Bury My Heart at James Bay

The world's most extensive hydropower project has already disrupted rivers, wildlife and the traditions of Quebec's Indians. Is it really needed?

The Cree village on the Canadian island of Fort George never had many full- time residents: most of the 1,000 inhabitants were subsistence hunters and trappers who would spend months in the bush. But today the place is a virtual ghost town. Following the construction of huge hydroelectric dams upstream, almost all the villagers were relocated because of fears that torrents of water would erode their island, which lies at a vulnerable spot where the La Grande River meets James Bay in Quebec province.

The Crees who moved to nearby Chisasibi now have electricity, running water and ties to the outside...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!