Culture and history

Long before the arrival of the European settlers, Mistissini Crees were surrounded by the forests, lakes and streams of North Central Quebec and for centuries, these resources have provided the staples of their economic and cultural subsistence: fur, fish, and game. Hunting, gathering, fishing and trapping have been a major part of Cree seasonal pursuits for generations, and many of these traditions continue today. The Cree language is spoken often in this region, and Cree syllabary is in use throughout the community.


Mistissini, Cree for “big rock”, was formerly referred to as Mistassini or Baie du Poste. Developing in the 1800s with a Hudson Bay Company fur trading post, throughout the 1900s with government assistance and in 1975 with the James Bay Agreement, the region has expanded into a vibrant community of 3,500 Cree, English and French speakers. The Mistissini Crees cherish their rich cultural heritage, vital present and vibrant future.



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.


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