[CANADA] Meet the Atikamekw of Manawan in summer/fall

This first article is about a very special place to me. It is called Manawan.

A magic name for an incredible place: an indigenous community, home of the Atikamekw people, my second family. Atikamekw means “white fish”, one of those living in their amazing lakes. The Atikamekw are located south of the boreal forest, 88 km away from the nearest “white” village, accessible by track only, or by seaplane. During these past 4 years, I have lived there for almost half a year, sharing the lives of the Atikamekw people, almost as a real family member, covering all seasons.

The Atikamekw people are the people of birch bark, famous for their handmade canoes and baskets. They live in a village of more than 2,500 members, at the heart of boreal forest, surrounded by woods and thousands of lakes, where they still fish and hunt for subsistence {especially poor families who do not have jobs on the reserve}. From the beginning, I have been documenting and encouraging their attempt to save their natural and cultural heritage through ecotourism solutions. Through their Tourism Office, called Tourisme Manawan, they organize tours for travelers willing to live the authentic atikamekw lifestyle, on a private island at the heart of their ancestral territory. You can have a look at their package on our Destination page {Canada} and on the official website as well. Have a nice trip!

Additional info…

The Atikamekw people consist of about 6,000 members, divided into 3 communities or villages called “reserves”. They are one of the 11 indigenous nations in the Province of Quebec. They still speak their native language, one of the most preserved aboriginal languages in Canada. They are bilingual and speak French very well…with a particular accent (: They still hunt game such as moose, beaver, goose or partridge, pick blueberries in summer, which they eat with traditional bread called “banik”, and fish pike, gold “doré” fish and white fish.