1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

North Country James Bay Group Records


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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.


North Country James Bay Group
Date Coverage:
1.2 cubic ft. (about 1.2 boxes)

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.

The collection is organized alphabetically. There are no series.

Archivists transfered several multi-volume reports, including the Great Whale Environmental Assessment and Hydro-Québec’s Grande Baleine Complex Feasibility Study to Cataloging for inclusion in Minerva, the University Library catalog. After being cataloged, they will reside in the book division of Special Collections.

Margaret Weitzmann and Lucia Dailey donated materials in 2011 and 2012 to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Processed by: James Weis

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2018-03-06 06:23:39 -0500

Jodi Boyle added new files from 2012 accession., 2012 December 28

Encoded in EAD by James Weis, 2012

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

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.

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).

Contents of Collection



1 1Background Information on the Conformity and Quality Review of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Great Whale ProjectUndated


1 2Communications and Outreach1989-1994, 1997-1998, Undated


1 3Conference, Albany 19941993-1994, Undated


1 4Conference, Cornell 19911991


1 5Confernece, Montreal 19971997, Undated


1 6Correspondence from NYPA to Luke Dailey1991-1992


1 7Correspondence, M. Weitzmann1989-1994, 1997-1998, Undated


1 8Current Issues: James Bay, Hydro-Québec and the Relationship with New York State1991


1 9Draft Guidelines for the Environmental Impact Study of the Great Whale Hydroelectric Project1992


1 10-11 Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Great Whale Hydroelectric Project 1992


1 12Fliers and Pamphlets1990-1992, 1997, Undated


1 13-14Hydro-Québec Publications1989-1991, 1993


1 15Journal Articles1974, 1986, 1990-1992


1 16League of Women Voters1990-1992, Undated


1 17 Les Lignes a 735KV Baie James 1977


1 18-19New York State Reports and Environmental Review1992


1 20-21Newspaper and Magazine Articles1979, 1982, 1985-1986, 1988-1994, Undated


1 22Newspaper, Full Text1988, 1991-1992, Undated


1 23-26Newspaper Items, Quebec/ James Bay1990-1994


1 27Press Releases1989-1994


1 28P.R.O.T.E.C.T1993-1994


1 29-30Public Hearings, Testimony, and Supplemental Materials1990-1995, Undated


1 31Published Articles by Margaret Weitzmann1990-1991


2 1Statement of Concerns and Recommendations for Protection and Enhancement Measures1975


2 2 Surface Water Data, Ungava Bay Drainage (1954-1963) 1966