Mistissini, Quebec Canada

Discovering Mistissini, Quebec: A Blend of Natural Beauty and Rich History

Mistissini, Quebec, a Cree town known in the native language as ᒥᔅᑎᓯᓃ/Mistisinî (meaning Big Rock), is a hidden gem nestled in the south-east corner of the largest natural lake in Quebec, Lake Mistassini. This town, located within the boundaries of the Baie-James Municipality, is the second largest Cree community, boasting a population of 3,731 people as of 2021. The expansive surface area of the town, which spans 807.75 square kilometres (311.87 sq mi), is classified as Category I land under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.

Mistissini, Quebec: A Hub of Cree Governance and Business

Mistissini is a significant part of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Regional Authority. The town is also the headquarters of the Cree School Board and the Cree Construction Company, making it a bustling hub of Cree governance and business.

Exploring Mistissini, Quebec: A Gateway to the Wilderness

Located about 90 kilometres (56 mi) north-east from the town of Chibougamau, Mistissini is easily accessible via a paved road. The town is home to a fishing lodge equipped with 20 rooms and a restaurant, making it an ideal gateway for those seeking to explore the wilderness of Quebec.

The Rich History of Mistissini, Quebec

The Cree have inhabited the Rupert River watershed area and the surroundings of Lake Mistassini for centuries. French explorers and traders began to venture into the area in the 17th century, and by the latter half of that century, a trading post was established on Lake Mistassini. The location of the post varied until 1821, when the Hudson's Bay Company set it up at the current village site.

The trading post was initially supplied by canoe brigade from Rupert House (now Waskaganish) up the Rupert River or through Neoskweskau (a former Cree site) on the Eastmain River. The travel route shifted to the south - first through Oskelaneo when the railroad was built in 1910, and later through the Lac Saint-Jean area. The road finally reached Mistissini in 1970.

Over the years, Mistissini and the various posts in the area have been known by several names, including "Maison Dorval", "Patagoosh", "Abatagoushe", "Mistassini", and "Baie-du-Poste". This rich history adds to the allure of Mistissini, Quebec, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in the intersection of natural beauty and cultural heritage.