Mistissini History and Culture

Essay by Mike DoeB, March 1997

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

The Crees of Mistissini have resided in the Mistassini Lake area since time immemorial. In the early 1800's, the community of Mistissini's actual location was just a summer encampment due to the establishment of the Hudson Bay Company fur trading post on sight. The North West Company and other fur traders were also in the vicinity and can be considered contenders in the fur trade with the Hudson Bay Company in those days.

Apart from Mistissini Crees there were neighbouring Cree hunting groups such as the Nitchigoun, Neoweskaau, and even some Nemaska people whom eventually came together to make up the Mistissini population in the 1930's. The government assistance began in the early 1940's providing food rations and eventually clothing allowance. It wasn't until the early 1960's that the government assistance was fully in place for the Mistissini Crees.

The James Bay Agreement was signed on November 11, 1975 giving the Crees of the region opportunity of further development in their respective communities.

Progressing over the years in many ways the community of Mistissini has developed to what it is today.

Some important dates in the history of Mistissini

7200 - 6700 years ago - Deglaciation of the Mistissini area.

6000 - 4500 years ago - The initial First Nation occupation of the Mistissini area probably occured during this period. The Mistissini area has probably been occupied continuously from at least 4500 to the present. Some Mistissine Innu dispute these dates, suggesting that their ancestors have always lived here.

4500-4000 years ago - Colline Blanche, located on the Temiscamie River, began to be used as a source of stone for the manufacture of stone tools. Archeologists found this high quality stone in sites located in many parts of Quebec and into northern New England.

early 1600s AD - Having long...