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How do Indigenous communities in Canada balance the development needs of a growing population with cultural commitments and responsibilities as stewards of their lands and waters? Caring for Eeyou Istchee recounts the extraordinary experience of the James Bay Cree community of Wemindji, Quebec, who partnered with a multi-disciplinary research team to protect territory of great cultural significance in ways that respect community values and circumstances. This volume tackles fundamental questions: What is “environmental protection”? What should be protected? What factors inform community goals? How does the natural and cultural history of an area inform protected area design? How can the authority and autonomy of Indigenous institutions of land and sea stewardship – and the knowledge integral to them – be respected and reinforced? In answering these questions, Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributors present a comprehensive account of one of the world’s most dynamic coastal environments. More particularly, they demonstrate how protected area creation is a powerful process for supporting Indigenous environmental stewardship, and cultural heritage.