Processed in 2012 by James Weis.
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Margaret Weitzmann and Lucia Dailey donated materials in 2011 and 2012 to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, North Country James Bay Group Records, 1966-1998. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the North Country James Bay Group Records).
The James Bay hydroelectric project was an extensive build-up of hydroelectric power plants in the James Bay area and other nearby areas of Canada by Hydro-Québec. This multi-phase project began in 1972 with the construction of the first phase, the LaGrande complex. Nearly two decades later, plans for the multi-billion dollar James Bay II or Great Whale (Grande Baleine) River hydroelectric project called for the construction of dams, dikes, and reservoirs, the flooding of wilderness, removal of forest land, and the diversion of rivers. Similar action occurred with James Bay I. In light of environmental effects of the previous project and its negative impact upon the traditional lifestyle of the Cree people, the plans for James Bay II caused concern among native peoples of the area, scientists and environmental groups around the world. Plans were eventually stopped in the early 1990s after New York State withdrew from a billion dollar hydroelectric purchase agreement with Hydro-Québec in 1992 citing changed economic conditions, the Canadian government required Hydro-Québec to revise its environmental study prepared for James Bay II and the then Premier of Quebec, Jacques Parizeau, announced in 1994 that the project was being put on hold indefinitely.
The North Country James Bay Group was a New York-based grassroots organization dedicated to halting the development of the Great Whale River Project over concerns of a potential impact upon the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples living in the area and the argument that New York State did not need to purchase power from Hydro-Québec to meet its energy needs. North Country James Bay Group member Margaret Weitzmann, the principal donor of this collection, was a librarian and is now Faculty Emeriti for the State University of New York Potsdam campus. On behalf of the North Country James Bay Group, she spoke at public hearings, wrote articles and letters to the editor, attended and chaired conferences and participated in demonstrations against James Bay II.
The North Country James Bay Group Records document efforts of this upstate New York environmental organization to stop Hydro-Québec’s Great Whale (Grande Baleine) River/James Bay II development efforts in the early 1990s. This collection, donated by group members Margaret Weitzmann and Lucia Dailey, includes press releases, manuscripts and writings, fliers for rallies and events, conference materials, U.S. and Canadian newspaper clippings, statements made at public hearings, correspondence and subject files.