinctive regional culture has emerged. In this long story of people and land, rural literature should be regarded as the tip of a much larger iceberg. However, my choice of the roman de la terre as a focus of analysis is motivated by two important factors: firstly, as a popular form of  w o r l d became lost by f o l l o w i n g the p a t h o f t e c h n o l o g y and o f the machine. They denounce the materialism o f our era and maintain that preceding generations lived in a spiritual climate. A c c o r d i n g to t h e m , the g o l d e n age o f h u m a n i t y w a s w h e n the v a s t m a j o r i t y o f the p o p u l a t i o n c u l t i v a t e d the s o i l . W i t h a g r e a t d e a l o f n o s t a l g i a a n d e m o t i o n they e v o k e the ' a u g u s t g e s t u r e o f the s o w e r . ' " M . B r u n e t , " T r o i s dominantes de la pensee . canadienne-francaise: l'agriculturisme, l'anti-etatisme et le messianisme." La Presence anglaise et les Canadiens (Montreal: B e a u c h e m i n , 1964), p . 119.  9 6.  literature,  the  accessible  to  roman de la terre presented a broad  readership. Their  narratives that  simple  some of these stories to be adapted into other to  be  printed into  newspapers,  were  plot-structures  narrative  easily allowed  formats  whether  broadcast on the radio or, later in the  twentieth century, shown on television and turned into films. Secondly, it is that accessible, malleable quality of the roman de la terre that allows for the constant reactivating of the various symbols, characters and messages it  stages and gives life  to. The gallery of characters and situations  contains can be said to possess a signifying power within Quebecois  it  society  that is sometimes surprisingly independent from the original texts. In that sense, the roman de la terre is contained by the larger landscape of nineteenth-century  socio-economic  rural Quebec - and everything that led to  the production of that space over three hundred years - at the same time as it contains that landscape within itself and makes it readily available for further  recontextualizing.  Popular,  accessible  and  richly  evocative,  the  roman de la terre represents a prime tool for the production of "taken-forgranted"  meanings.  If literature does not simply "mirror" but also contributes to shape the geography it emerges out of - in this case, that of the rural St.Lawrence  -  this  geography  is  perhaps not  as  "traditional" as  it might  appear at first glance. The roman de la terre is, quite literally, the "novel of the land." This land is written as both eternal and subject to change,  an  ambivalence which fiction is able to accommodate. In "writing the land", the roman de la terre fashions a discourse that aims to bind the rural sphere closer with the national community. As my discussion of James Bay will  further demonstrate, this community is also bounded by its "national"  9 7.  economy.  Consequently,  nineteenth  century, and beyond, is as much an ideological production as it  is  the result  of  the  economic  Quebecois  agricultural  processes and territorial  landscape  expansion.  of  The  the  rural  ideal was concretized by the literary form that articulated it as much as it was through the morphology of its parishes, fields and farmhouses. much discussion of the roman de la terre anchors a nationalist ideology and land,  the ways in which  has centered on how the genre  by narrating the connection the  While  spatial  aspect  of  between people  this  connection  is  articulated in text have not, in their turn, received sufficient attention. A n d yet it is precisely this articulation that can provide clues Quebec's  strategies of  twentieth  century.  territorialization and economic  In its  various  stages,  for understanding  development  the roman de  in the  la terre can be  regarded as an artifact carrying its own traces of the evolution  of what  became a dominant discourse of territorial belonging in Quebec, the most recent installment of which, I suggest, can be found in James Bay. If the Quebecois  have  transformed  that  Northern  space  by  stretches of it into landscapes of (hydroelectric) power,  remaking this  broad  transformation  was set in train long before the drawing of plans and the building of dams. By reinforcing the cultural meanings of land and nation, the roman de la terre produced a specific  Quebecois territoriality whose concepts  are as flexible  sometimes  as  text,  contradictory, always  of nature  ambiguous, and  flexible enough to be rewritten to fit each new economic context in which they need to be deployed.  An  archetypal  The book  narrative?  that  inaugurated the  roman de la terre as a genre was  entitled La Terre Paternelle. It was published in 1846 by Patrice Lacombe  9 8.  and narrates the life of a French-Canadian family on the land they have inherited  through  lines, the  writing  an  unbroken  scans  the  succession  of  ancestors.  natural environment  of  In  this  the  opening  "paternal land"  before narrowing its perspective on the family, more precisely the father, who enjoys ownership of this land: "La paix, l'abondance  regnaient  done  dans cette famille; aucun souci ne venait en alterer le bonheur. Contents de cultiver  en  paix  le  champ  que  leurs  ancetres  sueurs, ils coulaient des jours tranquilles the  traditional  framework  of  a  tale,  et  avaient  sereins."  6  this  idyllic  arros6  de  leurs  In accordance with  scene  is  soon  to  be  disrupted. One son leaves the ancestral land to be a coureur de bois, the other receives the farm from his parents but brings it to ruin by his  agricultural duties  to  engage instead  in  commercial  neglecting  ventures.  The  family must leave the countryside to live in the city where father and son earn a living as  "water carriers" (porteurs  hardship by describing how the men become  d'eau); Lacombe grasps  their  sheathed in ice as the cold  temperature freezes their breath, covering their head with "frost and small icicles."  7  This misery is compounded by the death of the eldest son in the  winter whose corpse, significantly, must be kept in a mass grave until the soil is no longer frozen. For a "child of the soil", as the family is referred to in the first chapter, a worse fate cannot be imagined. In despair, the father pleads  with the cemetery's  guardian to lend him a hoe so he can dig a  grave: "la terre ne manque pas ici, je vais creuser  moi-meme  la  fosse a  "Peace and abundance reigned in this family; not a single worry would alter their happiness. Happy to cultivate in peace the field which their ancestors had showered with their sweat, they were enjoying happy and serene days." P. Lacombe, La Terre Paternelle (Montreal: Hurtubise H M H , 1972), p. 43. 6  7  Ibid.,  p. 85-86.  9 9.  mon fils, dans quelque petit coin." The tale does end on a happy note, 8  however, Ulysses  when the youngest whose wife  acknowledged  son comes back from his travels and - like  recognizes  him thanks to a scar on his body - is  by his mother who sees around his neck the medallion of  Jesus and Mary she had entrusted to him upon his departure. Thanks to the son's savings and to the kind of happy coincidence only found in tales, the family is able to buy back their ancestral farm and live after. Before concluding his story, the narrator inserts a  happily ever  commentary  that  captures well the moral position of the roman de la terre toward literary modernism: romans honndte,  "Laissons aux  ensanglantes, paisible  de  vieux  peignons  pays,  que  la civilization a gates, leurs  l'enfant  du  sol,  moeurs et  de  tel  caractere..."  qu'il  est,  religieux,  If France - spoiled by  9  civilization - can no longer stand as the "old country", the roman de la terre is intent on recreating this ideal realm in the "New World." Lacombe's narrative can be regarded as an archetype of the  genre  and yet, like all archetypes, it is not simply copied so much as used as a point of reference for variations on its themes. assume  that  complicate  subsequent  this  idyllic  examples narrative  of or  the  It would be reductive to  roman de  critically  reflect  la  terre do not  on  it.  The  full  production of the genre encompasses few major works yet each one adds another dimension to the rural ideal: from the more didactic "realism" of the early books, novels written in the nineteen-thirties and forties  develop  a critical, even cynical, look at peasant life, sometimes challenging its most  "[T]here is no shortage of land here, I will dig corner." Ibid., p. 94. 8  my  son's  grave  myself  in  some small  "Let's leave these novels full of blood to the old countries that have been spoiled by civilization. Let's depict the child of the soil as he is, religious, honest, peaceful in his customs and character." Ibid., p. 118. 9  100.  fundamental values. When Dr. Philippe Panneton publishes - under the pseudonym of Ringuet - in 1938, of  the  genre  transformations  by in  presenting  the  land,  a  Trente Arpents  he effectively  protagonist  who  rather than nurtured by  marks the end  is a  subjected static,  timeless  environment. That protagonist, however, holds on to an agriculturist of the land when nothing in his experience  to  view  remains to support it. In this  way, Ringuet forces us to rethink rurality as a set of beliefs rather than as the unmitigated social reality it is often assumed to be for Francophones in nineteenth-century  Qu6bec.  More  than  the  narrative  itself  then,  it  is  perhaps the dominant view of the roman de la terre and of rural Quebec prior to the Quiet Revolution that has become "archetypal" as many scientists  in  the  province  have  recently  suggested.  10  Indeed,  social  there is a  significant amount of "modernity" in the "tradition" depicted in these rural novels and, in turn, more than a little bit of "tradition" in the "modernity" the Quiet Revolution was supposed to have brought about.  An analysis of  how these two spheres are intricately laced can start to shed light on why Robert progress  Bourassa for the  the  ultimate  Qu6becois  apologist  - chose so  for modernity, frequently  to  technology  call upon  notions of the land and its people in speaking about the North,  and  archaic  and about  the James Bay project.  See for example the following studies: S. Courville, Entre ville et campagne. L'essor du vdlage dans les seigneuries du Bas-Canada (Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite Laval, 1990); G . Bouchard, Entre I'Ancien et le Nouveau Monde (Ottawa: Presses de l'Universit6 d'Ottawa, 1996); G . Paquet and J.-P. Wallot, Lower Canada at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century: reconstructuring and modernization (Ottawa: T h e Canadian Historical Association, Historical Booklet no. 47, 1988); G. Bourque and J. Duchastel, Restons traditionnels et progressifs (Montreal: Boreal, 1988); M . Fournier, L'Entree dans la modernite. Science, culture et societe au Quibec (Montreal: SaintMartin, 1986). 1  0  101.  In order to bring the roman de la terre into dialogue with Bourassa's geographical - and more specifically  "northern" - imagination, I want to  survey those concepts in the literature that are explicitly  spatial. Although  land and nation dominate this discursive landscape,  also morph into  or  draw their contours  against  various  nothing about how their masculine  other  they  spatial  and feminine  concepts,  characteristics  stable. My intent is not to "clean up" or categorize  the broad  to  say  are rarely range  of  spatial signifiers in the roman de la terre but to interrogate them about the role of nature in binding together these ideological formations. The reason for this interrogation is that, both within and beyond the pages of these books, nature functions as a larger signifying realm into which and  its  various  wilderness,  geographical  concepts  fold.  Whether  an ordered agricultural landscape or the  the  represented  nation as  a  "unnatural" nature of  the city, each of nature's incarnations in the roman de la terre has spiraled far  beyond the printed page at the  commentary  on  the  changes  same time  transforming  which have increased in intensity  since  effort  I  to  contain  Chapdelaine,  my discussion,  Trente  the  the  have  as  it  has  constituted  francophone  turn of selected  a  homeland,  the century. In an four  texts  Arpents, UAppel de Id Race and Jean  -  Maria  Rivard - which  speak more directly to the production of a rural nature bracketed by what is represented as two extremes - that of the wilderness and that of the city - but this should not be taken to imply that other works are silent on this matter. My approach to these novels is thematic rather than chronological as my main respective eventually  purpose  is  to  highlight  and  establish  links  between  their  writing of nature as national space. As I hope to show, it is this  act  of  writing  which  provides  an  eminently  useful  102.  framework  for  marketing  hydroelectric  development  and  for  making  James Bay, a Cree land, into a Quebecois landscape.  Maria  Chapdelaine  Published in 1916* this novel by Louis Hemon has been into several  languages and is one  of the most widely  translated  read books about  Qu6bec. Hemon was originally from France and traveled in Quebec  meeting  and living among the settler communities he then sought to depict in his writing. Set in a fictional, isolated location in the vast North, "Peribonka du bout  du  monde",  Maria  Chapdelaine  embody the type of the "defricheur" in  1874  by another roman de  deploys  which  had already  characters  who  been crystallized  la terre entitled Jean Rivard, le defricheur  (which I will discuss later). The defricheur, translated as  various  a term which can be roughly  "land clearer", is an heroic male figure  who stands at the  frontline of colonization by penetrating into the territory and opening new farmland. To do so, he typically must confront a "wild" nature and force it to bear fruit through agriculture: this is usually illustrated by the he wages against the forest,  patiently pulling out one tree after the next  with a minimum of tools. Consequently, the  margins of  struggle  the roman de  la  the wilderness  terre and  the  always stands  gradual  advance  in  of  a  civilizing force is the very condition of this narrative. This arduous process seems to pit humans against nature according to the Western view of its externality, yet this is challenged in the literature by the usual description of the defricheur's  task as "faire de la terre" (making land).  11  The roman  Hemon gives the following characterization of this task: "Faire de la terre! C'est la forte expression du pays, qui exprime tout ce qui git de travail terrible entre la pauvrete du bois sauvage et la fertilite finale des champs laboures et semes." / "To 1  1  103.  de la terre then stems from an interesting portrayal of  contradiction  in  its  general  nature which is at the basis of the rural ideal: although it  typically regards the agricultural landscape as the timeless and unchanging country of god, each one of its narratives painstakingly traces the process through  which  the  human hand actively  produces  and  transforms  that  sphere.  "Making land": wilderness versus rural nature  Because it is not yet fully rural, the environment Hemon describes  is  far from ideal. The Chapdelaine live a long way north of the agricultural belt of the Laurentian region and further still into the woods, away from the small village where settler families like them have painfully carved a few  farming properties  against  winter  and  wilderness.  This  distance  is  conveyed early in the novel as the title character Maria returns from a trip to visit relatives who live south. When the last signs of human occupation vanish and the  horse-drawn carriage taking her home enters  she stops being interested in the landscape  since  the  woods,  the latter is apparently  frozen in time: II n'y avait rien a voir ici; dans les villages, les maisons et les granges  neuves pouvaient  s'elever  d'une  saison  a l'autre,  ou  bien se vider et tomber en ruines; mais la vie du bois etait  make land! This is the common expression in this country which expresses every bit of harsh work that lies between the sterility (poverty) of the wilderness and the fertility of fields that have been plowed and sowed." L . Hemon, Maria Chapdelaine (Montreal: Bibliotheque quebecoise, 1990), p. 44, my emphasis. For a discussion of the "externality of nature", see Smith, Uneven, op. cited.  104.  quelque chose de si lent qu'il eut fallut  plus  qu'une  patience  humaine pour attendre et noter un changement.  12  In this  space  removed from the  slightly  more  established  farmland  of  Peribonka, the family is also removed from the church and thus further from god. The nature they are confronting then is not god's nature until it has been made into a rural landscape. For Maria, the inability  to  attend  mass every Sunday reasserts her environment as a wilderness and has her wondering if this could bring  "bad luck" to  them.  13  This distance is a  constant concern for the mother also, who dreams of returning to one of the old parishes that line the upper reaches ^ of  the  St.-Lawrence valley.  Thinking about the village her daughter has just visited, she ponders out loud how such a place with "flat terrain, square fields and fences" would have pleased  her and admits regretting that  strong  straight  her  husband  should wish to push always further into the woods rather than settle for a clear piece of land in the south. follows:  "C'etait sa  d6frichement  plutot  passion  14  Hemon describes the father's impulse as  a lui: une  passion  que pour la culture."  15  d'homme fait  pour le  The discrepancy he sets up  between the mother's ideal living space and that of her  husband  makes  each of these environments the mark of a specific gender: if wild nature is male, rural nature is in turn a female entity, i.e. domesticated. this  dualism is also  the  Contained in  Quebecois opposition between North and  South  "There was nothing here to see; in the villages, houses and barns could be built up from one season to the next, or become empty and fall into ruin; but life in the woods was something so slow that one would need more than a human patience to wait and note a change." Ibid., p. 34. Ibid., pp. 31-32. Ibid., p. 38. 1  2  1  3  14  1  5  for  "It was his own passion. The passion of a agriculture." Ibid., p. 44, my emphasis.  man  made  for  land-clearing  rather  than  105.  which  will  be  sharply intensified  once  James  Bay  becomes  the  incarnation of what I have referred to as the "myth of the North."  16  latest When  father and sons have laboured to tear more trees from the soil and make the  land ready - "nu comme  celebrates tamed  the  beauty  of  countryside as  a  la  their sensual  main"  -  for  the  achievement  in  words  and feminine  plough,  nature.  vision of nature is also contrasted from that of urban  that  the mother idealize  Interestingly, dwellers  the her  which  is  "fake": Elle cel6bra la beaute du monde telle qu'elle la comprenait: non pas  la  beaute  6tonnements mers  inhumaine,  artificiellement  6chafaud6e  des citadins, des hautes montagnes  perilleuses,  campagne au sol  mais  la  beaut6  placide  et  par  les  steriles et des vraie  riche, de la campagne plate qui  de  la  n'a pour  pittoresque que l'ordre des longs sillons paralleles et la douceur  The same spatial division along gender lines would be expressed during the building of LG2 by the fact that a majority of men "went up North" to the construction site while women were envisioned to be staying at home in the South. This idea was reasserted by Corinne Levesque who accompanied her husband to LG3 during the referendum campaign. In a speech addressed to the workers, she acknowledged the role of female labourers in James Bay but also evoked, speaking to the majority of men in the room, that archetypal female figure "who is raising children, who is faithfully and courageously assuming the responsibilities of the household, that woman you think about so often and who is waiting for you." Corinne Levesque saw herself as a spokesperson for spouses left behind and reminded her audience that these women were also doing their part "with the same courage, the same difficulties and the same hopes" and that it was thanks to them also that Quebec was gradually being built. Her speech suggests that, for women, the display of heroic qualities is associated primarily with the home rather than in the unbounded space of the North. Indeed, even the female work force in James Bay was described in terms of their social reproductive functions: "Chaque jour vous assurez vaillamment l'administration, le secretariat, la nourriture, le service quotidien de tous, de facon modeste, anonyme souvent, mais en assurant au chantier tout entier le plus indispensable soutien." See M . Tremblay, "Corinne Levesque emeut les travailleurs de LG-3." Journal de Montreal, May 1st, 1980. 1  6  106.  des eaux courantes, de la campagne qui s'offre nue aux baisers du soleil avec un abandon d'epouse.  17  This strict  dualism between  two  impulses  -  mother versus the nomadic father - and their rural land in the south versus the "savage"  that  of  respective  the  sedentary  nature  - god's  wilderness of the north - is  made more complex by the fact that it is their daughter who functions the  novel's  protagonist.  Unlike  her  parents,  Maria  does  not  as  strongly  endorse either one of the natures they stand for, at least not until the end of the book. Her indecision, which provides the central dramatic element  of  the narrative, is adeptly staged by Hemon: having reached the age when she can marry, Maria meets three different  men whom she  will consider  for a husband. Each potential lover embodies one of the dominant lifestyles that  characterized French-Canadians at  Paradis  represents  the  the  turn of  nomadic coureur de bois  the  century. Francois  who refuses  to  "always  scratch the same piece of dirt": having sold the family farm after the death of his father, he goes north to work in logging camps and serve as a guide in the  fur trade.  stable  and  18  Eutrope Gagnon is the model of the habitant,  hardworking, he  is  deeply  rooted  in  place  and  humble, patiently  pursuing his lonely task of clearing a piece of land where he hopes to raise a family.  The third  prospect  is  Lorenzo Surprenant who,  Paradis, rejects the life of the habitant, Lorenzo has chosen  a different  like Francois  yet unlike the coureur de bois  geographical trajectory, and  therefore  an  "She celebrated the beauty of the world as she understood it: not the inhuman beauty, artificially created by the amazement of city people, of high sterile mountains and perilous seas, but the placid and genuine beauty of the country with its rich soil, of the flat countryside whose only picturesque quality was the order of long parallel furrows and the sweetness of fresh water, of the country that offers herself to the sun with a wife's abandon." Ibid., pp. 61-62. *Ibid., p. 50. 1  7  l  107.  opposite way of life, by emigrating south to the United States and working in a factory. Maria meets him when he is back in Peribonka to sell his father's  property  so  as  to  permanently  establish  himself  away  from  Quebec. In these three characters, Hemon captures the contrary forces  that  became the object of so much concern during the period that followed the Durham report and lasted into the twentieth century characterized as a form of "survivance" seriously  determine  the  ability  of  - a period frequently  (survival) - since they were seen to French-Canadians  to  maintain  and  expand their rural homeland.  Choosing rural nature, choosing the nation In typical romance fashion,  Maria's heart immediately  goes for the  adventurer Francois with whom she falls in love in the spring. But Hemon's novel is hardly a romance and the story takes a tragic turn when  he gets  lost in the woods and dies without ever returning home. As she mourns him through a long winter, Maria questions her attachment  to the place of  her birth, a country so harsh and "barbaric" that those who get without  rescue.  19  Through Maria's mourning and  the  dilemma  she  between the two other men who want to marry her, it  becomes  in the novel that, in  of  female,  the  protagonist  line  with  stands  the for  usual the  symbolizing  Quebecois  considers following Lorenzo Surprenant to experience city  -  lit up streets,  magnificent  nation.  the  lost die faces  apparent nation as  Although  she  the "marvels" of the  stores, an easy life  filled  with  small  pleasures - a voice reminds her of the beauty of the land she wants to run  1  9  Ibid.,  p. 189.  108.  away from. Hemon gives us a description of an idyllic landscape where a luxuriant and fertile nature willfully submits herself to the labour of man: L'apparition quasi miraculeuse de la terre au printemps, apres les longs mois d'hiver... [...]  Le betail enfin delivre  de  l'etable  entrait en courant dans les clos et se gorgeait d'herbe neuve. Toutes les creatures de l'annee: les  veaux,  les jeunes volailles,  les agnelets batifolaient au soleil et croissaient de jour en jour tout comme le  foin et l'orge. Le  plus  pauvre  des  s'arretait parfois au milieu de sa cour ou de ses mains dans ses  poches et  savoir  chaleur  que  genereuse  la de  la  terre  savourait le  du -  soleil, toutes  la  champs, les  grand contentement pluie  sortes  de  l'alchimie  forces  geantes -  where she  herself  was  20  with the nation, Maria can become  also a "slave" according to Hemon - by marrying born.  Throughout the  de  tiede,  travaillaient en esclaves soumises pour lui... pour l u i . Already associated  fermiers  and  nature - and  bearing  children  narrative, "nature", "nation"  and "woman" become fused as one and the same entity once Francois, who threatens the stability of the French by his lack of commitment to placemaking, vanishes. and the  In choosing the  agricultural  labour  of  familiar (signified  the  rural)  over  the  by  Eutrope Gagnon  unknown  of  exile  (Lorenzo Surprenant and the industrial labour of the city), Maria reasserts  "The almost miraculous apparition of the land in the spring, after the long winter months... [...] The cattle finally released from the barn running towards the fields and feasting on new grass. A l l the newborns of the year: the calves, the chicks, the lambs frolicking in the sun and growing from day to day like the hay and barley. T h e poorest of farmers would sometimes stop in the middle of his yard or field, hands in his pockets and savour the great satisfaction of knowing that the warmth of the sun, the warm rain, the generous alchemy of the land - all sorts of giant forces - worked like submissive slaves for him... for him."Ibid., p. 190-191. 2  0  109.  rural space as her own country. It is significant that she does so against the space of the wilderness (Francois) and that of the city (Lorenzo). Her final decision comes to her as she sits through the night by the bed of her dead mother and resigns  herself,  although not without regret, to the fact  that  she too is capable of living a similar life bound to a traditional man, and therefore to religion, language and land. Simple, stable and patient like the nature/nation  she  represents,  Maria  heeds the voices telling her that: "in  the country of Quebec, nothing must die and nothing must change."  21  Hers  is a serene, if not joyful, resolution offering hope that the city will be kept at bay, and that the wilderness will be taken over and transformed into an ideal  country for the  descendants  of her race. Or will it? For despite  H6mon's portrayal of Maria as the voice of traditional attentive  reader will recall that,  when  she  entered  agriculturism,  the  the  woods with her  father at the beginning of the book, "a city" of trees opened  before  "Les maisons qui depuis le village s'espacaient dans la plaine  s'evanouirent  d'un  seul  sortant  coup, et la perspective  du sol  blanc."  22  ne fut plus qu'une cite de troncs nus  In this image, the trees appear to stand  obstacle to land clearing but they connected complex  to the industrial economy  can also be envisioned of  the  city.  dynamic between tradition and modernity  space in Quebec, the author's use of an urban wilderness terre  2  1  Ibid.,  her:  can be regarded as an invitation to  As it  as a resource pertains  and its  metaphor  as an  to  to  the  production of describe  the  situate the roman de la  within a broader geographical sphere.  p. 194.  "The houses, which had become sparser in the plain as they moved further from the village, vanished at once and the perspective become that of a city of naked trunks emerging from the white ground."/*id., p. 33. 2  2  110.  Trente  Arpents  Written Trente  decades  after  Maria  Chapdelaine, in 1938,  Arpents handles some of the same themes but brings  much less more  two  heroic  conclusion.  predominantly  as  Throughout the  another  kind  of  narrative,  wilderness  Ringuet's them to a  the  city  pushing  figures  against  and  threatening to undo rural nature. The central character is a farmer named Euchariste Moisan whom the story  follows through the various stages  his life on the farm, which are portrayed as different seasons, starting the spring and ending in winter. Once he has taken over his Euchariste marries a neighbouring girl and, quickly after the  two  seem fully  integrated  to  the  of  with  uncle's farm,  their first child,  rhythm and order of  around them, which assigns each gender its particular tasks.  the  nature  Significantly,  the introduction of this gendered order is seen as the result of man having given up haphazard hunting and fishing  activities  to yoke himself  to the  rhythm of the land: Et cela suivant l'ordre etabli depuis les l'homme,  abdiquant  la liberty que  millenaires, depuis que  lui permettait  une  vie  de  chasse et de peche, a accepte le joug des saisons et soumis sa vie au rythme annuel de la terre a laquelle accouple. l'enfant.  Euchariste:  les  champs;  Alphonsine:  il est la  desormais maison  et  23  "And this following the order established since thousands of years, since man, abdicating the freedom afforded to him by a life of hunting and fishing, accepted the yoke of seasons and submitted his life to the yearly rhythm of the land to which he is wedded from now on. Eucharist: the fields; Alphonsine: the house and child." R i n g u e t , Trente Arpents (Montreal: Flammarion, 1991), p. 48. This view of hunting as an unplanned and unpredictable activity was predominant during the court battle by the Cree that led to an injunction to stop construction on the La Grande river. In order to establish a legitimate claim to the land, the Cree had to prove that hunting and fishing were not haphazard but highly structured and reliable means of subsistence in their communities. See H . Feit, "The Ethno-Ecology of the Waswanipi 2  3  111.  When the initial changes associated place  in  the  short  span  of  a  with marriage and birth have  few  months,  Euchariste  trusts  taken  that  the  remainder of his life will be a repetition of the same: "les jours a venir passeraient  sans apporter autre chose que le  celui de la veille, et les saisons calquees sur les  travail quotidien caique sur saisons precedentes."  2 4  Yet  this is not so. With its central character fully attached to the land at the very beginning of the novel, the story unfolds through the  seasons as a  gradual undoing of this physical anchor. This painful process begins in a dispute with a neighbour who buys a piece of land from Euchariste where the respective  property of each man meet. The farmer sells it for what he  thinks is an advantageous fooled him into a  sum but soon discovers  dishonest  contains ochre, a substance  transaction.  that  The piece  his  of  neighbour has  land in  he can sell at a high price to  question  make paint.  Euchariste's financial loss is illustrated by the fact that his soil is  carted  away by strangers who have a more lucrative use  for it than agriculture,  which is  he  to manufacture paint. In a  key  scene,  realizes  inflicted on his property as the land is cut open and the  the wound  ochre-rich  dirt  taken away by the bag full: "il vit un trou beant a flanc de cote, une plaie vive ou saignait la terre chargee d'ocre rouge. II resta fige,  son coeur refletant  la blessure  Moisan violentee par un autre..."  25  Cree: or how hunters can manage readings on the Canadian Indians 1973), pp. 115-125. 4  un moment  de sa terre, de la vieille terre  Suddenly a portable resource  des  because it  their resources. B. Cox, ed. Cultural and Eskimos (Toronto: McClelland and  "The days to come would pass without copied from that of the day before, and ones. "Ibid., p. 6 7 . 2  ainsi  Ecology: Steward,  bringing anything else but the daily work the seasons copied from the preceding  "[H]e saw a gaping hole on the hillside, an open wound from which the land, charged with red ochre, was bleeding. For a moment he remained transfixed, his 2  5  112.  is valuable outside  of its  immediate  environment,  the  soil  is  rendered  vulnerable to the intrusion of foreigners who can appropriate it, provided they possess the right capital. The thought of his land uprooted in this way is as shocking as it is inconceivable to the habitant.  Blood and soil: losing a cultural anchor  And yet the old man must conceive of it as he is faced with the fact that not only his soil but also his son can be taken away if the money is right. This symbolic bleeding of the  land is  particularly painful  to  the  central character because it follows the recent departure of his favorite son to the United States where he has elected to work in a factory rather than stay on the land. This is a decision  which  the  farmer  clearly  cannot  comprehend nor accept since it negates every term of belonging he stands for: Un Moisan desertait le sol et le pays de Quebec et tout ce qui etait leur depuis toujours pour s'en aller vers l'exil total; vers un travail qui ne serait pas celui de la terre; vers des gens qui parleraient un jargon etranger; vers des villes lointaines ou Ton ne connait plus les lois ni du ciel des hommes ni du ciel de Dieu.  26  heart bearing the blow another..."Ibid., p. 171.  to  his  land,  the  old  land  of  the  Moisan  assaulted  by  "An heir of the Moisan was deserting the soil and the country of Quebec, all t h a t had always been theirs, toward a complete exile; toward a form of labour that w o u l d not be that of the land; toward people that would speak a foreign language; toward faraway cities where one knows neither the laws of man nor the laws of God." Ibid., p. 164. 2  6  113.  In drawing a parallel between the bleeding of the land and the loss of a son to a doubly foreign space - that of the city and that of another country - Ringuet illustrates how place and national identity are inextricably bound for the farmer in the rural environment. critical and pessimistic severed  from that  The  view of this when  bond by  his  the  novel  takes  a  decisively  main character  own progeny.  After  the  himself  departure  is of  Ephrem to the United States, his second  son Etienne takes over the farm.  Various events unfold which consolidate  Etienne's control of  the ancestral  land, and his resolve that his father cannot stay there anymore and should be sent to live in the United States with his first son. In the rural  context  where  to  departure of the children was  usually  the  ultimate  threat  the  family farm, the fact that Euchariste does have an heir to the land but is forced into exile by that same individual constitutes blow  to  the  old farmer's world view  a particularly strong  that blood  and  soil  are  melded  together. The impossibility for the character to maintain a bond with the place  of  his  birth  even as  his  descendants  become  ancestral farm is a serious challenge to the belief, ideal, that  the  land  could  safeguard  tradition  stewards  of  the  so central to the rural  and  cultural  identity  by  anchoring it geographically. If this ideal is lost for good when Euchariste with his wife now deceased - begins his journey to the city, in fact its unraveling  starts  long before within the  space of the farm itself which,  despite the character's belief, is not immune to the forces of change. Indeed,  the  uprooting of  the  farmer from the  starts when a fire leaves nearly nothing  unscathed  universe he  knows  on his property; once  again the land is bleeding as a torrent of "bloody light" runs from the  114.  windows.  27  The task of rebuilding is managed by Etienne who accuses his  father of causing the fire and thus seeks to undercut him at every stage of decision-making.  In this  confrontation,  Ringuet stages the  generation  gap  that is slowly pushing father and son apart as the latter shuns Euchariste's desire to rebuild everything exactly structures instead:  as it was, envisioning more  modern  "La grange serait recouverte non pas de bardeaux  cedre, d Vancienne mode, mais bien de tole avec un comble a la Quant a l'etable, elle aurait des fondements  de  francaise.  et un plancher en beton..."  28  For the old farmer, the erection of new buildings transforms the land to the point where it becomes unrecognizable to him: "la figure m£me de la vieille  terre des  Moisan lui  sentait plus chez lui."  29  en  etait  devenue  meconnaissable.  II  ne  se  Ill at ease in the new barn, he turns to his fields in  an effort to find himself at home, or simply to find himself.  This is in  30  vain since the land is insensible and even turns against him by refusing to provide the strength and renewal it so willingly gives, like a mother, to other members of her creation: "vieilli, use par elle a soixante ans, il eut voulu que le seul contact de cette  terre  suffit  a lui redonner  force  et  autorite, a faire monter en ses membres defraichis un peu de la seve que si genereusement  elle  dispensait  aux  chiendent et a l'herbe a poux."  31  2  1  Ibid.,  sarrasins et  aux  mils  When Euchariste finally  tout  comme au  leaves the farm  p. 188.  "The barn would be topped not with cedar shingles, in the old style, but with an aluminum roof with a French-style gable. As for the stables, their foundation and floor would be made of concrete..." Ibid., p. 192, my emphasis. 2  8  2  9  feel 3  0  "[T]he very face of the Moisan's old land had become at home anymore." Ibid., p. 195. "Esperant se  retrouver chez  lui, se  unrecognizable.  retrouver lui-meme." Ibid.,  He  did  not  p. 195.  "[A]t sixty, old and used by her, he would have wanted that the sole contact with this land (la terre) suffice to bring back his strength and authority, to bring up into his tired limbs a bit of the sap that she so generously dispensed to the buckwheat and millet, as she did to the couch grass and the poison ivy." Ibid., p. 196. Here Ringuet 3  1  115.  on the journey that will take him to join his son in the United States, he seems like an empty shell of himself. So strongly is his  identity  rooted in  the land that departure amounts to a loss of self: "c'est a peine s'il  se  rendait compte que c'etait bien lui, Euchariste Moisan, qui partait ainsi."  32  The fact that the character is unable to grasp the reality of his  departure is  a suggestion of the extent to  of  which  he  has  been  unaware  his  own  belonging to the land, upholding it and living by it quite unconsciously: Rien qu'a voir l'etable, il se figurait l'etat du troupeau et  son  rapport; s'il n'en respirait point en esprit l'odeur chaude, c'est que jamais sa conscience  n'avait  reellement  percu cette odeur  ou il etait ne, ou il avait journellement vecu; cette  odeur qui  impregnait son corps, ses vetements et son esprit meme.  3 3  All the ardent rhetoric of the religious elite - even that of the Cure Labelle - could not spell a more emotional plea about nature and national identity than the  the • connection  between  simple image Ringuet gives of his  farmer bidding good-bye to the farm. Even nature is not quite herself on the day of this departure by bringing rain in February.  seems to makes an allusion to the Greek myth of Anteus: son of Poseidon (water) and Gala (earth), Anteus is made invincible from a direct contact with his mother, the Earth. In his struggle with Heraclites, Anteus purposefully collapses to the ground when he feels his strength diminish. By drinking his sweat, his mother Gala revivifies his blood. When he discovers Anteus' recourse, Heraclites lifts him off the ground and chokes him in the air. In his book Entre I'lZden et I'Utopie, Luc Bureau refers to this myth to explain Quebecois territoriality. See Bureau, op. cited, p. 15816.1. "[H]e barely realized that it way." Ringuet, Trente, p. 219. 3  2  was  him,  Eucharisted Moisan,  who  was  leaving  in  this  "Just looking at the stable, he could assess the state of the herd; if he did not mentally take in its warm smell, it was because his conscience had never really perceived this odor in which he had been born and had lived on a daily basis, this smell that permeated his body, his clothes and his very spirit." Ibid., p. 225. 3  3  116.  Unnatural nature: the experience of exile  In  his exile,  through  the farmer  attempts to recover  several sad attempts at recreating  his sense of  identity  the natural environment of his  past life - notably by planting a small garden - all of which end in failure. The last part of the book is where Ringuet reasserts the contours Euchariste has lost by repeatedly the  new urban  powerfully  space  where  contrasting it, and also linking it, with  he  finds  done in a scene that takes  up his father at the train  station  of what  himself.  place  where  This  moments  the farmer  is  perhaps  after  most  Ephrem picks  struggles  to reconcile  the face in front of him and the clumsy French he hears with the memory of his son. After what seems to the farmer a roaring drive  with  buildings  apparently throwing themselves at him, the two of them reach the top of a hill  where they get out of the car to contemplate  them.  Adjusting  the landscape  below  his gaze, Euchariste discerns as far as the eye can see a  blackish field with hundreds of perfectly parallel rows running through. H e is immensely pleased to find this piece of cultivated land in the middle of the city and touched that his son would have him take notice of it. But Euchariste  is in for  a  surprise  that  once  again  shocks  perception of nature: what he thinks is a well-plowed roof of the "Sunshine Corporation", a massive son is employed manufacturing lamp b u l b s . the  old farmer  3 4  his traditional  field  industrial  is really  plant  where  the his  Looking at this "metal field",  sees a sterile meadow where men, including his son, are  forced to work away from the sun's light while ironically  manufacturing it.  im  of  this  {experience  scene, of  "manufactured" 3  4  Ibid.,  Ringuet exile,  captures  which  is  another that  he  nature in his transition from  dimension moves  from  Euchariste's "natural"  to  the country to the city. And  p. 230.  117.  yet, like Maria entering a hybrid  "wooded  city",  Euchariste must realize  that the distance between the two is not so clear-cut: as Ephrem proudly announces, workers  under  the  roof  make those same  of  the  electric  Sunshine  Corporation  bulbs that had lit  thousands  up the  kitchen back home. In this industrial landscape then is contained traditional  sphere  he  always  thought  would  be  of  old farm that very  fundamentally  denaturalized by the introduction of the new: "Moisan regardait cette aire metallique et infeconde qui subitement avait evoque  sa terre lointaine et  la cuisine tiede ou Ton se rassemble a cette heure particuliere et si douce d'entre travail et repos ou les lampes s'allument..."  3 5  son  seemingly  periods,  belong  to two  Ephrem's labour finds  different its  places  way into this  sphere, above the little social world of the  and  Although two  most  kitchen  father and  different  time  intimate of  rural  table  where  families  gather and traditions, so the understanding goes, are kept. If nature can be transformed  and  manufactured for  the  Sunshine  Corporation,  will be reserved to the French identity that was molded and it? As Trente  what  fate  nurtured  by  Arpents shows, these questions cannot be expelled from the  orbit of the rural since the latter also belongs to the space of modernity; yet expelled they were and quite effectively by the religious discourse that perpetuated a static view of the land. In the next section, I want to look at a key proponent of this discourse who, in his  essentialist  rendering  nature, fashions a broad set of rhetorical tools that represent the  of  Quebecois  nation as a timeless and homogenous entity.  "Moisan was looking at this metallic, sterile surface which suddenly had evoked his distant land and the warm kitchen where people gather at this hour between work and rest, so special and so sweet, when the lamps are turned on..." Ibid., p. 231. 3  5  118.  L'Appel  de  la  Race  The persistence of a traditionalist view of the land in Quebec can be explained by the fact that such a perspective is useful  to  of the national community, and becomes indispensable  the  strengthening  in the  maintenance  of a legitimate claim to territory; especially in the process of its expansion such as was the case in James Bay. In Trente  Arpents, the fact that nature  as well as the farmer seem to lose their essential  self on the day of his  departure is a good example of the discursive potential of nature in giving a fixed meaning to that most  dynamic  of  categories,  which  is  national  identity. As I have tried to show, both H6mon and Ringuet's novels flesh out their characters by describing the kinds of Depending  on  their  characters  express  Euchariste  are  positioning  different  extreme  in  in  degrees this  relation of  nature they  to  the  identify  with.  sphere,  these  rural  "French-Canadianness." Maria and  regard:  their  national  identity  is  their  geography, their sense of place is the very definition of rural nature. More than  the  patriotique  "faithful  mirror"  of  a  people  as  the  followers  of  the  Ecole  would have it, the roman de la terre is an exercise in deploying  the broad rhetorical register  of nature to  fashion  the  image  that should  appear in the mirror of cultural identity; which, according to the Church, should be rural. It "constructs" the essence of this image and erases  the  trace of its construction since nature, like the nation, is that which does not change  and thus  eternally  repeats  itself.  Here  Maria's  words  significant: "In the country of Quebec, nothing must die and change." Considering that much had changed when Maria written - over 50 per cent of  are again  nothing  must  Chapdelaine was  Quebec's population resided in urban areas  when Hemon published his book - these words must be understood as a wishful call to action rather than the  "mirror" of  an essential  Quebecois  119.  identity.  If French-Canadians were not quite that close to the land, the  36  roman de la terre would do its best to make it so. One novel offers us a powerful depiction of this rhetorical function of nature as the essence of national identity. L'Appel de la race by the Abbe Lionel Groulx was written in 1922. It was a controversial novel at the time and remains so to this day as Quebec tries to move away from an ethnic nationalism  into  a  more  inclusive  discourse  of  place  and  identity.  essentialist portrayal of the French arid English - which Groulx envisions separate "races" - is deployed through a  geographical  constructions  function  of  nature  simultaneously  determinism  as  Its as  where  constructions  of  ethnicity. Throughout a career that spanned most of the first half of this century, Groulx was a tireless nationalist advocate  for the  French  whose  national destiny he saw in teleological terms as the will of a Catholic God which  would  eventually  be  fulfilled.  He  was  Chair  of  the  History  Department at Laval University from 1915 to 1949 and, as an historian, he viewed the writing of the past as a tool for directing social action. Although based on actual events,  the  fictional  framework  of  VAppel  de  la race  allowed him to express political opinions more freely than could historical writing. More than a roman de la terre then, L'Appel  expressing  a strong  Francophones in  moral and political  Canada and  the  position  necessity  of  was a roman a these,  about  the  maintaining  situation an  of  exclusive  homeland where they could protect language and religion.  K . McRoberts, "La These tradition-modernite: l'historique eds., Les Frontieres, op. cited, p. 34. This number is taken Maria Chapdelaine was first published as a book in 1916. 3  6  quebecois." Elbaz et. a l . , from the census of 1921,  120.  Homo  quebecensis  The U.S.-based scholar Richard Handler has commented on the work of Lionel Groulx, and more specifically  on  the  discourse  of  nature and  identity that pervades it. His book Nationalism and the Politics of Culture in  Quebec presents and analyzes  several  conducted at the height of the separatist referendum of survivance,  1980.  Well after  Handler inquires  interviews  movement  with  that  Francophones  culminated  in the  the roman de la terre or the period of  into  the  roots  of  attachment  to  place  by  asking his interviewees to explain their sense of belonging toward Qu6bec. His study outlines how the symbolic realm of nature still works to anchor the national community in place by "naturalizing" its land - or it would be more accurate to say the the  land",  since  inhabitants.  Handler's  Handler draws  interviewees  parallels  "imaginative  are  between  presence  not  his  upon  the  geography  of  specifically  own  data  rural  and  Lionel  Groulx's writings: The  earth,  attachment  one's to  supremely  native  these  soil,  things  one's  is  fatherland,  considered  by  one's  country  nationalists  to  be  natural, as is the way of life built on the basis of this  attachment.  Consider the notions  of land and the national  territory  found in the works of Lionel Groulx. The colony of New France, from which planted  sprang in  the  the  French-Canadian people,  soil  of  the  New  World.  is The  nourished the  nascent collectivity,  providing the  of  promoting  moral  life  and  those  said  to  soil  have  protected  been and  material necessities  virtues  associated  with  uncorrupted labor and a pastoral milieu. But man has also given to the land. The soil has been  conquered,  developed,  "humanized"  by  121.  the succession of human generations  living upon it. The people mark  the land with their soul and personality, and, above all, they love the land.  37  This singular relationship between people Groulx is captured by the expression homo  and the  environment  in Lionel  quebecensis. The term suggests  that descendants of New France constitute a distinct example of the human species, as particular to their own milieu as a type of rock or plant. Such 38  a specimen has undergone:  "an adaptation that  binds  him indissolubly  the niche into which he has settled." As Handler remarks, Groulx  to  maintains  in his writings that this niche "creates a human variety, just as the soil and climate create biological varieties."  3 9  The roman de la terre contains various fine specimens  of this species  and contrasts them against others who do not belong to it since they are essentially  "detached"  from  the  land rather than  "attached"  to  L'Appel de la race, rural nature functions as a point of origin return to it restores the moral essence of the  central  it.  40  and  In the  character Jules  de  Lantagnac. The book opens when de Lantagnac has just come back from a trip to the rural locale of his birth, which is a catalyst for the recovery his true and essential  self. After an absence of more  than  twenty  of  years  during which he has worked in the urban and anglicized region of Ottawa, de Lantagnac feels that he was able to reconnect with his  R. Handler, Nationalism and the Politics of Wisconsin Press, 1988), pp. 33-34. 3  7  Handler attributes Quebecois. The homo 43. 3  8  3  9  4  0  Ibid.,  the expression to quebecensis is the  of  Culture  in  Quebec  Marcel Rioux in "human specimen"  "moral climate"  (Madison:  University  a monograph entitled Les found in Quebec. Ibid., p.  p. 44.  Morissonneau, Terre  Promise,  op. cited, p. 15.  122.  by going to his physical birth place. Recounting his trip to a priest who is also his moral guide,  de Lantagnac uses vivid  invites  his  "gather his  him.  The character seems to be glancing back upon himself while h e  41  friend to  memories  landscape  descriptions and  along a beloved shore"  glances at the physical features of the land: "Et me voyez-vous  with  qui souris a  ces vieilles choses retrouvees ou je me retrouve moi-meme comme en un visage qui me ressemble?"  4 2  As his moral guide tells him, this return to his  true self was inevitable: the priest compares de Lantagnac's pilgrimage to a metal bar that has shattered  the foreign  layers  in  his  identity,  allowing  "the man of unity" to resurface.  43  Nature as national space  Finding himself in nature, de Lantagnac necessarily finds his national identity  since  Quebec's  rural  nature  appears,  in  the  book,  to  inherent patriotic character. This is indicated in a scene which  have  an  symbolizes  another return to origins, this time for his children who will be removed from their anglophone upbringing - from their mother who is English - and given back to the French "race." Here the gender structure of the nation shows  a  contradiction:  connotations  of  fertility,  while purity  nature and  is  symbolized  renewal,  the  as  birth  Lantagnac's children is in fact a woman who threatens  female mother  with of  de  the fulfillment of  their true national destiny because she belongs to the wrong culture. The implication - which again demonstrates the  4  1  L . Groulx, L'Appel  de  2  4  3  Ibid.,  bond between nature  la race (Montreal: Fides, 1980), p. 20.  "Do you see me smiling at these old things where a face that resembles me?" Ibid., p. 21. 4  essential  I  find  myself  again  as  though  in  p. 26.  123.  and nation so predominant in Groulx - is that the children's "real" mother is not their biological parent but nature herself  who nurtures her progeny  through the land. In  line  with  de  Lantagnac's  pilgrimage,  his  children's  ability  to  recover their French roots corresponds to a physical movement back to the land of  their  ancestors.  This  movement  is  initiated  when  father  and  children take a boat ride on a lake in the Quebec Laurentians where the family they  has recently  acquired a property. Approaching the end of a bay,  hear a group of religious  songs.  As  described  by  men singing traditional  Groulx,  the  background for the melodies, as if the  scenery  landscape  French-Canadian  provides itself  was  an  acoustic  playing them.  When they get to the last song - which is the national anthem - the echo seems to come from the highest peaks: "on eut dit que l'hymne national devenait  l'acclamation naturelle, le chant inne de la  This merging of the national anthem exemplifies determinism homo  with  the  terre  physical  canadienne."  4 4  space of Quebec  what Handler has in mind when he refers to the found in Groulx  whereby  the  quebecensis. The novel shows the  "naturalizing" the bond between people  soil of  Quebec  rhetorical function and land which  geographical produces of  turns  the  nature in them  into  subjects of the nation and therefore delimits, through them, the boundaries of national space. When de Lantagnac's daughter breaks  the  awed  silence  following the end of the national anthem heard on the lake, she exclaims: "Quel beau pays tout de meme que ces Laurentides du Quebec! N'est-ce pas qu'ici Ton parle naturellement "[OJne would acclamation, the Ibid., p. 35. 4  4  have thought innate chant  le francais?"  that the national anthem of the terre canadienne  Wolfred  [...]  supports  was becoming the (French-Canadian  natural land)."  124.  her assertion by affirming "il me semble qu'ici cela va tout seul." "the  country air helping", the  whole  remainder of their stay. Thus,  the  family  will  speak  Indeed,  45  French  for  the  underlying message of L'Appel de la  race is that French-Canadian identity is an essence that can be recovered intact  from  a  return  to  the  environment  that  initially  imparted  this  identity, even after an absence of twenty years. If cultural essence can get clouded  when  it  leaves  the  land  and  is  exposed  to  other "unnatural  natures", the ideology of agriculturism maintains that the rural is a matrix that can always restore identity since nature is immune to change. Indeed, as each of these novels illustrate, change in nature is  always  cyclical so  that its culmination is a return to the point of origin. As a result,  nature's  change is a controlled activity  of  structure  within  remains the  which  same.  it  that  happens:  By adopting  never if  threatens  humans  nature as  its  the  integrity  change, narrative  nature  in  framework,  the turn the  nation projects itself as permanent and acquires a discourse of origin. *  *  *  Having touched on the rhetorical uses of nature in Quebecois novels, I want to return to the issue narrative,  with  the  of  added problematic of  rural  tradition and modernity in this essence and  cultural  identity.  Although a few key points remain to be explored before I can bring this discussion to bear on Bourassa's particular use of the old and the new in his enframing of James Bay, let me say for . now that, in the same way that tradition and modernity are equally constitutive of the in the roman de la terre, the essentialist  notions  that  spaces  encountered  tradition begets -  "What a beautiful country these Quebec Laurentians are! Isn't it here that people naturally speak French?" "Yes, it seems to me that here this goes by itself." Ibid., p. 36, my emphasis. 4  5  125.  which are most apparent in Groulx's. work - are not necessarily left at the door when Quebec supposedly rural  can  be  captured by  enters into modernity. In other words, the  change,  functioning as the matrix of a the  same  way,  the  Revolution  can  continue  fundamental  modernity to  progress  and be  change  endowed  and  modernity  while  still  French-Canadian identity; associated with  a  with  in  the  Quiet  surprisingly  static  understanding of the past and of the cultural identity it serves to anchor. Handler  views  this  interdependence  between  past  and  present  as  the  juxtaposition of a process of evolution onto traditional notions of land and identity: [Contemporary conservative essence,  nationalisms  varieties,  though  [in  Quebec],  like  the  clerical-  rely on the notion of a fixed national  they  add  a  developmental  stressed by writers like Groulx.  In other  dimension  words,  even  evolution is envisioned as ongoing, it is said to proceed  not when  on the  basis of what has been fixed, once and for all, in the past. Like the metaphor of the collective facilitates  species metaphor  the attribution of boundedness to the nation.  There is at least one roman de considerations  individual, the  by  telling  a  la  different  terre that  speaks  story  the  of  46  directly land,  to these  one  where  representations of a nature that anchors national identity exist side by side with an entrepreneurial force openly  seeking  to appropriate this nature to  improve and exploit it. The hero of this novel, named Jean Rivard, may be a  traditional defricheur  but this does not stop him from being  "economist." In that way, he brings colonization and economic 4  6  Handler, Nationalism,  also an  development  p. 44.  126.  -  what can be summarily  regarded  as  "past"  and  "present"  -  closely  together within the space of the nation.  Jean  Rivard,  Honneur  le  aux  defricheur  I Jean  defricheurs!  Rivard,  Ve"conomiste  Honneurs! mille  vaillants pionniers de la foret!  fois  honneur aux  (Applaudissements.)  lis  sont la  gloire et la richesse du pays. Qu'ils continuent a porter inscrits sur leur drapeau les mots sacres: Religion, Patrie, Liberte, et le Canada pourra se glorifier d'avoir dans son sein une race forte et genereuse,  des  enfants  pleins  de  vigueur et  d'intelligence,  qui transmettront intactes, aux generations a venir, la langue et les  institutions  qu'ils  (Applaudissements  ont  recues  de  leurs  peres.  prolonges).  4 7  Antoine Gerin-Lajoie  sketched his hero in a two-part novel - Jean  Rivard, le defricheur and Jean Rivard, Veconomiste - which he  1874 before  and the  1876.  Interestingly,  three novels  I  both  have  books  already  were  written  discussed.  I  published in  several  have  years  reserved  its  analysis until last because, more than any other book, it sheds light on the roman de la terre as a discourse which is  simultaneously  located  in the  past and active into the present. The didactic tone of Gerin-Lajoie's two-  "Cheers for the defricheurs! Cheers! A thousand cheers for the courageous pioneers of the forest. (Applause.) They are the glory and the wealth of the country. May they continue to bear on their flag the sacred words: Religion, Patrie, Liberty, and Canada will be able to glorify itself to have in its bosom a strong and generous race, children full of vigor and intelligence, who will transmit intact to the upcoming generations the language and institutions they have received from their fathers. (Long applause.)." A . Gerin-Lajoie, Jean Rivard, le defricheur (Montreal: Hurtubise H M H , 1977), pp. 310-311. 4  7  127.  volume narrative clearly predominates  over its literary voice:  the  author's  chief intent was to deliver a message that could somehow alter the flow of the  urban  exile  of  Francophones  he  observed  around  him.  Like  the  religious elite of the time, Gerin-Lajoie advocated the opening of new land in the Laurentian region. The central character,  Jean Rivard,  embodies this  programme of territorial expansion; a clearly Utopian figure, he is also the epitome of the defricheur  in his relentless efforts to "make land." Forced to  abandon school when his father dies, Rivard uses his  small  inheritance  buy a remote piece of land in the forest in what is today townships, southeast he  will  fell  tree  of Montr6al. Prior to his retreat to after  tree  to  push  back  the  the  the  Eastern  woods  wilderness and  manageable space, Rivard has a dream in which he sees the  to  where  create  forest  a  falling  away to be replaced by abundant harvests of grains, fruit and flowers. I n this vision, the higher destiny he must follow is revealed to him: Enfin  il  insomnie songe  arriva  fievreuse,  assez  immense  qu'une  etrange.  foret.  il  nuit,  apres  s'endormit  II  se  crut  Tout-a-coup  des  plusieurs  heures  d'une  profondement,  et  transports  milieu  hommes  au  apparurent  eut  un d'une  armes  de  haches, et les arbres tomberent ca et la sous les coups de la cognee.  Bientot ces  arbres  furent  luxuriantes; puis des vergers, comme par enchantement.  des  remplaces par jardins,  des  des  moissons  fleurs  surgirent  Le soleil brillait dans tout son eclat;  il se crut au milieu du paradis terrestre. En raeme temps i l lui sembla entendre  une voix  lui dire: i l ne depend  que  de  toi  d'etre un jour l'heureux et paisible possesseur de ce dorriaine. 4  8  and  "Finally had a  o n e n i g h t , after m a n y h o u r s o f p e c u l i a r dream. H e felt h i m s e l f  a feverish transported  48  i n s o m n i a , he fell deeply asleep to a n immense forest. Suddenly  128.  Each book Rivard  transforms  meticulously the  wild  details forest  the into  steady  process  a perfectly  civilization. At every stage of development of his fully in control of the  various  operations  through  planned  which  space  of  domain, Rivard appears  involved,  thanks  to  his highly  systematic  management of the farm and global approach to the town he  will  grow  help  ramifications  that  around are not  it.  In  always  Jean Rivard so  clearly  romans de la terre: in addition to its yearly sprouts new roads and fields,  then, at the harvest,  rural  nature  forefront the  of  has other  land gradually  additional streets and houses, a church, a  school, various local industries, until Rivard's hamlet is a model of sound regional become  development.  The concluding  "Rivardville" after  fifteen  section  years  of  is  a return to  development  what  has  told through the  eyes of an external observer who records the perfect land-use program the protagonist has set into place. It is suiting that Rivard and his guest go up to a balcony on the second floor of his house in order to get a panoramic view from above of this newly rationalized landscape: Et nous montames sur la galerie du second etage de sa maison, d'ou ma vue pouvait s'etendre au loin de tous cotes. Je  vis  a  ma  droite  une  longue  suite  d'habitations  de  cultivateurs, a ma gauche le riche et joli village de Rivardville, qu'on aurait pu sans arrogance decorer du nom de ville. II se composait de plus d'une centaine de maisons  eparses  sur  une dizaine de rues d'une regularite parfaite. Un grand nombre some men appeared who were bearing axes and the trees fell here and there under their blows. Soon these trees were replaced by luxurious harvests; then some orchards, gardens, flowers sprang up as though magically. The sun was shining in all of its splendor; he believed himself to be standing in an earthly paradise. At t h e same time, he thought he could hear a voice saying: it only depends on you to become one day the happy and peaceful owner of this domain." Ibid., p. 14.  129.  d'arbres plantes  le  long  des  rues  et  autour des  habitations  donnaient a la localite une apparence de fraicheur et de gaite. On voyait tout le monde, hommes, femmes, jeunes gens, aller et venir,  des  voitures  chargees  se  croisaient en tous sens; il y  avait enfin dans toutes les rues un air d'industrie, de travail et d'activite  qu'on  ne  rencontre  ordinairement  que  dans  les  grandes cites commerciales.  4 9  Not one element is amiss in this space - especially not the trees which now follow the geometric pattern of streets instead of lying randomly about in the  forest  -  contemplating recovered Furthermore,  with  the  result  that  what  the  external  narrator  is  is, for all intents and purposes, a Garden of Eden finally  through what  planning, the  two  labour  and  characters  good  contemplate  economic from  their  policy. viewing  platform is also the emergence of the city in the countryside, or at least of the industriousness and activity usually associated with it. If the roman de la  terre tended to  idealize  the  economic activity and therefore  rural  sphere as  guarded from  somehow  the changes  detached from associated with  it, Gerin-Lajoie is unabashed about the role of that activity in helping to shape a space that is no less the country of God and of the nation. Turned into the rational space of capital accounting, this rural nature also appears more masculine. "And we climbed onto the balcony of the second story of his house from where my perspective could stretch to all sides into the distance. On my right I saw a long row of farm houses, on my left the rich and pleasant village of Rivardville that one could have referred to - without being arrogant - as a city. It was composed of more than a hundred houses spread along a dozen streets of perfect regularity. A great number of trees planted along the streets and around the houses gave the town an air of freshness and good cheer. One could see everyone, men, women and young people, come and go, as well as loaded cars crossing in every direction. There was in all the streets an appearance of industry, of labour and activity that one normally would encounter solely in great commercial cities." Ibid., pp. 316-317. 4  9  130.  Habitant, planner and economist  Another  notable  difference  in  Gerin-Lajoie's narrative  is  that  its  protagonist is not as "organic" as other heroes of rural literature - he could hardly be described as a homo  quebecensis - and yet this does not stop  him from being a fierce proponent of the importance of place  for French-  Canadian national identity. Robert Major has argued that Jean Rivard, who is an exemplary republican and capitalist, fits the model of the American hero of  colonization  described by Franklin,  de  Tocqueville and Emerson  better than he does that of the French-Canadian habitant.  Although he  may clearly  character, I  50  exhibit  other  cultural references  as a  fictional  want to suggest that his difference lies also in the fact that he does not fear that his identity will be altered by changes in the land. This makes him much more proactive about becoming the very agent of these changes and it is in that quality that he endeavours to fulfill his national duty. Indeed, it is chiefly out of a sense of duty toward his country that Rivard sets out to create his beautiful habitant,  garden.  Gerin-Lajoie is  Against  intent  the  usual  on showing  characterization  of  the  that his hero becomes more  than a farmer once his land is ready for cultivation but also acts as an economist,  planner and city developer; all activities  which appear not in  opposition to each other but fully complementary. Agriculture is as the surest way to create jobs and bring about progress and  presented prosperity,  since the opening of new lands attracts other industries. This is done by putting much more emphasis  on  another  important  engine  of territorial  expansion, which is natural resources. The shaping of the wilderness See R. Major, Jean d'Antoine Gerin-Lajoie 5  0  Rivard ou Van de reussir: ideologies et utopies dans (Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Les Presses de l'Universite L a v a l ,  into  I'oeuvre 1991).  131.  agricultural important  lands opens channels to  grasp  in the  for tapping into  context of  the  its  resources.  Quebecois  What is  dynamic  between  territory and identity is that, like agriculture, the tapping of resources also an act of appropriation of nature for the  nation, even if it replaces the  old rhetoric of the land with that of progress  and development.  argument is right about the necessity of conflating confer essence onto cultural identity, the  is  distance  If  my  nature and nation to  is  therefore  from "natural" to "national" resources, i.e. the appropriation  of  very short resources  for a specific cultural group; it only requires a slight change" in the kind of "nature" that defines national identity. This shift and its implications will appear more clearly in my analysis of Bourassa's claim to the resources of James Bay. For now, let me explore more fully how this is rendered in Jean Rivard.  Throughout  the  novel,  the  connection  between  the  hero  and  the  environment he will act upon hinges on the nation. The latter is never presented in abstract terms; if it is imagined, it is imagined through the process of its actualization. As in the work of Hemon, Ringuet and Lionel Groulx, the nation beckons through its through the  whole  of  its  nature; only this time it does so  natural resources  more than through the  sole  promise of an agricultural yield. Envisioned as a way of claiming the land, the  tapping  of  resources  and  the  labour associated  with  it  effectively  draws - both figuratively and physically - the boundaries of the national space Rivard wishes to open for his descendants.  This is  illustrated in a  pivotal scene where a young Rivard speaks to his tearful mother prior to his exile in the woods where he will go from rags to riches in the space of a few years, using only the means nature puts at his disposal. He tells her  132.  that, were he setting out for a foreign destination, she  would be warranted  in her sorrows. Instead, he reassures her: Je demeure dans le pays qui m'a vu naitre, je veux contribuer a exploiter  les  abondamment  ressources  naturelles  pourvu;  veux  je  recele, et qui, sans des bras enfouis  longtemps  habitants  d'une  s'emparer  de  autre  nos  et  qu'ils  nature  l'a  si  les  tresors qu'il  vigoureux,  y resteront  Devons-nous  hemisphere  forets,  la  tirer du sol  forts  encore.  dont  attendre  viennent, viennent  sous choisir  que nos  les yeux,  parmi  les  immenses 6tendues de terre qui restent encore a defricher  les  regions les plus fertiles, les plus riches, puis nous  contenter  ensuite  que  de  leurs  rebuts?  Devons-nous  attendre  ces  etrangers nous engagent a leur service? Ah! a cette pens6e, ma mere, je sens mes muscles se roidir et tout mon sang circuler avec force.  5 1  The fear of foreign  intrusion,  of  being  dispossessed  of  something which  rightly belongs to French-Canadians, is strongly expressed  in this passage  and is consistent with the well-known slogans of territorial  appropriation  I  have already mentioned: "Emparons-nous du sol" and "Maitres chez nous." Furthermore, the gender dynamics of such a territorial their  traditional  contours,  as  does  the  usual  conflation  imperative of  show  woman and  "I remain in the country of my birth, I want to contribute to the exploitation of the natural resources which nature has so abundantly endowed it with; I want to pull from the soil the treasures it holds and which, without vigourous arms, will r e m a i n sunk deep for longer still. Must we wait for the inhabitants of another hemisphere to come and grab hold of our forests right under our eyes, to choose amongst the vast stretches of land that still remain to be cleared the regions that are most fertile, most rich, then content ourselves with their leftovers? Must we wait for these strangers to hire us for their service? Mother, when I think of this I feel my blood start moving." Gerin-Lajoie, Jean Rivard, p. 17, my emphasis. 5  1  133.  nation since this declaration is addressed to the mother who and nods in acceptance while her son vouches  his  remains  masculine  silent  strength for  her protection. In the initial stages of his work, Rivard finds courage in the assurance that by serving his country he will gain a wife which, of course, he does. His fiancee's face appears to him amidst the harvest and she joins him at the end of the first book once a domestic space has been carved up for her. In this way, Rivard is assured a legacy  even  if  his  descendants  may live in a world different from his own. This gives us a glimpse into how Jean Rivard envisions the making of a rural landscape as a  process  that calls upon both traditional and modern views of the land and need  not  shun development and change in order to anchor national identity.  Rural  ideal, development ideal  I wish to make two further observations about Jean Rivard before I summarize my discussion of the roman and try to assess its impact for an understanding  of  the politics  of  energy  in contemporary Quebec. In the  first place, although the underlying plot of Jean Rivard is about a young man setting out to tap the resources of his land, to "pull them from  the  soil" and fully realize their potential, his activities can also be regarded as an  impoverishment  of  the  environmental  diversity  of  the  St.-Lawrence  valley. From this vantage point, the extensive remaking of the region into the geometrical pattern of the rang accomplished over the three centuries and the  simplification  crops. Rivard before  corresponds to a gradual depletion of  he  gets a  lowers  the  of  the region's  glimpse axe  of he  bio-diversity  this regards  span of nearly  fur-bearing into a  few  environmental diversity as  the  emblem  and  animals selective moments tool  of  134.  civilization.  The novel gives a brief  52  inventory  and  description  of  the  various species that compose the forest surrounding him. There is the elm which gives  its  protective  shade;  the  white  ash  which  offers  the best  quality of wood; the beech tree which never gets hit by lightning; the lime; the wild cherry tree; the pine; and finally the maple which is spared the ax because it can produce syrup. With each downed tree, frightened birds fly away from what used to be their peaceful retreat and the ground gives out a dull moan.  Fortunately, trees reappear in the last chapter either lining  53  the streets of Rivardville or in an orchard where they have been  planted,  pruned and generally ameliorated thanks to the protagonist's industry: On a deja vu que Jean Rivard aimait beaucoup les  arbres; il  etait merae a cet egard quelque peu artiste. II ne les aimait pas seulement  pour l'ombrage  coup-d'oeil, paysage.  qu'ils  pour  l'effet,  pour  II  mettait  autant  [...]  offrent,  mais  beaut6  la  d'attention  aussi  pour le  qu'ils  donnent  au  a bien  tailler  ses  arbres, a disposer symetriquement ses plantations autour de sa demeure qu'il  en  accordait au soin  de  ses  animaux  et  aux  autres d6tails de son exploitation.  5 4  Nature  has  development;  been  remade  drilled,  to  fit  the  hero's  domesticated,  the  trees  ideal are  of  civilization  contained  by a  and space,  that of progress, rather than serving to demarcate their own space, which is that of wilderness. In-between the lines, the reader can recover traces of 5  1  Ibid.,  p. 33.  5  3  Ibid.,  pp. 32-33.  "We have already seen that Jean Rivard liked trees very much; he was even a bit o f an artist in this regard. He appreciated them not only for the shadow they offer, but also for the visual effect, for the beauty they add to the landscape. [...] He gave equal attention to pruning and arranging them symmetrically around his property as he did to the care of his animals and other details of his exploitation."/*id., p. 182. 5  4  135.  the  environmental history of the space Rivard is carving for himself and  his national descendants.  Speaking of the fruit trees he has  cared for over the years, he anticipates his  future  progeny:  "Mes  the  arrieres-neveux  enjoyment me  they  devront  planted and will procure  cet  ombrage."  55  Therefore, once the trees have been cleared and rationally replanted they represent the assurance of a legacy that projects itself from past to future. Having transformed nature, Rivard feels like he has in some way impacted a history beyond himself. In the second place, I suggest that we need these cues because they are a first-hand testimony of Rivard's efficiency and maximizing its resources presence  to  bring  in Gerin-Lajoie's book, they  environment  of  the defricheur  in transforming the land  prosperity;  trees  are the immediate  and  the  central  are  a  and  character  constant pervasive  displays  a  preoccupation with them that is almost obsessive. What is less apparent in the text, however, is what happens to the trees once they are felled. We learn  that  stumps  and  underbrush are  burned and  that  the  ashes are  turned into potash, but - if we can step outside of the fictional realm for a moment - surely the reader can assume that these weight  in  gold  other  than  providing  the  trunks  received  their  necessary  for Rivard's house and other buildings on his property. In his  eagerness to show that Rivard is a self-made  by  "magnificent"  lumber  man, Gerin-Lajoie leaves out  the important fact that logging companies followed very closely in the  path  of those individuals and families who cleared the land. Indeed, the making of agricultural land in the St.-Lawrence  valley  was  advantageous  to  the  logging industry in that the aspiring farmer doubled up as a logger for  "My  grand-nephews  will owe  me this  shadow." Ibid.,  p. 324.  136.  companies  that  were usually  incursion outside  the fictional  American  or  Anglo-Canadian owned.  realm throws  wider economic and political sphere,  the defricheur  thereby  expanding  the  This  into a much national space  to which he belongs. To uncover this silence in the narrative is to recognize that the labour by means of which Rivard gains access to the resources of his  country  is  closely  connected  with  outside  capital  and  that  this  connection is crucial - not merely contingent - in the creation of growth and  prosperity.  necessarily identity.  A  throws Jean  preserving  rethinking a different  of light  Rivard demonstrates  tradition  need  not  the  be  rural  on that  an  the  sphere usual  staying  obstacle  along  anchors  close to  these of  to the  change;  lines  Quebecois land  rather  it  and can  become a key vehicle for it by enabling the penetration of capital into the countryside and, hopefully, the increase of wealth. In  Gerin-Lajoie's book,  the rural ideal hooks onto a liberal ideal of economic  development  without  seemingly presenting the least threat to Rivard's identification as a FrenchCanadian. resources  In is  fact,  for  the  hero,  development  and  the  seen as a national duty. The rhetoric of  use  the  of natural  land and the  identity it anchors becomes more pointedly a rhetoric of the "resources" of the  land,  Rivard  show  without  with Maria  that  losing  its  nationalist  Chapdelaine, Trente  modernity and  development  appeal.  I have  contrasted  Arpents and LAppel  in  these  identity do not exclude but rather contain within  narratives  de  of  la  Jean race to  Quebecois  themselves various key  elements of traditional nationalism.  137.  Rural ideal and complementary  "Quebec moderne": natures?  Some of the  questions  raised  contrary or  above  were  partly  encompassed  Christian Morissonneau's analysis of the myth of the North and his the Cure of  Labelle,  developing  hero  who was a strong proponent of railway building as a way  resource  industries along  with  traditional farming. I have  tried to bring them into conversation with another expression territoriality,  in  the  roman de  la  terre, and will  of Quebecois  endeavour to push that  dialogue further into James Bay in the following Act. Roughly a century after the apologists encourage and  a  grounded  of colonization appealed to the idea of the North to  geographical this  expansion  appeal  in  of  the  constructions  French-Canadian of  nature  homeland -  such  as  those  encountered in the roman de la terre - James Bay emerged as a powerful reconfiguration and recontextualization of that myth; one which is at times disorienting in its extremely heterogeneous evocation of the land. Labelle  himself  had looked  toward  James  Bay  in  his  dream  of  conquering a territory that reached as far as Manitoba. In a letter sent to a Priest in Winnipeg, he envisioned their  meeting  stretch between the two provinces, following  two  across  the  separate  broad land  rivers bearing  the same name: "Les deux rivieres qui portent le meme nom de la 'Rouge , 1  la  mienne  et  la  votre,  sont appelees  a se  joindre.  Nous  acheminons  tranquillement vers les belles et fertiles r6gions de la baie James. Une fois la, nous nous donnerons la main."  56  If the James Bay development project  did not, like Labelle, look westward in its  territorial designs,  it did share  "The two rivers that bear the same name of 'Red', mine and yours, are meant to be joined. W e are slowly making our way toward the beautiful and fertile James Bay region. Once there, we w i l l shake each other's hand." Dussault, Le Cure, p. 93. 5  6  138.  the Utopian dimension of the nineteenth  century myth of the North. The  religious aspect imparted to it by church leaders such as Labelle may have been gone by the 1970s but the myth still retained the aggressive spirit of its previous  messianic  forcefully expressed economic  character; only through visions  development,  this of  time  natural resources,  had always  Labelle's  no  because  for  him  been  reconquest  more  modernity and  with more than a hint of the essentialism  rural sphere. Economic development project  such a spirit was  of the  an integral part of  could  occur  over  the  English if it was not also an economic reconquest: in addition to agriculture, mining, town expansion programme Rivard  and  industry  development,  and  francophone  of  colonization.  and  immigration  the  and  were  tourism,  the  engines  This global approach recalls  57  anticipates  business  mandate  that  would  be  of  up  for  drawn  under  "development",  a  slightly  a change  different  rubric  the  administration of  James Bay in the following century. The terms of territorial expansion are  his  that of Jean  drawn  development corporation (SEBJ) that would take over the  railroad  from  "colonization"  which I will trace in more detail  through  here to my  examination of James Bay. Suffice it to say at this point that, if there is a continuity between the nineteenth in part by the roman  century  "conquete  du sol" - symbolized  - and hydroelectric development  region, it is that all three employ the evocative  in the James Bay  force of the idea of the  North to gather and deploy the necessary agents of  economic  development,  whether these be industry, capital or labour power. It becomes easier to see  the  Bourassa's  correlation  between  economic  policies  Labelle's toward  program  James  Bay  of once  colonization the  territorial  narrative that feeds them both, the roman de la terre, is understood 5  7  For details of this program, see ibid.,  and  as  one  p. 9-123.  139.  that  offers  a  representation  permanence and change,  of  nature  that  is  a  hybrid  stability and expansion, tradition  and  between modernity  yet can always serve as a point of reference for national identity. In the wake of the Quiet Revolution, the later decades  of the twentieth century  are often celebrated in Quebec as a departure from an archaic past sealed  away from the present in, among other things,  roman de la terre or the yoke of a religious  safely  the pages of the  morality  which  has  been  overthrown. The James Bay project was often promoted as a ground zero by  its  supporters  radically different  because  supposedly  marked the  shift  between  two  societies, with agriculture and religion representing the  old and the secularity of the emergence  it  government,  industry,  technology  and resources  of the new. One anchored itself in rural nature while the  other sought to reject it: still, as my analysis of Jean Rivard  and other rural  novels  "turned into a  show, both needed a wilderness  demanding to  be  flourishing country" in order to represent the space of Qu6b6cois  culture as  a space of civilization, and justify its advance into new territories. From the roman de la terre to James Bay, I want to suggest that nature - although of a different "nature" - remained the anchor of the nation. In the next Act, I will look at the spectacular enframing of James Bay as an attempt the nation still more deeply  into nature, this  to root  time through a relationship  that is more broadly determined by rational science and technology.  140.  PORTFOLIO  Figure  12:  Secretary  behind  her  desk  142.  Montreal,  March  24,  1999  A s I read through archival documents detailing the spectacular conquest of the North,  the  question of women's presence in J a m e s Bay enters the field sideways, asking to be considered and yet disappearing behind what is called "the facts." Secretaries  -  have typed these reports for b o s s e s who may have thought nothing of ask for coffee. C o m p a n y newsletters in mid-gesture  over a keyboard.  cubicle filled with the  women  most  interrupting  certainly  their  work  to  are full of women smiling behind their desk, hands frozen  Here the  national  epic has shrunk to the  insignificant props of office work. My mother  space of a  small  spent many years of  her  life among these objects. A s a receptionist for one of the engineering firms that built the d a m s , s h e could have been the one smiling on company pictures, between desk and filing cabinet. Seeing these women's clothes or how their hair is done adds a layer to my research I had not foreseen. I c a n touch the fabric of skirts, restore the exact hue of eyeshadows and hear the clang of bangles against the desk. Most documents encountered in the archives have felt distant and smooth so emerging from a past I have no relation to. W h e n  the  secretary's  hand  lingers  in this  far,  grainy  typewriter print, the page holds deeper crevasses of meaning. Letter-shaped dents trap the  ink,  I think of water in the bark of a submerged tree. With a steady pounding of metal against pulp, the J a m e s Bay "adventure" moves up one line at a time between the keyboard, memory.  meaning  by  of  fingers,  I used to marvel at how fast my mother could make words appear on the  page, faster than my mouth could utter them. This was string  mechanism  hitting paper,  make  sentences  her tenfold  hold still  -  and  craft, now  a magic that could I am  reading  them.  Archives show that rivers were fitted into d a m s like crisp paper sheets between the guides of a typewriter.  143.  Figure  13:  Pleasures  of  landscape.  Bourassa  viewing  the  La  Grande  Figure  14: L G 3 dam.  Figure  15:  " A concrete arm  L G 2 escalier  de  holding  geant  the  La  Grande  145  Figure 16: Rushing waters. Another view  of  the  escalier  de  giant  147.  Figure 18: LG4. A global geography  148.  ACT 2 WILD AND RICH: SCRIPTING JAMES BAY AS A SPACE OF DEVELOPMENT Le  territoire  du  Quebec est  immense et  en  grande  inexplore. Pendant que les Americains et les Russes se dans Vexploration de Vespace, il y a sur  partie lancent  notre territoire, tout  pres de nous, a I'interieur de nos frontieres, un des plus beaux defis a relever: la conquete du nord quebecois, avec ses tumultueuses  qui  rivieres  sont autant de fleuves grandioses, ses lacs  immenses qui  sont autant de  coniferes qui  cachent des  mers interieures, ses  ressources  miniers de toutes sortes. Mais  il  y  a  inouies  forets de  en  gisements  aussi sa faune presque  inconnue dans le Sud; sa flore qu'il faut inventorier et proteger; il  y  a  Vinconnu irresistible qu'il faut  decouvrir.  C'est toute  Vhistoire du Quebec qu'il faut reinventer; c'est le courage et la volonte de  nos ancetres qu'il faut repeter au XXe siecle; c'est  notre territoire qu'il faut occuper; c'est la Baie James qu'il faut conquerir; nous avons decide que le temps en etait v e n u . Robert  1  Bourassa, La Baie James, p. 12.  Imaginons un roman dont le hews serait un territoire: nous aimerions que ce livre se Use comme le roman de la [Baie James].  2  Pierre Turgeon, La Radissonie: le pays de la baie James, p. 17. "The territory of Quebec remains to a large extent unexplored. While the Americans and Russians are involved in space exploration, there remains on our territory, very close to us and inside our frontiers, one of the most beautiful challenges that can be taken up: the conquest of Quebec's North, with its tumultuous waters that form so many grandiose rivers, its immense lakes that resemble so many seas, its evergreen forests that hide unimaginable resources in mining deposits of all kinds. But there is also its fauna, which is almost unknown in the South; its flora which must be inventoried and protected; there is the irresistible unknown that we must discover. We must reinvent the history of Quebec; we must repeat the courage and the will of our ancestors in the twentieth century; we must occupy our territory; we must conquer James Bay. We have decided that the time has come." 1  "Let's imagine a novel whose hero would be be read as the novel of [James Bay]." 2  a territory: we  would  like  this book  to  149.  The characters of the roman de la terre are well-known figures  in  Quebec. It is not so much that they transcend their fictional  framework,  but  of  that  references  everyday in  life  attempts  often to  proceeds  signify  the  through  an  relationship  array  between  national territory. Along these lines, Louis-Edmond Hamelin Quebec farmers did not remain insensitive  to  literary  people  and  remarked that  Gerin-Lajoie's famous hero;  at a meeting of the Catholic Farmers' Union in 1920s, one of referred to the audience as "sixty thousand Jean Rivards."  the  speakers  Similarly, it is  1  fitting that the Cure Labelle was represented in the fictional world of Les His Wires des Pays d'En-Haut given that he was character who was larger than  life.  2  frequently  described as a  Even before James Bay got off the  ground, the project had its share of supporters ready to embody what could be understood as  the  "poetics"  of  Quebecois  and enact  territoriality by  drawing on both the heroic imagination of the North, and the rhetoric of nature contained in the roman de la terre. One of these characters was a notary public from the Abitibi region named Dominique Godbout. In late  1  nineteen-sixties,  L . - E . Hamelin, Le  Rang  he  was  d'habitat,  responsible  for a  fundraising  campaign  the to  op. cited, p. 316.  This was a popular television series inspired from Claude-Henri Grignon's book about a miser named S6raphin Poudrier. The series expanded on the characters and added other ones to represent rural life North of Montreal in the region the Cure Labelle helped to colonize, known as Les Pays d'En-haut (the "Northern Countries"). See C . - H . Grignon, Un Homme et son peche (Montreal: Stanke, 1984). 2  150.  build a road that would aim directly North  from  the  small  community of  Villebois, into James Bay. To do so, he helped found "The Order  of Northern  Conquerors." This  was  a  fundraising  correspond to  one  Thus, for five  dollars one  twenty  of  plan  whereby  each  twelve titles whose prestige  title  one  hundred dollars that of  title  was  reserved for  reflected  would be recognized as  dollars granted the  of  the  value.  a "Portageur du Nord", Radisson" or  Northern Sea."  could afford  would  dollar  "Adventurous Brother of  "Captain of  those who  donation  two  thousand  The  ultimate  dollars; they  would be made a "Duke, invincible, with the faith and heart of William the Conqueror." newspaper  A  announcement  appeared  the  four  bank  Chief  of  directors, the  the  opposition  province's  (Jean Lesage),  (Jean Drapeau), as well as other public figures Charles de Gaulle. A  certificate  was  which recognized them as lifetime came with the  given  the  Quebec  of  use  the  on  Order; the  (Jean-Jacques  Montreal mayor  those  who  donated  members of the Order, a  inscription of the giver's  perpetual rights  Premier  a passport was  road.  money  privilege  name on a memorial plate  the  city  such as Pierre Trudeau and  to  placed at the entrance of the road. As well, guaranteed  in  Le Soleil which also listed honorary members of the  list included Bertrand),  two-page  that  to be  issued which  Although this  "passport"  was hardly an official document, it symbolically laid a political claim to the territory of James Bay through the construction of this first access road.  3  See "Pour hater la realisation du chemin de pen6tration Villebois-Baie James." Le Soleil, February 15, 1969, p. 22. Geographer Michel Brochu gave his support to this campaign, see "Le Nouvel axe economique routier de La Sarre-Villebois (Abitibi) a la baie James." L'Actualite economique (Montreal: Ecole des Hautes Etudes commerciales, 1970), pp. 819-824. 3  151.  La Wa*t. Queb.t  r  m*4i IS le*™r lo*,«  POUR HATER LA REAUSATI0N DU CHEMIN DE PENETRATION VILLEBOm BAIE JAMES LA CHAMBRE DE COMMERCI )E LASARRE INVITE TOUS LES HOMMES DE DNNE VOLONTE A JOINDRE LES RANiS DE  L'ORDRE DES CONOUERAHTS DU NORD *  President . F M I J I NF I O H O V C i ! " , M m n i <  peTRorr O - H U C S C N  V I l L E t O l S - (Alt w f i  Voici k s Ut_-es «t le passepor*. que voir* fjerspicaott fwitre prcvoyjjKt p n t v m vous permeitre d'acq-jenr. pour 1«S modelled io^jr.es c:-apres todtquMa: TrTRES. 1 - P O R T A C E I H DU NORD. pour U u x 3 « oe cmq dollars C 2 — V O Y A G E U R D E LA B A I E J A M E S . pour ta w a r n e d * dm dollars (I 3 — F R E R E A V E N T U R E C X D E RADISSON. pour I i l o c i r . c de viagt dollars 1 4 - C O M P AG NON SANS P E U R D E D ' I B E R V I L L E . pour la so mine de rugt-cirtq dollars d 5 — C H E V A L I E R D E LA B A I E D'HUDSON, pour la aomtie de quariRle dollars 6 — V I K I N G . ROI D E LA M E R D U NORD, pour la aom.'ne de cutquanie dollars 7 — C A P I T A L N E D E L A M E R D U NORD.  MEMBRES D'HONNEUR  •JBJ  10.00) 3.80) 40.00)  (  50.00)  i% 100.00) pour la soir.-ne de cent dollars S — A M I R A L D E L A MER D U N O R D . (I 300.00) pour la soicme de deux c e a u dollars 1 — A R M A T E t H DES CONQUERANTS DU NOHD, lS 500.00! pour la soaurte de ctnr^ cents dollars 10 — S E I G N E U R D E S BALES D U NORD, pour la sotsroe de mille dollars U — BARON DES S E I G N E U R S D U NORD. pour la social e de nulje cuiq cents dollars 12 — DL'C irvicr-.ble. i la foi et au coeur dc Giiuia-.nr le Conquer ant. pour la soc-.-ne de deux mille dollars ,  Hon PIERRE E. TRUDEAU. P M. du Canada. Hoa JEAN CHRETIEN. Min At- [od. et du Nord, Kan PAUL MARTIN. Seoateur. Hon. J . SMALLWOOD, P.M. de Terre-Neuve, Hon. A. CAMPBELL. P.M. lie du P -Edward. Hoa. C J. SMITH. P.M. NouTelU-Ecoase.. Hon. L ROBICHAUD. P.M. Noirveau-anaajTirA, Hon. JOHN BOB ARTS, P.M. de lOntano, Hon. W. WEIR. P.M. du Manitoba, Hon. R THATCHER, P.M. dr aUskatcbewao, Hon. W.A.C, BEN NET. P.M. Crrfonxbt^Bntajuiique M. REAL CAOUETTE. Chef du Ralliement CrediUite, U GERARD LAP RISE, P.M. Dep. d'AbitibL  Boa. JEAN-JACQUES BERTRAND. P.M. Quebec, Ron. CLAUDE GOSSELIN. M. Terre* et rorets. Hon. OSCAR GILBERT. Comallet l*f.isLMiI, Hoa. J E A N L£S*GE. C M <k rOppoatioD. M- ANTONIO F L A M A N D . Depute d» Rouyn-Nofiodi, M. LUCIEN CLICHE. C.R., Deaute f l W H f c M. ALCIDE COURCY. Aeron.. Deput* d AtntilM 0 . M. GILBERT THEBERCE. Dent.. Dep. TcBUseamuigiie. Hon. f~y»n •. F VAJLLANCOUHT. Senaleur et Direct. f«n. * " Union* R. Cais. PopuLurts 0.. Me JEAN DRAPEAU. Mau^de Montreal, M. LOUIS HEBERT. Pres. Banque C Nationak. M. R U Ml/LHOLLAND. Proa, Basque de Montreal, M LEO LAYOIE. Pres.. Banque Prov. du Canada. -M. k General J E A N VICTOR ALLARD, C M ar 1'Bai Major du Canada. Me LIONEL LEAOUX. Pre*, de JEamonue. M_ ANTONIO RAINVILLE, Pres. Cha/nore de C o n n i r a Or Montreal, U. MARCEL JOBtN. PrcL.Caam. Com. de Quebec K_ DOLLARD MATHTEU, Pre*. Soc_ S J B Montreal, M. JACQUES ROUSSEAU. EHuwbiolociw et Conseuler («• !w i-ju* au Cent. Etudes Nordiques de 1'Uuvenne Laval. M_ LOUIS'ESMOND HAMELIN, Directeur du Centre dei Elude! Nordiques de t"Univertite Laval. M. J E A N - L L C BOMBARDIER, PrenuerCao. Fran, a f Pol. Pdtertor*. cnnqucrir ht Nord.  lD.OO.  <  Secretaire  Vice-president  (tl.BOCOO) IJIJOO.001  |  Pe^r t e a . dor, sop^neur a 4»£mfa  «t«H«r. {J2.0O0.00), 1'Ordre < o « f « w a « t r*rn*ttrei  reouiei qoe M  l 4 . Nord, *0«< .un poopU, eoxmo le (er « i  n D n  M. U Genera) CHARLES DE GAULLE, Presdeot de la RepubLque Prancaiat. M. PAUL-EMQ-E VICTOR, Directeurde* Ear*. Polaa francaae*. Pari*, Prance. M JEAN KALAURIE. Do-ectcur do Centre Ardiqun Rautei EtuOet. SorbMM. Pant. France. M )e Prof. ALBERT BAUER, du Centre o"Etudes Glae. de* Re(. Arct. et AnUrtrliquec. PARIS. XL le Commodore O C S. ROBERTSON, aoc. direcL ciecuUI ad joint de llssutut Nord A m m c i a o>rArcUque« i III  I •  _J  »«  **_  lout <  | . o"--e bmruole, »'e* mil M march, v—. l „ Bole  W •* ignoro e)» rette do Canada, ont commit de lean proprei m u u m , depun le lor fovrwr I0d7, la partie lui d,(- ,'e fe- qui r*c>. H * U rtie du train a • a u v r i r ) oTun ct^m,^ de I!S * M M d-v> l.i o-duir* a BU*f«T MOUSE wr I., faordi i BAIE IMrrTI. '• Uur l i w p a r B | ... ». d'oau H O I M U M , d « « n d'e—e^ur. national., at (oiiont pour une M l un ploi.n.nt aver not dan. B6»iisni tout « anfam. « n L * le Na>nf. - I.u* e e U K qui «uront oehetd 1«K poaaaport {loqu.l art iitrn p * ia BUM I. chom.n VILucBOlS-BUPEIT HOUSE, una I M c*ttWi-oi "*C«^1e lorr. n t tout, a lout tonl «u*iT y an oura CUIUAUME IE CONQUKANT N.B. To^t cVi.qwe (eerl.ii.) *( taut mandat da parte Arrra W W o d r . u i ol foi't d I'ardr. de • S *OBDl€ 0£5 CONQUEB ANTS OU NORD W C " . C P 114 l a senre, Ah.tit,i-C , P.O. ic  1  f  Figure  19: The Order  ot" Northern Conquerors  v r  152.  Dominique  Godbout  traveled  extensively  through  Abitibi  to  solicit  financial support for the James Bay road. The epic tone of the campaign was sustained in his discourses through frequent "William  the  Conqueror." An avid  reader  4  of  appeals  to the figure of  historical  epics,  Godbout's  endeavour was inspired by various historical and literary heroes in a way that is reminiscent of Jean Rivard, who regarded his books as companions of  colonization  who  taught  him  the  virtues  he  needed  in  order  to  accomplish his work: Ce sont travail:  mes je  premiers  les  conserve  amis,  mes  premiers  precieusement.  compagnons  Robinson  de  Crusoe m'a  enseigne a etre industrieux, Napoleon a etre actif et courageux, Don Quichotte m'a fait rire dans mes moments de plus  sombre  tristesse, l'lmitation de Jesus-Christ m'a appris la r6signation a la volonte de Dieu.  5  If  William  the  Conqueror  was  Godbout's  model  hero,  nevertheless also drew on local figures: once his listeners over  and  foreigners  donated  their  money,  he  would  thank  the  notary  had been won  them by  saying  that  would later look back on the people of Abitibi and remember  Maria Chapdelaine's famous words: "Ces gens-la  sont vraiment  d'une race  qui ne sait pas mourir" ("These people truly belong to a race which cannot die"). This mythico-poetic  quality of Godbout's  speech  was  L . Bernard, "L'Abitibi desolee part a la conquete du Nord." Perspectives, 1968, p. 6. It is significant that William the Conqueror should be Godbout's since he was a leader of the French-Norman conquest of England in 1066.  4  apparently  May 11, model hero  "These are my initial friends, my first companions of labour: I treasure them. Robinson Crusoe taught me to be industrious, Napoleon to be active and c o u r a g e o u s , Don Quichote made me" laugh in my most sombre moments, the Imitation of Jesus Christ taught me to resign myself to the will of God." Gerin-Lajoie, Jean Rivard, p. 330. 5  153.  effective  in inciting people  into  action  since  percent of the funds necessary to fulfill  the  notary gathered  the project.  6  eighty  In many ways, the  road to James Bay was a measure of last resort for the people of Abitibi. Faced with difficult farming conditions, of  mining resources,  unemployment  some towns had lost  population by the end  of  the  up to  nineteen-sixties.  and the  fifty  exhaustion  percent  of their  The Order of Northern  7  Conquerors deployed a geographical imagination of the North as a space of hope, thus viewing it parameters  outlined  exemplified  by  the  as a "Promised Land" and fitting in every point the in  Christian  events that  Morissonneau's  surrounded the  study.  This  inauguration of  stretch of the Villebois-James Bay penetration road: on March group  of  approximately  accompanied by religious was  stopped  unsteadiness  at  the  five  hundred  people  drove  river,  unable  to  on  of a temporary bridge. Nevertheless,  front of the plowshare, evoking  "le  courage  proceed  well  the  first  17 1968, a the  songs played through loudspeakers.  Harricana  is  road,  The crowd due  to  the  a priest recited mass in  des  peuples  bibliques qui,  comme cette foule, comme tout PAbitibi et ses comtes voisins, se sont aussi mis en branle vers la terre promise."  8  discourse,  the  space  of  James  Bay  Imagined through such was  envisioned  by  a Utopian  the Northern  Conquerors to be a tremendous reserve of economic power which could lift the region out of its economic slump:  6  Ibid.,  p. 6.  Following a population increase of 1.5% from 1961 to 1966, the region lost m o r e than ten thousand people in the 1966-1971 period, which amounts to a decrease of 6%. See "La population et son territoire: des mondes en mutation" in O. Vincent, dir., Histoire de VAbitibi-Temiscamingue, op. cited, p. 484. 7  "[Tlhe courage of biblical peoples who, like this crowd, like all of Abitibi and its neighbouring counties, have set themselves in motion toward the Promised Land." L . Bernard, Perspectives, p. 9. 8  154.  The Quebec side of the Hudson and James Bay offers nine  hundred  miles  of  coastline  to  mining  more than  exploration  and  exploitation. Mountains of asbestos and nickel are to be found in  Cap  Smith.  The  Trinity  or  Belcher  islands  contain  innumerable deposits of magnetic iron and copper. Close to the Great  Whale river are  quantities  deposits  Limestone  beauty  as  presently Bays.  and  iron.  Fantastic  from  that  from  Bay coast  the  Phelipeaux  the  Paris  abounds  islands  Basin."  in natural  has  "the  Prospectors  looking for diamonds around the James  same  [...]  are  and Hudson  9  This repository  lead  of petroleum could lie under the Phelipeaux islands.  The whole length of the James gas.  of  focus of  on  natural  economic  resources  wealth  -  and,  which as  represents  will  later  nature  become  as  clear,  a the  Quebecois as national subjects who must tap into it - connects both back to Jean Rivard and forward to Robert Bourassa. the  performative  instrumentality  and the characters  these  hopeful  of  conception  of  I have  tried to  literary narratives  stories bring to  territory and what  life it  -  in  demonstrate  about  the  land -  bringing about  contains.  Like  this  the Northern  Conquerors building a road to the "promised land", Bourassa would become a  dynamic  agent  of  Quebec's  national  expansion  into  the  North  by  importing key elements of its literary/geographical imagination, along with new  structures  Furthermore,  his  of  territorial leadership  planning  demonstrated  and the  economic extent  nationalist context, cultural constructs are intertwined Le Soleil, Saturday 15 original text in French. 9  February, 1969,  p.  22.  See  Figure  to  with 19  development. which, the  (bottom  in  a  application right)  for  the  155.  of governmental policies. Indeed, Bourassa can be said to have written his own roman de la terre  in the North, which was also an epic narrative of  conquest and hope: through his "project of the century", he reactivated a traditional Qu6b6cois poetics of land, territory and identity to mobilize the necessary agents and resources that would create the space of James Bay. In my analysis so far, I have moved back and forth between the myth of the North and the roman de la terre as narratives that seek to anchor the Quebecois  nation  territorially  and, in the  process,  I  have  taken  them  beyond their strict temporal or geographical context. M y purpose in doing so is to stress that social discourses are extremely entities, and that  they  become  a little  more  hybrid  called upon. And yet they do so without losing signification. Indeed,  the various meanings  into particular social elements cultural  each  are nevertheless  to  change  as  elements  of discourse travel extensively,  connection  "taken-for-granted"  the landscapes to  the  cultural  they  help  over they  to  and historical  meaning. This explains why Maria  time. can  construct  he regards  as  a  remote  and/or  read  they  constitutive  dismembered  without  registers  initial  whereby  The  be  are  these e n d u r i n g  that  loosing  and their  imparts  their  Chapdelaine can be read both as a rural  novel as well as an epic of spatial conquest; similarly, Jean what  they  more enduring  "recognized", a process  increasingly  like  time  flexible  the force of their  of culture are recontextualized. In that process, elements  and  that are projected  discourses are subject  become  remade  mobile  wilderness  in  the  Rivard  proximity  tackles  of  Quebec's  largest urban center, the city of Montreal. As for Trente Arpents,  the fact  that an industrial - or "unnatural" - nature  seemingly drains  the same time as it reaches  that  beyond  its concrete  into  it  means  and immediate space.  each  I have  the rural at  sphere  wanted  reaches  to keep  far these  156.  connections  open  reactivation,  in  and  order to  be  appropriation,  able  of  to  account  popular  for Bourassa's  Quebecois  narratives  North. This reactivation is not systematic or even fully conscious; and  chooses  from  geographical  the  variety  imaginary makes  sole agent re-enacting most visible  of  elements  available.  which  the  own in  the  it picks  francophone  Furthermore, Bourassa is not  the  this territorial memory. Rather, his leadership is its  expression  in  the  early  phase  of  James  Bay  hydroelectric  development. While the idea of spatial conquest  through technology  part in his enframing of the region, the  discursive power  territorializing Quebecois  as  within  which  this  identity, as well  connection  was  initially  the  played a big of  nature  traditionalist  developed,  in  framework  should  not  be  allowed to slip from view. If Maria was a heroic "homo" quebecensis b y choosing life on the land and the old rural sphere as her native country, James Bay workers were similarly identified as national heroes by braving the wilderness and lending their strength to tap into the nation's resources. While this was a "popular" and widely accessible narrative for the Quebec population,  its  mobilization  for  the  purposes  of  development  still  necessitated a certain amount of control over its terms and geographical trajectory.  I want  to briefly  discuss how  steered this narrative in an advantageous  Bourassa and  his  direction before  government  moving to an  analysis of how spectacle became a dominant way of framing the project during construction of the LG2 complex. Trading  weapons, tapping nature's wealth  If Bourassa was writing his own narrative of the land in James Bay, Dominique  Godbout and the  members  of  his  regional  organization  were  157.  eager to be given a part in such a script. Five months before he made his 10  famous launch of the  hydroelectric  project,  they  wrote  a  letter  Premier asking him to support the Villebois-James Bay road.  to  the  The group  had already appealed to Premier Daniel Johnson in 1967 in a letter that conveyed  strongly  the  difficult  region and the hopefulness  socio-economic  conditions  of  the  Abitibi  of the population that James Bay could change  these conditions: Ce que nous voulons, nous, c'est que vous nous aidiez a nous sortir de l'enlisement  et  du decouragement.  [...]  L'Abitibi  des  colons se meurt d'avoir trop attendu. Nous vous avons prouve, a date, que le territoire de la Baie James, l'Abitibi,  nous  fabuleuses.  [...]  appelait, Nous  malgre nos fatigues, decides  a  d'lberville, Patrie...  nous  comme  demeurons,  "Rupert  grenier  Honorable  nos privations et rendre,  jusqu'a  un  versant  envers  nos  et  House"  aux  r6serves  Premier Ministre, blessures,  contre  avec  naturel de  le  tous, drapeau  toujours comme de  la  11  The document that was later sent to Bourassa adopted a similar, but more restrained, tone. It listed the  communal efforts  already  deployed,  spelled  out the economic advantages of creating access to the region, and reminded Bourassa,  gently,  that  Abitibi  Godbout's organization was regional business council. 1  0  the  has  been  "Chambre  de  for  more than  Commerce de  twenty  Lasarre"  years a  and acted  as  a  "What "we" want is for you to help us come out of our sinking situation and feeling of discouragement. [...] The Abitibi of settlers is dying from waiting so long. Up to now, we have proven to you that the territory of James Bay, naturally adjacent to Abitibi, was calling us like a storehouse of fabulous reserves. [...] We remain, Honorable Premier, despite our fatigues, privations and wounds, still dedicated to reach, against all odds, like Iberville, Rupert House with the flag of the Patrie..." Memoire de la Chambre de Commerce de La Sarre, May 25, 1967, pp. 7-8. 1  1  15 8.  forgotten region in a country whose national motto is "Je me Significantly,  the letter  stressed  that the people  duty by using their own resources  to  foster  had  done  economic  souviens."  12  their national  activity  "without  troubling the peace of other", and that the state should now step in to do its part.  13  The  suggestion  that  economic  development  fosters  social  peace  acquires tremendous weight given the context in which these words were addressed  to  Bourassa. The people  of  Abitibi  made  their  plea  to  the  Premier in the midst of the worst political crisis Quebec would ever know: the 1970 October Crisis was barely over when the mend the damage caused by the unrest,  letter  was  Bourassa - who was  sent. only  14  To five  months into his leadership when the crisis exploded - needed more than Letter to Bourassa (November 1970), p. 4. The motto "Je me souviens" ("I remember") appears on all car license plates in the province and is generally understood to be a reference to the Conquest. The ubiquitous presence of this simple phrase tagged onto every moving vehicle in Quebec makes the issue of collective remembering an unavoidable element of the social landscape. Ibid., p. 4. 1  2  1  3  The "October Crisis" began on the morning of October 5 1970 when the British diplomat James Cross was kidnapped from his house by two members of the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ), a Marxist-Leninist organization fighting for Quebec's independence. A manifesto was read publicly where the F L Q asked for the liberation of members who had been imprisoned following previous acts of insurrection. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau categorically refused to negotiate with the F L Q and a second man was taken hostage on October 10; his name was Pierre Laporte, a minister and key member of the Bourassa government who was also a close friend of the Premier. Ironically, Robert Bourassa was on a business trip in New York c i t y when the crisis exploded, busily preparing the ground for James Bay by discussing sales of electricity across the border. Upon his return, he and his government decided to call on the federal Canadian army to maintain order. Troops moved into the province and the War Measures Act became effective on October 16, with the result that hundreds of F L Q supporters were interrogated or imprisoned without charges. While negotiations continued between the F L Q and Bourassa's government, James Cross was freed but Pierre Laporte was assassinated on October 17. Bourassa's leadership was understandably shaken by these events, he was accused of weakness by turning to Trudeau and the Canadian army to resolve what was perceived as an internal crisis. For a perspective from a thinker and activist of the F L Q , see P. Vallieres, L'Execution de Pierre Laporte: les dessous de I'operation essai ( M o n t r e a l : Editions Quebec/Amerique, 1977); for an analysis of these events as represented in the media, see C. Ryan, ed., Le Devoir et la Crise d'Octobre 70 (Ottawa: Lemeac,1971). 1  4  159.  ever to "help people help themselves", as the letter stated, and to fulfill  the  promise upon which much of his election campaign had been based, which was to create one hundred thousand jobs in the province. already  been  on  the  horizon  when  he  made  discourse in which he framed the project was  that his  15  James Bay had  promise: way of  the  epic  inviting the  rebellious forces of Quebec to trade their weapons for pick and shovel - or machines  and  mathematics  as the case may be - to  start tapping the  resources of the land. This plan, however, had to make  good  sense for the province as a whole. As the Order of Northern campaign indicates, the La Sarre business Utopian  North  ready  to  be  economic Conquerors  council built a road toward a  conquered  through  heroic  male  labour,  patriotism and faith: unfortunately, their trajectory did not coincide with that other territory of the nation where facilitate  money flows  and strengthen  space  is  selectively  global connections.  carved to  The road that  would reach the shores of James Bay was created, but it was built more than one hundred kilometers northeast of La Sarre and Villebois so as to be aligned with the urban center of Montreal. decision-makers merely  a  confirmed  casualty  that  but rather a  the  unevenness  structural  In this of  element  way,  James Bay  development of  is  not  capitalism. They  confirmed also that if economics could use the gathering power of myth, it could just as easily  invoke the necessity  to make "rational" development  decisions to turn away from it. The Abitibi region which was severely in need of jobs - or rather in need of being brought within the sphere of the city and its economic activity - was not directly involved in the process, despite a stretch of road already built but, from the perspective of future  L a c a s s e , Bale  James, p. 55.  160.  developers,  dangling  sidestepping  to  nowhere.  Among  16  many  reasons  for  the work already done in Abitibi, I believe the need for a  heroic act that could belong underestimated:  indeed,  the  directly to  Bourassa's  and  labour.  government  cannot be  "opening" of a road up to James Bay was an  important part of casting it as a wilderness genius  the  These  meanings  whose  were  access  called  required  both  during  the  forth  construction of the James Bay road which was seen as a channel of nationbuilding because it brought part of northern Quebec into contact southern core. This road would stretch four hundred and fifty Matagami  to  Radisson  and be  built  in  four  by the  liberal  government  producing James simultaneously  used  the  Bay as a space that  represented  it  as  the  same was  miles from  hundred and fifty  Although it sidestepped the Northern Conquerors' initiative, discursive as  "promised  rich  with its  days.  17  the road built building  as  it  land"  of  was  blocks: wild, it  development.  While this region and others surrounding James Bay were targeted through special programs to fulfill labour needs during the construction of the dams, none of these jobs contributed to long-term development. After the peak periods of construction, workers would return to the same economically depressed areas they had left to go to work in the north. Again, Pierre Perrault's movies illustrate how powerless Abitibi residents were to influence their own economic becoming due to a government bureaucracy ill at ease with this marginal region. While the James Bay development project was in full swing in the 1970s, the Quebec administration changed its agricultural policy in the region to, instead, steer the economy toward forestry. The result was a government-sponsored tree-planting effort which created some employment, but at a cost which the farmers who had settled there through the colonization programs of the post-depression era could simply not accept. Indeed, for those who had cleared their piece of land one tree stump at a time over more than forty years, the absurdity of replanting what had finally become decent agricultural fields was too much to bear. Perrault makes this point by interviewing an old farmer who calmly continues to clear his parcel of land day after day, seemingly as a way to deny this absurdity. Another interviewee, Parti Qu6becpis candidate Haurice Lalancette, makes a comment that suggests how these injustices would eventually translate into racial tensions in James Bay: "C'etait l'ambition qui voyait que qu'est-ce qu'on a defriche, ce serait quelque chose de bien. Ben quand on retourne a l'etat sauvage aprds avoir travailhS 40 ans, on se pose la question des indiens de la Baie James. Nous autres, qu'est-ce qu'on etait? On etait moins que des indiens, d'apres moi on etait des esclaves chrisse!" See Un Royaume vous attend (National Film Board of Canada, 1975). 1  1  6  7  See Lacasse, Baie  James, pp. 87-102.  161.  Bourassa brought this traditional  discourse  myth, along of  identity,  with the roman de fully  into  a  liberal  la  terre and its  development  ideal  when he had this to say about the workers he met during his first trip to James Bay: Many young people attracted by the challenge of a country to discover, to build. I cannot refrain  from seeing in them  almost exact copy of the first defricheurs  the  of the country. Today  they are a few hundreds. Soon they will be five  thousand, ten  thousand,  their  fifteen  thousand  bringing  together  efforts  toward a common goal: to put Quebec's resources at the service of all the Queb6cois.  18  Against this backdrop, I want to focus my analysis in the remainder of this Act on the dominant strategies used by Bourassa and the  planning  institution his government created for bringing James Bay into view as a space of progress and development  where the Quebecois could project and  envision themselves as a national community. To create this space, nature was represented more emphatically as a wilderness, became  and national identity  increasingly articulated in relation to natural resources,  technology  that could harness them. As I hope to  have  and  the  established  by  juxtaposing the roman de la terre with Bourassa's enframing of the North and using the Northern Conquerers as a hinge between the two - nature's identity may have shifted from rurality to hydroelectricity but the nation continued  to  draw on its  rich  symbolic repertoire in order to anchor,  protect and legitimate its territorial presence and expansion, this time into James Bay. While 1  8  Bourassa, La Bale  Bourassa envisioned  the energetic  power that could be  James, p. 129.  162.  generated  by James  Bay rivers to be unbounded,  make strategic use of its symbolic resources The  equation of nature  with  the nation  he also  which  - which  were went  knew how to  equally from  profuse.  a dominant  focus on rural nature to one on "natural" resources as the basis of national identification  -  was  appropriation  of  a  undeniable  claim.  an  land I  indispensable  rhetorical  and resources  view  this  to  equation  tool  which  as  a  the  in  Quebec's  Cree  fundamental  have  an  element  of  Quebec's continued claim to the North, one which must be understood and challenged if the nation is to start opening to and incorporating discourses of difference, along with the spaces these discourses give rise to. The Cree's agency  in countering  the cultural  production  and appropriation  of their  ancestral lands by the Quebecois has forced some of these spaces to open. In what follows, I wish to examine the production of James Bay as a series of French Quebecois cultural landscapes by looking at two of the processes through which this production took place during the building phase: namely, spectacle  and scripting.  Although I treat them  is important to note that they function as a whole  of the first separately,  and actively  it  constitute  each other. I will then contrast these processes against a Cree experience o f landscape Finally,  which I will  structures  is characterized bring these  by the reading  processes  of governmentality they  together  of tracks by  on the land.  analyzing  the new  actualized in Northern Quebec.  Spectacle  "We  see ourselves on the screen, ourselves as we would like to  be..." 1  9  Rose,  19  Feminism,  p. 107.  163.  To characterize his  memorable launch of the James Bay project in  1971 and the visual presentation that accompanied it, Robert Bourassa said the following: "This was quite a show... I had huge pictures,  sound, light...  some people  on  were  trembling!"  The images  20  that  rolled  the  giant  screens were characteristic of the enframing of James Bay as a spectacular wilderness  bursting with resources  and ready to be tapped by the South.  Numbers abounded in the narrative already for  25  spent, projected harnessing 000  workers,  electrical equipment,  investment  accompanying of  five  of  $400  the  film:  $14  rivers, construction million  125 000 job openings...  21  for  million  of  camps  mechanical  and  Panoramic shots of the land  displayed and magnified its vast extent, showing endless forests and wide bodies of  water  rushing through rugged terrain. No one  puzzled at  the  images of bison seemingly grazing on the coastal plains of James Bay. Only the Cree who would later see the  film  laughed  they  had first-hand experience  this  environment,  such  animals  live  in  the  of  sub-Arctic  region.  at this peculiarity; since  22  they  This  knew  anomaly  highlights the construction of James Bay as an imaginative the  southern  population  misconceptions,  of  Quebec.  idiosyncrasies  and  Incorporating symbols  both  an  no  strongly  geography  eclectic  old  that  and  for  set  of  new  to  characterize the land, it was clearly a geography of hope for Francophones in  the pursuit of  their economic  and cultural  affirmation.  As  such,  yielded numerous spectacular images that turned an area previously  it  little  known by the South into a series of national landscapes where heroic acts of  could  be  Underground Cathedral,  the  2  0  2  1  2  2  colonization  Lacasse, Bale Ibid.,  staged  anew.  The  LG2 dam and its  La  Grande  river,  the  famous escalier de geant,  James, p. 66.  pp. 65-66.  McCutcheon, Electric,  p. 45.  164.  these  various  sites  produced  in  the  first  decade  scheme came to symbolize pride, affirmation  of  the  development  and technological  excellence  in the eyes of many Quebecois of French ancestry as they reiterated their cultural past into the present: "Aux descendants projet] offrait plus que la creation de nouvelles  emplois;  il proposait de  terres a defricher, pour y recolter non plus les  ferme mais des millions along  nouveaux  des pionniers francais, [le  these  lines,  de  kilowattheures."  Bourassa's  23  portrayal  of  With  workers  produits de la  James as  Bay framed  defricheurs  naturalized and taken for granted, thus rendering the legitimacy presence project  into -  Cree  territory -  along  with  the  legitimacy  of  is  of their  the  entire  unquestionable.  Recognizing  a familiar  landscape  Indeed, Bourassa worked actively throughout his political carreer defend  the legitimacy  of  southern Quebec's territorial expansion  to  into the  North through his constant reiteration of a colonial narrative in the space of James Bay. Like the defricheur  he admired so much, he too  endeavoured  to clear the land: this, however, he accomplishes not with labour but with an accumulation of rational knowledge.  Describing a reconnaissance  over the region, he mentions: "Someone cites for me some of  flight  the rivers'  names: the Opinaca, Eastmain, La Grande. They are like so many studies, documents, eyes."  24  drafts,  geographical  maps coming to life,  moving under  Hydro-Quebec and other archives contain a wealth  of  documents  "To the descendants of the French pioneers, the project offered more than creation of new jobs; it offered new lands to clear in which they could harvest the products of the farm but millions of kilowatthours." Turgeon, op. cited, p. 17. 2  3  2  4  our  the not  Bourassa, La Baie, p. 128.  165.  where it is possible to retrace in minute details how  the  region gradually  became visible in this way - one chart, map or landscape description at a time.  The  most  intriguing  among  them  is  perhaps  a  report  geographers who were sent to drive along the newly opened  by  two  James Bay  road with the task of describing the landscapes that lie on either side, and eventually visitors  produce  on  introduction, different  the  a  document  inauguration  the  authors  qualities  of  make  depending  that  would  the  LG2 complex  the  on  be  suggestion  whether  distributed in  to  potential  1979.  In  their  that  landscapes  exhibit  are  perceived  by  they  an  informed observer or not. They ask: "Quels sont les paysages qui s'offrent  a  l'observateur le long des principales routes du Territoire de la Baie-James? Ou quels sont les paysages qui se degagent a l'observateur averti, dire en possession de donnees eclairees?"  25  can be authored  in  that  way  and  that  perceptions,  the  pair  produce  different  providing  the data that will  In suggesting different  that landscape  kinds  acknowledge  of  knowledge  their  part  organize the gaze of potential visitors  workers in James Bay. As their preliminary report  indicates,  their mandate by naming twenty-three  landscapes  and  The names  they  according to their physical properties. separate  c'est-a-  in and  they  fulfill  classifying  them  choose  for these  sites do not command the view in any precise way so much as  suggest instead a visual impression. They Chalifour",  the  "undulations  West  of  are the  Chapais",  the  "surroundings "wavy  of  highlands  the of  Soscoumica lake", the boggy lowlands of the Nottaouai", the "high basins of  "What landscapes present themselves to the viewer along the main roads of the James Bay territory? Or, what landscapes emerge for the informed observer, that is, one who has access to data?" P. Guimont and C . Laverdiere, Les Paysages le long des routes du territoire de la Baie-James (Montreal: Societe de developpement de la Baie James - Environnement et Amenagement du territoire, 1977), p. 4. 2  5  166.  little  rivers", etc.  These poetic  26  toponyms  read like  so  many  potential  titles of landscape paintings. The authors realize that, on their own, they represent but a sketchy and incomplete attempt at "subdividing" this vast region, a task which will require "perception from the air" to be  more  complete.  view  27  from above  While the latter comment suggests  that  is envisioned  of  as  a  superior  detailed field notes remind us of the these landscape  descriptions  way  the  detached  seeing  and knowing,  partial embodied vision  originate,  from which  hampered or aided by the quality  of the weather, and scripted amidst the mundane tasks of eating,  sleeping  and physically moving through the territory. It is important to note that, although  these  nowhere  do  inquiring  with  authors  they  acknowledge  the  partiality  suggest  that  their  local  Cree  population  the  knowledge  of  their  could  be  regarding  own  vision,  expanded  existing  by  toponyms:  instead they value "perception from the air" as a more reliable source of information, appellation  and  give  supersedes  no  consideration  Cree place  names.  to In  that  fact  that  that  way,  they  their  own  are  fully  complicit with the invisibilizing of the Cree population from the James Bay landscape.  And yet,  unlike most  documents  by non-natives  I  examined  throughout my research, these two individuals' struggle - and part failure - in producing meaning is evident in the text, as is "situating  oneself  contribute  to its  their  2  6  Ibid.,  report  for  in  order  to  development."  2 8  the  better  understand  the the  importance territory  of and  In that way, there is a slight opening in  introduction  of  different  ways  of  seeing  and  p. 3.  I must emphasize that the road between Matagami and Radisson stretches for 900 miles. The same distance going South would span approximately from Montreal to Tampa, F L . Thus Guimont and Laverdiere were indeed facing an extensive task. 2  7  "En fin de compte, mieux identifier et comprendre les paysages du territoire, c'est mieux se situer, partant mieux contribuer a l'amenagement du milieu." Ibid., p. 4.  2  8  167.  experiencing  the  territory. Interestingly,  the  fieldnotes  that  suggest  this  opening were not included in the version of the report meant for James Bay visitors. Bourassa environmental  was  not  knowledge  so  keenly or of  aware his  of  the  positionality  limits as  of  spatial and  a viewer.  On the  contrary, his discourse - oral and written, since he wrote three books about James Bay - suggested that the body of knowledge  he was  was co-extensive with what there was to know about the  drawing from  whole  region.  2 9  As was often the dominant development approach of the time, he did not admit indigenous activity upon the land as a practice that could generate knowledge;  beyond  what  maps,  charts  or calculations  could  represent,  there simply was nothing to see. It is this exclusion which allows him to transform the North into a space that is fully known and therefore fully governable.  Gerin-Lajoie's defricheur  as Bourassa greatly impoverished solely  as capital. Unlike the  the  two  once again stands in the background landscape geographers  by who  viewing  its  struggled  resources to  make  These books were the following: La Baie James (Montreal: Editions du Jour, 1973); Deux fois la Baie James (Ottawa: Editions La Presse, 1981) and L'Energie du Nord, la force du Quebec (Montreal: Quebec/Amerique, 1985). I have referred chiefly to the first book since it spells out Bourassa's initial vision of "economic nationalism" while the first phase of the project was being built. His second publication, Deux fois la Baie James analyses the remaining energy potential that could still be developed in the province and proposes a plan for expanding energy sales: "Le Quebec et ses voisins canadiens et americains forment un axe d'echanges energetiques qui reste a developper. II est dans l'interet de ces regions d'augmenter les echanges d'61ectricite. Dans ce groupement naturel, le Qu6bec jouera le r61e de principal producteur d'hydro-electricite... L'eau qui coule dans les nombreuses rivieres quebecoises, sans avoir genere Vilectricite qu'elle est susceptible de produire, est perdue d jamais" I "Quebec and its Canadian and American neighbours form an axis of energy exchange that remains to be developed. It would be in their interest to increase electricity trade. In this natural grouping, Quebec will act as a central producer of hydroelectricity... The water that flows in the many rivers of Quebec without having generated the electricity it has the potential to produce is forever lost" (p. 145, my emphasis). The third book reiterates this utilitarian vision and is aimed more directly at an American audience thanks to an introduction by James Schlesinger, who s e r v e d as U.S. State Secretary of Energy from 1977 to 1979. It was also translated into English. 2  9  168.  meaning from a space  that appeared too  large  and too  complex  captured in one glance, the Premier knows what he is seeing,  to be  or rather,  what matters to be seen. He knows it so well that his very first trip over James Bay reveals a space which, curiously, he can easily "recognize": Depuis de longues  minutes, nous survolons lacs et  rivieres  et  j'ai l'impression de redecouvrir un paysage familier, deja vu. Et pourtant, quel spectacle Pendant  des  centaines  inacessible, immenses  inedit!  creusee et  souvent  de  par  milles,  des  c'est  rivieres  la  foret  sinueuses,  dense, des  lacs  anonymes.  Je ne peux m'empecher de penser au genie et a la force de caractere  des  premiers  explorateurs  de  la  region:  les  d'Iberville, les Radisson. J'avais sous les yeux ce que devait etre la physionomie totale du Quebec du 17e siecle. Et cette foret qui continue de defiler, impassible, interminable. Trente-deux  milliards  de  pieds  cubes  de  bois  de  valeur  marchande. Une possibilite annuelle de trois millioins et demi de cunits,  le  quart  a  autre,  de  la  production  forestiere  actuelle  au  Quebec. De  temps  on  remarque  l'affleurement  des  rocs  volcaniques propices a la formation de gisements de cuivre, de zinc, d'or et d'argent. En outre, suivant les geologues, des filons d'amiante  et  de  nickel.  Soixante-dix  millions  de  tonnes  de  reserve de metaux non ferreux. Plus d'un milliard de dollars de revenus  possibles.  169.  Comment par  rester  un tel  insensible,  spectacle!  economique!  3  comment  Quelle  ne  reserve  pas inouie  etre  emerveille  de  puissance  0  By rising over the landscape, Bourassa can look down over the region as a terra  incognita:  presence,  he  constructing  can  make  a  it  as  empty  temporal  and  jump  untouched  backward  by  to  human  recover  in  imagination what he thinks would have been the integral Quebec of the seventeenth century. And yet, this blank, anachronistic space which will b e forced into the  present  through technology  and development  is  not a terra incognita and is not unknown to him since he also  precisely  talks about  "rediscovering a familiar landscape." This, I propose, is a strong indication of the ways in which discourse is constitutive  of physical geography and  plays a decisive part in laying the terrain of development. Said argues,  "the  rapport  between  an  Orientalist  and  If, as Edward  the  Orient  was  textual", Bourassa gives a powerful example in the above description of the extent to which his relationship to James Bay was founded on text. familiarity arid  with  economic  the  heterogeneous  projections  about  discourse the  North  of  31  His  history, literature, charts  allowed  him  to  create  an  "We've been flying over lakes and rivers for a long time now and I feel like I am rediscovering a familiar landscape, already seen. And yet, what an original spectacle! For hundreds of miles, it is a dense forest, inaccessible, ploughed by winding rivers, lakes that are immense and often anonymous. I cannot refrain from thinking about the genius and strength of character of the region's first explorers: those like Iberville, Radisson. I had under my eyes what must have been the absolute features of seventeenth century Quebec. And this forest that continues to stream by, impassive, endless, thirty-two billion cubic feet of wood with a marketing value. A n annual possibility of three and a half million units, one quarter of Quebec's present forestry output. From time to time, one notices on the surface the outcropping of volcanic rocs favourable to the formation of copper, zinc, gold and silver deposits. As well, according to geologists, asbestos and nickel veins, seventy million tons of noniron metals in stock. More than one billion dollars in possible revenue. How can one remain insensitive and not be filled with wonder by such a spectacle! What an amazing reserve of economic power!" Bourassa, La Baie, pp. 127-128. 3  3  0  1  E. Said, Orientalism,  p. 52.  170.  imaginative  geography  that  could  serve  as  a stage for enacting  his own  economic script in the region. Having read these "texts" and discussed t h e m in  his books, Bourassa was  recognizing  his  own  imaginative  geography  when he flew over the space of James Bay: furthermore, having most of his field of vision confirmed prevents  him from  seeing other  attributes  in the  landscape. The imaginative geography he could so easily "re-cognize" was, of course, larger than him or even the francophone belonged as it reiterated several elements  being  recontextualized  planning In  and  and  into the  power relations  reinscribed  to  which  of Quebec's past, which  linked to France and the rest of Europe. Right then, these colonial connections and the  culture  into  Cree  is also  twentieth they  he  century  contain  territories  were  through  development.  speaking about  imaginative geographies,  that "we need not look for correspondence  Edward Said  between  the  language  depict the Orient and the Orient itself, not so much because  used  to  the language  is  inaccurate but because it is not even trying to be accurate." way that the Orient is constituted as a stage and actors are for  "whose  reminds u s  3 2  In the same  audience,  manager,  Europe", the North that Bourassa glances down at is a  space of economic power that is scripted for and by the South only. While, in  his description, the  landscape remains  Europeans, its economic value  appears  to  a  in turn  large well  extent  unnamed  known: the  by  Premier's  numbers are careful but precise, his gaze extends over the surface as well as reaches  down into the  underground  geography  of  the  territory  he  is  keen to conquer. The act of "re-cognizing" this landscape when looking at it for  3  2  the  Ibid.,  first  time  is  testimony  to  the  sedimentation  and  circulation  p. 71.  171.  whereby  imaginative geographies  become  taken  for  granted  the force of "truth." As the above passage demonstrates, "truth" of James Bay is its economic nature: a  truth  and  the  also helped to create, and which clearly inhabitants "truth"  for  was  national  whom  meant  the  to  community"  territory  consolidate  as  they  spectacle of the project  -  and  cannot  is  much  the,  gathered  the  more  an  Northern  of the region  shared by local  narrowly into  all the  be  unambiguous  which  Conquerors and countless others who shared this imagining  acquire  multi-faceted.  understood, audience  electrical,  native  "Quebecois  to  political  This  watch  the  and economic  power it could harness - being built. And yet before Bourassa and others could view the landscape in such a way, various specialists and scientists had to precede them and the ground by charting its purported emptiness and confirming  prepare  what  could  be lying in wait. Indeed, an important function of the staging of James Bay as a spectacle was to make the region known, or through a set of common cultural references Gillian Rose has remarked, "seeing invitation  to  collectively  Quebec's geography its  and  national territory.  33  see allow  and knowing  James the  Bay  textual  was  population to  - of this new  are  the  seeing. If,  often  designed become  production  space;  "recognizable"  ways of  This need to teach and inform  the project was carried via the sustained cartographic,  and  rather  as  conflated", this to  teach  acquainted  the  population  of  images  organization  of  the  about with about visual, view  effected control on what was to be brought into visibility or left out of the frame.  I have  suggested  that  these  cultural  landscapes  brought  a  "new"  region into view but stressed as well that they did so by calling upon and  G. Rose, op.  cited, p. 86.  172.  reiterating  a colonial past; one  that  enacted  was  in  the  which informs the Quebecois territoriality  North.  To  be  fully  enacted,  however,  this  territoriality required a careful - and at times intensely physical - process of  surveying, - measuring,  calculating  and categorizing  the  space of James  Bay. Like the roman de la terre which "writes" rural nature in the pages of a book and, through that  process,  recontextualizes  the  national space, this process "writes" wild nature and Bay  as  a national  and economic  territory. In what  rural  sphere  appropriates follows,  as  James  I want  to  explore this mechanism but I will refer to it as an act of "scripting" rather than writing. I choose this term because it encompasses the elements I want to bring into focus:  that is, the writing  two  central  of James Bay  through some of the literary signs and symbols of Quebecois culture which I  have  already  explored,  but also  its staging  through the  spectacle that enact these very meanings, a point  which  images  and  deserves further  discussion.  Scripting II est  vrai que l'homme peut difficilement  nature. Voila pourquoi, encore une fois,  faire mieux  que la  gr&ce au grand projet  de la Baie James, ce territoire deviendra pour les hommes, les  chercheurs, pour les  laboratoire  d'observation,  amoureux de de  la nature,  recherche  et  un  de  comprehension  de  son  immense  d'exp6rimentation  susceptible d'apporter a l'homme d'ici et d'ailleurs des nouvelles  pour  environnement,  sources de  son  173.  milieu de vie et un peu de la sagesse et de l'equilibre que la nature semble se plaire a recreer partout.  Linking  3  4  the dots  Prior to the territory  official  had long  determine  been  announcement the  object  its hydroelectric potential.  of the  of  project,  scientific  the  James Bay  explorations  Once he made  seeking  the decision  to  to turn  the La Grande river into the focal point of his leadership,  Bourassa was  relying  a  on  data  that  had been  gathered  over  more  than  decade of  exploration work in the area. The Shawinigan Water and Power Company, the  largest  power  corporation  in the province before  Hydro-Quebec, had concentrated  its research  Broadback rivers, all of which were region.  Using  these  studies,  its taking  over by  on the Rupert, Nottaway and  located  in the southern  Hydro-Quebec  continued  part  to  of the  survey  the  territory, adding the Eastmain and La Grande rivers to their inventory. In 1967,  two hundred  involved  in  disseminated busily  these  1968,  releves  3  4  "It i s true  that  lived  in  thousand  that  no women  eighteen  square  exploration  miles  were camps  of territory and  future": geologiques  d'etablir  c'est  -  one hundred  the  permettent  men - I was told  expeditions  across  "preparing [L]es  and fifty  une  hardly  les  cartographie  l'acceleration  man can  et  des  do  better  travaux  than  etudes de  la de  nature.  hydrologiques Baie  James. En  cartographie,  Here  is  why,  des  once  again,  t h a n k s to the J a m e s B a y p r o j e c t , t h i s territory will become for men, for researchers, for nature lovers, an immense laboratory of observation of research and experimentation - capable o f b r i n g i n g to m e n o f here and elsewhere n e w sources o f understanding o f their living environment, a n d a l i t t l e o f the w i s d o m a n d b a l a n c e t h a t n a t u r e l i k e s to r e c r e a t e e v e r y w h e r e . " B o u r a s s a , La Baie James, p . 102.  174.  etudes des sols et des complexe  releves geologiques dans  Nottaway-Broadback-de  Rupert. Pas  la region du d'etudes,  a ce  moment-la, sur les rivieres Eastmain et La Grande Riviere. Les annees 1969 et 1970 se passent dans les bureaux: revision des chiffres  et des estimations,  compilation des donnees recueillies  sur le terrain et voyages de reconnaissance des responsables d e la direction du Genie d'Hydro-Quebec.  3 5  This passage reveals another aspect of the creation of a geographical divide between James  North  and  South  Bay. The scientific  endeavour rational,  to  "clear"  mathematical  the  through tools of wilderness  terms.  This  the  production  of  geology, geography by  rendering  representation  with the history of European colonial exploration  its -  knowledge and  cartography  space  which  about  is  in  highly  consistent  in North America - is  made possible by taking the data harvested back to the "offices" of HydroQuebec where it  is  compiled, assessed and calculated.  In that way,  the  offices of the energy corporation located in the city of Montreal become the distant "centers of calculation"  36  where the space of the north can become  known and decisions can be made about its becoming: "Pour en arriver a "Geological samples and hydrological studies help to establish a cartography o f James Bay. In 1968, cartography work, soil studies and geological sampling become intensified in the Nottaway-Broadback-Rupert region. No study, at this point, on the Eastmain and the La Grande rivers. The years 1969 and 1970 are spent in the offices: numbers and estimates are revised, data gathered in the field is compiled. Those in charge of the engineering division at Hydro-Quebec continue their reconnaissance trips." Lacasse, Baie James, p. 26. 3  5  See B. Latour, "Centers of Calculation." Science in Action: how to follow scientists and engineers through society (Cambridge, M A : Harvard University Press, 1987), pp. 215-257. Discussing a trip to the South Pacific by the French explorer Lap6rouse, Latour notes that centers of calculation - by which he means various imperial cities in Europe were instrumental in consolidating the "Great Divide" between civilization and barbarism: "The implicit geography of the natives is made explicit by geographers; the local knowledge of the savages becomes the universal knowledge of the cartographers; the fuzzy, approximate and ungrounded beliefs of the locals are turned into a precise, certain and justified knowledge" (p. 216). 3  6  175.  ces resultats  puis, ulterieurement, a ces  d'explorateurs James." Bay  ont  examine,  Through various cycles  37  became  economy.  sillonne,  de decision,  scrut6 tout le  of  gradually mobilized to  prises  des  centaines  territoire de la Baie  accumulation over the years, James become  a chief  engine  of  Quebec's  This cycle was greatly accelerated once Bourassa had  38  firmed  up his project and was preparing to launch it: the warm months of would become  known as  "the  summer of  geologists" as  sixty  1971  specialists  dispersed themselves across the land to study the five major rivers of the territory.  39  The  gathering  of  such  information proved  to  be  an  excruciating  physical task as technicians endeavoured to measure the territory against existing  maps:  Avec  nos  instruments,  lourds  et  encombrants,  notre  consistait a mesurer les elevations et les distances pour  role  reperer  sur le terrain des points precis apparaissant sur nos cartes et sur  nos  photos  aeriennes.  Un  travail  dur,  fatigant  mais  passionnant. Ma derniere expedition du genre consistait a relier des points sur une distance ininterrompue de 300 kilometres.  40  This attempt to "link the dots" across such a vast territory is reminiscent  of  the work accomplished by the two geographers who set out to describe the landscapes alongside the James Bay road. Here, however, even fewer traces  3  7  3  8  3  9  Lacasse, Baie  James, p. 29.  See Latour, Science, Lacasse, Baie  p. 219-223.  James, p. 28.  4 0 "With our heavy, awkward instruments, our role was to measure distance and elevation to locate on the ground precise points showing on our maps and aerial photos. A tough job, tiring but fascinating. My last expedition of this kind consisted of linking dots on an uninterrupted distance of 300 km." Ibid., p. 23.  176.  are left of the subjects who gathered the data that was to be translated into charts. The erasure of subjectivity from these processes yields a twodimensional, newly manageable space that renders James Bay "portable" so that it could be toured with and presented scattered  audience.  41  to  a  broader, geographically  No area was too big, complex or difficult of access for  these scientific expeditions to repertory and draw in minute details: "Les gars du siege social d'Hydro-Quebec nous demandaient de tout mesurer,  du  point le plus haut au point le plus bas. On tracait des lignes d'arpentage  qui  partaient du fond des tourbieres pour aboutir a la crete des montagnes. "  4 2  The development vision of James Bay is well captured by such an image of a land surveyor standing behind his  instrument  "to  measure everything."  With his eye fitted into the narrow tunnel of a lens, he projects a straight line across the territory that digitizes its dips, slopes and elevations one end to the other. This telescopic  from  gaze had been without precedent in  the space of James Bay. It produced a knowledge of it that could not be further from a Cree hunter's perspective. What could be the meaning such data if ground's  the body had not  curve within the  moved through space  environment  that  produces  to interpret it?  Much  of  of the the  discrepancy between Cree and Quebecois constructions and experiences of landscape is encompassed  in this question. I will  bring this discreapancy  into sharper focus by discussing Cree cultural perceptions of landscape; but before I do so, I want to lay out a few  more points about how several  Bruno Latour gives a good idea of this change of scale which renders space portable when he ask, referring to European cartographers: "How large has the world become in their chart rooms? No bigger than an atlas the plates of which may be flattened, combined, reshuffled, superimposed, redrawn at will." Latour, Science, p. 224. 4  1  "The guys form Hydro-Quebec's head office were asking us to measure everything, from the highest point to the lowest one. We would draw survey lines that started at the bottom of peat bogs and reached to the mountain crests." Lacasse; Baie James, p. 23. 4  2  177.  forms  of  exclusion  were  articulated . and  materialized  throughout  as  the  the  territory via the politics of vision.  A portable The  landscape show  that  launched  James  Bay  well  as  process  of  "scripting" I have discussed encompassed  "ways of seeing" that are typical  of Western modernity. Martin  argued that:  Renaissance  and the  considered  resolutely  the  Quebecois  performed the  scientific  revolution,  ocularcentric."  into  past  during  modernity  "Beginning with the has been  If words and speeches  43  colonial past  Jay has  the  the present  construction  by  years,  reinscribing a  normally reiterated  images  different  colonial relations: in making the space of James Bay esthetically  also set  of  pleasing  to  the eyes, these images enacted unequal power relations between Quebecois and Cree. I have already suggested that, as dams expanded,  the  slow  transformation of  the  region  went up and reservoirs was  something  to  be  watched. Fragments of its geography floated south of the 49th parallel to surface in newspapers, magazines and TV screens, thereby  assembling  its  M . Jay, "Scopic Regimes of Modernity." S. Lash and J. Friedman, eds., Modernity and Identity (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 178, my emphasis. For various explorations of this concept, see J. Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: B B C and Penguin, 1972); G. Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983); A . Pred, Recognizing European Modernities: a montage of the present (London: Routledge, 1995); D. Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989). For a feminist critique of these visual regimes, see R. Deutsche, "Boys Town." Evictions: art and spatial politics (Cambridge, M A and London, England: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 203244; M . Morris, "The Man in the Mirror: David Harvey's 'Condition' of Postmodernity." Theory, Culture and Society Vol. 9 (1992), pp. 253-279; C . Nash, "Reclaiming Vision: Looking at Landscape and the Body." Gender, Place and Culture 3.2 (1996), pp. 149-169; G. Pollock, "Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity." Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism and the History of Art (New York and London: Routledge, 1988), pp. 50-90; G . Rose, "Looking at Landscape: the uneasy pleasures of power. Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), pp. 86-112. 4  3  178.  face for non-native viewers. Many of these images aerial  photography  above  and  so  magnify  as  to  represent  their presence  the  in  were  produced through  engineering  space.  In  44  structures  from  detached,  two-  this  dimensional view, the dams looked neatly fitted into a space that had been cut up for them; they  appeared  to  be  gigantic  objects  standing  in a  "container" space. Gazing at those images, it is easy to forget that their presence  rearranges an entire geography, from an -environmental point of  view but also from a social and political one. There are several  important consequences  many of which can be inviting  and  explained  organizing  the  by  gaze.  its  this  visual discourse,  privileging of  Denis  emergence of perspective in fifteenth  of  Cosgrove  "perspective" in  has  discussed  and early sixteenth-century  the  Italy as  an appropriation of space relying on Euclidian geometry; this new visual language landscape  was  expressed  paintings.  45  in  European  art  Using perspective to  through quantify  the  emergence  space  of  and reproduce  it on the canvas, landscape paintings made a strong claim to "realism" by assigning to art a "mirror" function. It is worth noting that, in the context of  James Bay, this claim to realism  landscapes  that  circulated in  the  was  south  even  were  stronger  generally  because  photos.  In  the his  analysis of "the idea of landscape", Cosgrove has explained how the illusion of order can be maintained through the convention of realist vision and the controlling of pictorial space. This control slips from view  all the  more  Since I had become very familiar with this imagery, I felt an acute discrepancy when I visited LG-2 between the mental scale I had of the project and the one I experienced while on site. Seen in pictures, the structures had seemed much more gigantic. 4  4  D. Cosgrove, "Towards a Radical Cultural Geography: problems of theory." Antipode 15 (1983), p. 5. See also his "Prospects, Perspective and the Evolution of the Landscape Idea." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 10 (1985), pp. 45-62. 4  5  179.  easily  in  photographic  pointing,  framing  photographer  -  or  like  landscapes lighting  the  as  are  painter  the all  -  viewer active  creates  forgets  that  processes  an  angling,  whereby  image.  the  Two important  consequences of this control by the artist are that the flow of time appears suspended and the image seems directed at a single, external subject: It offers a view of the world directed at the experience of one individual at a given moment in time when the the constituent way  linked  to  forms is pleasing, uplifting the  observer's  arrangement of  or in some  psychological  state;  other  it  then  represents this view as universally valid by claiming for it the status of reality. The experience of the insider, the landscape  as  subject, and the collective life within it are all implicitly denied. Subjectivity viewer  -  is those  belong to it.  rendered the  property of  who control  the  the  landscape  -  artist  and the  not those who  46  To create this order, landscape imagery is usually devoid of human subjects. This was true in James Bay where the effort to showcase the engineering abstract  structures meant that they had to be represented against an  space  acting as  a backdrop.  The emptying of  space  gives the  illusion that the landscape exists solely for the enjoyment of the  viewer  and, more importantly, that it is fully available to such an individual. The presence which  of native people necessarily  partly  explains  their constant  would indicate their presence - from  D . Cosgrove, Social p. 20. 4  6  Formation  and  disrupts the illusion erasure - or that the  Symbolic  frame of  Landscape  of  of ownership, markers that  representation; clearly  (London: Croom H e l m ,  1984),  180.  this  happens  through  not  only  in  the . structures  management. landscape,  It is and  that  only  their  pictures  but,  enable  more  access  through the  significantly, to  resources  removal of  marginalization  in  the  in  practice  and  their  native presence  in  the  decision-making  process  involved in each step of the project, that James Bay and its resources could begin to be conceived as "belonging to all the Quebecois." By denying landscape  as  subject"  landscape  of  hydroelectricity  made  the  viewer  the  -  or  sole  rather  that  -  promotional  the  possessor of  subjects  this  could imagery  landscape,  "the  belong  in  of  project  the  as  well  as  the  its  consumer. This viewer had to be located outside the frame for the picture to take effect in this manner, therefore such a person could clearly not be a native of James Bay. Radically detached  from  its  internal  subjects,  the  landscape is finally rendered "portable", which is also a way of effecting a greater amount of control upon it. "As Martin Jay argues, this also  means  that  the  circulation of capitalist  landscape  and  what  it  depicts  can  portability "enter  the  exchange."  47  Nature as a standing reserve  The detached view from above represents James Bay not only as a portable landscape but, more pointedly, as one that can be "exported." The processes I have just described' which make the space of James Bay devoid  "John Berger goes so far as to claim that more appropriate than the Albertian metaphor of the window on the world is that of 'a safe let into a wall, a safe in which the visible has been deposited.' It was, he contends, no accident that the e m e r g e n c e of the invention (or rediscovery) of perspective virtually coincided with the emergence of the oil-painting detached from its context and available for buying a n d selling. Separate from the painter and the viewer, the visual field depicted on the other side of the canvas could become a portable commodity able to enter the circulation of capitalist exchange." Jay, Scopic, p. 182. 4  7  181.  of human presence also exemplify what that  the  North  was  constructed  as  I have  "wild  and  in mind rich"  development. If aerial photos displayed vast amounts they  also  natural  beautifully  resources,  hydroelectric  to  serve  the  most  structures  advantageously landscapes  showcased  showing  this  spectacular  themselves this  space  the  of unoccupied contained  in  of them being water. seemed  abundant  to  function  resource.  space,  terms  of  In fact,  the  props  for  as  Implicit  in  these  forcing  it  same way that the viewer is external to the  of hydroelectricity, so are  nature in these spectacular  suggesting  discourse of  is the power of technology in harnessing nature and humankind. In the  landscapes  what  by  when  shots.  humans perceived to  Thus,  the  visual  be  economy  external that  to  makes  James Bay a portable landscape also produces it as a "standing reserve." In "The Question modern  Concerning  technology  had  Technology",  strayed  from  contained in the Greek word techne,  Martin the  Heidegger  meaning  that  proposed was  that  originally  where the power of nature resides in  the bringing forth of its possibilities, and technology is the agent of that unconcealment: [Techne] reveals whatever does not bring itself forth and  does  not yet lie here before us, whatever can look and turn out now one way and now another. (...) Thus what is decisive in techne does not lie at all in making and manipulating nor in the using of means, but rather in the  aforementioned  revealing. It  is as  revealing, and not as manufacturing, that techne is a bringingforth.  48  M . Heidegger, 1977), p. 13.  4  8  The  Question  Concerning  Technology  (New Y o r k :  Harper  &  Row,  182.  Heidegger  emphasizes,  revealing:  "whatever  another."  49  through his can  look  notion  and  of techne,  turn  out  now  the one  uncertainty way  and  This uncertainty is seemingly resolved by controlling the  of now  image  of James Bay and representing it - as well as its nature - as a picture. For 50  Heidegger, uncertainty  Western science and technology of  revealing  through  its  typically does away with the  emphasis  on  manufacturing  which  transforms nature into a standing reserve. There is no better image of this concept  than  the  reservoirs  that  stand  behind  the  turbines  of  a dam,  gathering rivers and storing their waters so that they can be available demand for the production of electricity.  Similarly, the mining  below the surface of the territory must be imagined as  on  resources  standing reserve to  unlock what is a material but also a symbolic potential.  The lyricism of  Northern Conquerors concerning what riches James Bay may contain offers a good example of this: rendered in text, the region is no less conceived as a picture with its lavish descriptions dorado.  creating a mental  image  of this el  By representing James Bay as a vast empty space, and therefore a  wilderness,  the  landscape  imagery I have  described  is  a complement  to  text, and works in conjunction with it to set up the resources of the North as standing reserve. As a wilderness, James Bay is a space where there nothing to see stored  or  or imagine but  distributed."  51  what  should  The spectacular  be  "unlocked,  engineering  structures  transformed, hold and  handle water like so many concrete arms operating the La Grande  4  9  Ibid.,  is  river  pp. 13, 129-130.  I am referring to Heidegger's analysis of modernity as the "age of the world picture": "[W]orld picture, when understood essentially, does not mean a picture of the world but the world conceived and grasped as picture. What is, in its entirety, is now taken in such a way that it first is in being and only is in being to the extent that it is set up by man, who represents and sets forth." Heidegger, "The Age of the World Picture." Ibid., pp. 129-130, my emphasis. Ibid:, p. 16. 5  5  0  1  183.  like an "organic machine."  Once spectatorship becomes the  52  dominant way  of seeing James Bay rivers, and other resources, the need for their access and use  is  always  already  certainty that nature is because  it  is  inscribed as  wild increases  untouched  its  potential  an absolute.  its  Furthermore,  promise as a  yield  can  only  possibility - which the Cree and their allies have  the  standing-reserve:  be  greater.  struggled  to  The  express -  that nature could have limits, be tricky, unwieldy or not fully know able never  figures  in  the  spectacular  landscapes  of  production of nature, both visually, textually  development  and materially.  or the text, that constructs and orchestrates the view projects  and  their  The camera, itself  instead  like a passive mirror capturing what was always lying in wait to be seen and  known. Once again,  nature  operates  its  rhetorical  encompasses the idea of production but is always  magic:  perceived  it  as  never  the realm  where things just "are." And yet, as the spectacular images of a wild and 53  abundant  nature  harnessed  by  technology  emerged in Southern Quebec during the Western cultural construction James Bay was factor,  I  so  suggest,  carefully in  indicate,  powering  its  James  nineteen-seventies  "for and by" the constructed  the  as  a  material  Quebecois.  Bay  was  clearly a  The fact  "discourse"  was  impacts.  This  construction and its accepted meanings had force and currency mobilize the necessary agents that would divert rivers, flood vast  that  that  a strong cultural  enough  to  stretches  of land, destroy Cree ancestral sites and hunting grounds and secure for years to come, the production of one of the staples of Quebec's economy, which is electricity. I am borrowing the term from Richard White who used it to river. R. White, The Organic Machine: the remaking of the York: Hill and Wang, 1995). 5  2  See H . Lefebvre, "Nature and Nature Conquered." Introduction York: Verso, 1995), pp. 132-156. 5  3  describe the Columbia Columbia river (New to  Modernity  (New  184.  Tracks  The above processes  spell out a strange contradiction which is that  people living in the south of Quebec were disengaging from the space of James Bay at the same time as they were  being  introduced to  it. The  quantifying gaze of surveyors removed the body from the territory in the same  way  that  panoramic  separated the viewers  spectatorship  of  this  "grandiose"  from the spaces being viewed: in that  James Bay emerged as a particularly eurocentric geography,  nature  separation,  all  the while  projecting itself as universal and open to all who would take part in the project. Abstracting people and territory, the spectacular enframing of the North produced a geography of ownership where viewers were invited freely  include  community,  themselves which  Empowered  to  "see"  was  by  stepping  co-extensive  Northern  into with  resources,  the  fold  the  Bourassa  of  the  national was  to  national economy.  convinced  that  natives would readily join in his development project: "Indians must  take  notice of the whole situation and of the exceptional opportunities for their collective future that the economic represents."  54  windfall from  the  La Grande project  Yet the community, imagined as "all the  Quebecois",  that  would possess James Bay was in fact out of bounds for natives as long as they  wished  to  retain  and develop  their  own  interacting with the land, which was co-extensive  modes  of  seeing  and  with their own hybrid  economy. I now turn to these ways of seeing in order to problematize the dominant  visual  ideology  of  development  in  relation  to  Cree  cultural  perceptions of landscapes.  B o u r a s s a , La  Baie,  p. 130.  185.  Reading the land  Job said the rain would stop and in the early afternoon  it did.  We got out our equipment and went for a walk. Job took as lively and detailed an interest in every rock, tree and plant as we would in every shop if we were walking along the ChampsElysees.  Here, a porcupine had been  eating  at  the  topmost  branches of a tree. Lower down, see, even the beaver had been around, he had come for food. There a rabbit had left signs of his recent presence.  And over here, under this rock, is one of  those places he had told us about, where the bear goes looking for ants...  5 5  The first necessary step in comprehending a Cree relationship to the land is to decenter  dominant Western constructions  call into question their emphasis on vision. discussed  a Western framework of  separation  between  the  space  to  56  perception be  viewed  of  landscape  and to  Throughout this Act, I have which and  involves the  a  viewer,  cognitive which  is  reproduced in the geographical division between North and South. In this framework, James Bay was rendered as a spectacular space where  nature  and the people confronting it were seen to be "larger than life", giants in a country  of  gigantic  proportions.  For the  defricheur  to  become  a truly  national hero, the nature he must measure his strength against has to be of epic proportions. The qualities of heroes are proportional to the spaces in 5  5  Richardson, op.  cited, p. 172.  I am grateful to Susan Preston who discussed these questions with me and shared her own work on the role of landscape for the Eastern James Bay Cree. See S. Preston, Meaning and Representation: landscape in the oral tradition of the Eastern James Bay Cree (M.A. thesis, The University of Guelph, Ontario, 1999). 5  6  186.  which  these  landscapes  heroes  act  as  accomplish  spaces of  linked them closely  their  feats:  projection.  to the James  in  that  For local  sense,  cultural  Crees whose practices  Bay environment,  regional  landscapes  were also spaces of projection; yet these spaces were not generally known through  passive  spectatorship  yielding a different observer.  through  everyday  experience,  perception of their scale and relative  Furthermore, as  tradition  but  a  rather than vision  dominant has  been  mode the  of  distance  thus to the  cultural exchange,  principal  oral  form through which  landscape is perceived and signified. The emphasis on the spoken word in the form of storytelling readily stands in contrast with the visual language that was so instrumental to developers  during the years of construction to  familiarize non-local populations with the space of James Bay. In addition, it stands in contrast with the written form of the roman de la terre where the act of writing about the land effects a separation from it by locating the narrative inside the pages of a book. With orality as a dominant of  cultural  narrative, decenter  each  geographical  and writing literally takes place a  consideration versus  transmission,  Western not  active  understanding  only  embodied  the  mode  practice  -  locale  presents  "on the land."  of  landscape  of  experience  but also  the  then  has  -  passive  mode  of  form  its  own  The effort to  take  to  into  spectatorship signification  -  images and written text versus oral tradition.  oral  The experience of landscape that was expressed  by the Cree through  tradition was  mobility.  characterized by  movement  and  As  hunters  and gatherers, the Cree moved extensively across the land usually in small family  groups.  Hunting  families  regularly  travelled  several  hundred  kilometers in the fall and winter when they left gathering points to travel  187.  in  search  of  the  game  and fish  that  would  sustain  them through  the  seasons. Some groups remained on the coast through the year, identifying as "coasters" in contrast with the "inlanders" who travelled inland from the bay.  In the  57  summer, both would congregate  in  specific  locations  with  some of them eventually assuming the function of fur-trading posts as the Cree devoted part of their hunting production to commercial exchange with the Hudson Bay Company.  Over time, some of  58  these posts have  evolved  into the permanent villages that are now spread across the, Eastern James Bay  territory,  amounting  Eastmain, Waskaganish)  to  on  the  and six inland  Ouje-Bougoumou,  Mistissini,  settlements  villages  into  four  (Matagami,  Nemaska). offering  Coast  The  Western  (Chisasibi,  Waswanipi, Nemaska,  consolidation housing  amenities has altered the balance of subsistence activities effected  a  transition  to  accelerated  with  the  agreement.  Nevertheless,  wage-earning  advent  of  and  a  James  traditional practices  a  market Bay  Wemindji,  and  of  these  commercial  for the Cree and economy  and  that  Northern  was  Quebec  such as hunting, fishing and  trapping remain a central component of the Cree culture and experience of landscape. In these practices, physical movement is guided by the various signs a hunter can collect indicating the presence of animals in the environment, and inferring the trajectory they follow. Reading signs of the presence of animals  and moving across  the  land  are  interdependent  activities  that  make hunting possible. Not only does movement unfold in the course of a  T. Morantz, An Ethnohistoric Study of Eastern 1700-1850. (Ottawa: Canadian Ethnology Service, Canada, 1983), p. 12. 5  7  For an in-depth Morantz, op. cited. 5  8  study  of  fur-trading  James Bay Cree Social Paper No. 88, National  activities  in  the  area,  see  Organization, Museums of Francis  and  188.  day as  a result of this interpretation  of signs in the  landscape,  it  also  unfolds along the seasonal cycles which determine where animals are to be found  as well as the quality of the  land  surface,  which  can  hinder  or  facilitate travel. For the Crees, the ability to pursue traditional activities is dependent  not  merely on the  availability  crucial capacity to continue to read  of game  and  the landscape in a  fish  but  language  on that  the they  know. Working from oral recordings collected by her father (anthropologist Richard Preston)  in the  early nineteen-sixties, Susan Preston has analyzed  how "tracks" function as language: Tracks are language in the landscape. The signs by which hunter  the  knows who he is intersecting with in the landscape are  tracks left in the snow. Primarily  footprints,  tracks  evidence of vegetative browsing and damage,  as  also include well  as  fecal  remains. Tracks convey a vast amount of information: who is ahead, where they were and where they are going, what  their  condition is, how many there are, how long ago they  were  here,  how old they are, how fast they are moving, how heavy  and  how big they are by their footprint size and spacing of steps. Without  seeing the  person  themselves you can know them by  their tracks. It is the central way of knowing who is in the landscape  with  you. This  applies  about in the landscape, including persons,  and  atooshes  9  other  all the  "actors"  moving  humans, animals, spirit  (cannibal-monsters).  Preston, Meaning, p. 84. In her indicators of temporality and carriers activities, bird hunting among them, 5  to  5 9  study, Preston also looks at tracks as maps, of cultural values (pp. 70-119). Not all hunting involve the same tracking system.  189.  If Cree spatial practice fashions  a landscape  text in the oral tradition, Preston's study textual  from  Hunting,  the beginning  therefore,  unlike the  writes  Quebecois  as  hunters  and reads  roman de  that  is  shows  follow  he reads the  landscape  prey  animals  in  also signs.  is not  a different material  opening  have  is  through  the land and, in that way,  la terre, albeit  marks various  that  their  format. When Job Bearskin goes for a walk (see section),  rendered as narrated  left  quote on  of  this  his hunting  territory and forms a narrative of their movement  which helps him plan  his activities for the day. What I wish to stress is  that the profusion of  signs in the landscape and the reliance upon them makes the process of reading  - which necessarily entails a previous act of scripting  - a dominant  mode of interaction with the land for the Cree. That mode is not limited to hunting and can serve more generally to orient oneself across the land. One Cree man gives this testimony of traveling by skidoo with his father to reach a distant village: Along the way to Mistassini there were blazes on the trees. We would get onto a lake and I'd stop the skidoo. My father was riding behind me. I'd ask him, Which way now? He'd say, See that point there, you go around it, and you go into a little bay, and at the bay there's gonna be a rock. You go right along the rock, and the first tree you see there's gonna be a blaze on it. So we would go there and go along the rock, and the first tree we'd see would be dead, rotten, but you could see the old blaze on it. And all the way to Mistassini, going through all the lakes,  190.  he made only one mistake, when I didn't even fuck I was going...  know where the  60  In their efforts to guide themselves successfully across space, the two men remind us that James Bay is neither empty nor uninscribed  -  a blank  wilderness as the spectacular enframing of Northern Quebec suggests - but possesses other kinds of texts, which can only be read through the body. Whether for purposes of hunting or traveling, the ability to orient oneself by reading different  tracks in the landscape involves  which is  qualitatively different  landscape  through  spectatorship.  from  that  The  an act of looking  involved in the  crucial  point  here  Western ways of seeing consume and appropriate space through  the  spectacle  of  development,  the  experience is  that,  of  when  such as they did  attribution of  "emptiness"  to  James Bay is less a result of its relatively small, scattered population than of the inability of the body to occupy a space that is everywhere colonized by  the  eye  alone.  Promotional imagery  rendered  the  space  of  encouraging the contrast,  the  practices  that  The  different  James  Bay  as  a  detached contemplation of  Cree  experience  necessitated modes  of  an  of  the  to  series  of  with  urban views  populations from  above  this new national scenery. By  same  embodied  interaction  geared  space  engagement the  was with  environment  predicated  on  the territory. employed  at  different times by each party emphasize the importance of landscape as a culturally inflected experience in the production of space and geographical imaginaries. Perhaps more to the point, the above examples  show that geography  can be experienced as text and that the ability to continue to read 6  0  Richardson, Strangers,  its  p. 13.  191.  narratives  is  a  necessary  requirement  if  subjects  are  to  carry  on  the  cultural practices that define them as a people. In the same way that the defricheur the  physical  is supported by the textual matrix of the roman de la terre and space of  the Laurentian landscape  reiterated and recontextualized  as  it  continues  to  be  as a cultural symbol of the past, the Cree  hunter is supported by the land. That reliance on the land is rendered  all  the more crucial because cultural narratives rely less on text than on the land itself as their repository, this despite the fact that and  stories  predominant  now  appear  also  because,  traditional activities a  primary  means  in  print. with  Cree  and wage-earning of  maintaining  61  This  emphasis  people  several on  Cree tales  the  increasingly  land  juggling  in the market economy, hunting  cultural coherence.  As  is  is  Susan  Preston  argues, "the loss of a normal pattern of recognizable signs would  severely  There is an on-going project to develop a database of Cree historical and cultural knowledge as it relates to Cree territories in Quebec, starting with those of the Whapmagoostui band. This project includes a detailed survey of place-names (some maps have already been drawn with these names) and the gathering of supporting information such as stories, myths and land-use data. The database is testimony to the multiple layers of scripting that form Cree ancestral lands in Northern Quebec. In the words of the project's chief investigator, David Denton: "The names and stories are not abstract facts about the past. They are melded into a landscape that echoes these tales from the past which are heard, interpreted and reinterpreted as people travel from place to place. They are a cultural heritage, linking the community and its past to a myriad of points across the land and evoking sadness, mirth or wonder at the ancestors' experiences on that land. At the same time, they are a network of messages containing both practical information and a breath of spiritual and moral counsel. There is every reason to believe that the naming and story-telling tradition that created this network is still vital and dynamic. [N]ew names are still being added and, in years to come, new stories will likely become part of the traditional history tied to those places. The names and stories add an important dimension, whether this is called '"iterary" or "aesthetic", historic or spiritual, to Cree appreciation of their lands." Denton's description eloquently captures the deep cultural layering of place by the Cree. The effort by the Qu6becois of the South to recontextualize in James Bay a poetics of land originating from the St.-Lawrence valley can be viewed as an attempt to inscribe a similar cultural layer, and to make its dominant references seem less "out of place." See D. Denton, "The Land as an Aspect of Cree History." In G. Ioannou, ed., The Waters, the Land and the People: an anthology of writings on Hudson and James Bay (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Sierra Club of Canada, forthcoming). 6  1  192.  limit  the  ability  development experienced against  in by  to  know  the the  worldview. Queb6cois  region Cree,  their efforts  and participate effected  As I have  culture."  loss  way  these  wanted to  cultural landscapes  development  that  and in that  to integrate  in  at  a  rate  presented  changes  North as  never  strong  within  before  obstacles  their  stress by analyzing the  in the  Hydroelectric  62  traditional  production  a process  of "scripting",  rewrote in a profoundly material way the spaces known to  the Crees by changing  the  course  of  rivers  and altering  the  ecological  balance of the land. This is not an abstract argument about discourse, -is  it an appeal to  timeless  leave the  "essence."  environment  of  The  land untouched to  Cree  themselves  preserve  have  not  a  nor  purported  known  their  to be static in such a way and have long integrated dynamic  change into their culture and economy. Rather, this is an argument to take seriously  the  idea  that  landscapes  are  constructed  through different cultural filters that become of  recognition  and refusal  to  factor  hydroelectrical  development  in  the  and  experienced  taken-for-granted.  The lack  in these cultural filters  North  the  exclusive  has  purview  made of  one  culture - broadly understood as that of the Quebecois of French ancestry at the expanse of discourse  another,  of identity  that of  that is  strongly  the  Cree.  It has  created  a national  predicated on a culturally-specific  experience of territory. By making the North at once knowable and visible to  a  disembod