Cultural History of Mistissini

The history of Mistissini is one that is diverse and rich in culture. Like many of the Cree communities it is one with roots in trapping, fur trade, and a deep connection to the land. 

Main Sections of the Page

Cree Cultural Sites

Landmarks and Historical Sites 

Mista Cini Site

Located at the mouth of the Rupert River is the Mista Cini site. The rock from which our lake gets its name is one of many large glacial boulders that were deposited during the last ice age. 

Location

Mouth of the Rupert River 

Cultural Significance 

For the fur brigades, it is site where traditionally one would offer tobacco as a sign of respect. It is believed that the site had spiritual significance and would give safe passage for those entering the lake. 

Mantounouc

Mantounouc is an island that is both a geological and cultural landmark on Mistassini Lake. From a geological perspective it is a meteor site, for a large impact that occurred during the Protozoic Era millions of years ago. For the people of Mistissini, it is also an island that should not be pointed at. As story has it, it is believed that doing so will cause storms. 

Location

50°39’55.1″N 73°50’48.4″W

Passed the second narrows on the western side of Mistissini Lake

Cultural Significance 

For paddlers that would traverse Mistassini Lake, Mantounouc was an important landmark for setting up camp before travelling to the Rupert River. Its been used as a hub for navigation for hundreds of years. 

Waapushukamikw

Cave located on the northwest side of Blanche Hill, near the Témiscamie River and 7 kilometers from the southeast shore of Lake Albanel, in the north (administrative region of Nord-du-Québec). The site was once used for the stone and quartz that predominates the mountain for the making of arrowheads.

Location

7 Km’s from the Southeast Shore of Lake Albanel

Cultural Significance 

Early Jesuit and Catholic Missionaries noted that the Cree people that lived near the cave called it Thiché-manitou-Ouitchouapi or the house of the Great Spirit. The site held both spiritual and resource significance and had been developed into a den that could hold up to three families. 

The Rabbit House as it translates in Cree is a Canadian Heritage Archaelogical Site.

Legends and Stories

About Mistissini, and its People

The Boy Who Was Raised by Bears

A baby boy who was taken by a bear while his mom was blueberry picking. She had put the baby in a hammock near where she was picking berries and lost her baby boy from there. The boy lived with the bears. Traditional legend.

Storyteller

Tommy Neeposh | ᐧᑖᒦ ᓃᐧᐹᔥ

Audio File (EastCree.org)

Tommy Neeposh | ᐧᑖᒦ ᓃᐧᐹᔥ

Different Perspectives of History

We have brought together different ways of enjoying the history of Mistissini. Feel free to learn more about the different aspects of our community, people and the land that makes Mistissini unique.

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