populous and widely distributed of the Native North
American linguistic stocks, originally comprising
several hundred tribes who spoke nearly 50 related
Algonquian people occupied most of the Canadian
region south of Hudson Bay between the Rocky Mountains
and the Atlantic Ocean and, excluding certain territory
held by Siouan and Iroquoian tribes, that section
of what is now the United States extending northward
from North Carolina and Tennessee.
Algonquian tribes inhabited various isolated areas
to the south and west, including parts of what are
now South Carolina, Iowa, Wyoming, and Montana.
best-known Algonquian groups include the Algonquin,
from which the stock takes its name, Amalecite,
Conoy, Cree, Delaware,
Fox, Gros Ventre, Kickapoo,
(Sauk), Shawnee, Tête
de Boule, and Wampanoag.
of the principal Algonquian confederacies were the
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numerous bands that inhabited the area between the
territories of the Montagnais and the Chippewas
(or Ojibwas), and south
of the present city of Ottawa, were called Algonkins
by Champlain and other seventeenth-century writers.
They and the Montagnais
were allies of the French in their conflicts with
Dictionary of Canadian Biography"," G. Brown","
bontoyeg kidatsokanan, kiga onikemin kajibikinamagoyeg...
we cease sharing our stories, our knowledge becomes
Anishnabek, known in the academic world as
the Algonquin, never called themselves Algonquin.
We, the People called ourselves Anishnabek and had
names that specifically referred to where we came
from. For example, Kitigan Zibi Anishnabek means
Garden River People, and Kitiganik Anishnabek means
generations, much has been taken from us. Today,
we still encounter problems with the government
and corporations cutting down our forests and taking
our land. With technology and institutions overlapping
our world, how we run our communities is affected.
We forget where we come from, which in turn affects
our stories. "Our brothers and sisters, the animals,
are leaving us and there is a risk of losing our
connection to them." Those of us who remember and
follow our teachings will continue to survive through
the stories, the ceremonies and our love for the
spiritual people, it is in these stories and in
our ceremonies that we have gathered strength, learned
about ourselves and the connection we have to Ni-djodjomnan,
Aki (Mother Earth). If we stop sharing our stories,
our knowledge becomes lost.
could be made from any material, including
birchbark, wood and stone. Whatever the
material, pipes helped to bring knowledge
and peace of mind. This particular one is
in the form of a miniature moose call.
etching tells the story of the Water People,
the Panabekwek and Panabek . . . the Merfolk,
who are half human and half fish. Each symbol
is like a page in a storybook.
of Civilization, Ottawa, Canada
OF CMC ARTIFACTS: Richard Garner, Harry Foster
Algonquin language is at the base of the larger
Algonquian linguistic group. As with the Ojibway
and Cree languages, also of Algonquian stock, and
Inuktitut, Algonquin is among those rare Native
languages in North America with a very good chance
of surviving and even progressing in the future.
Today, more than 60% of the total Algonquin population
in Quebec speak their language. The name Algonquin
developed out of the terms used to speak about a
certain method of fishing, and can be interpreted
as meaning "from where we harpoon fish and eel."
population of the Algonquin Nation in Quebec is
estimated at 7,980 people, with roughly 4,490 residents
in one or the other of the nine Algonquin communities.
documents from the beginning of the European presence
in North America indicate that the Algonquins use
to live along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence
River. Historical circumstances led them to make
their present-day home in the Abitibi-Timiskiming
and Outaouais regions.
It is an understatement, but, as was the case for
most aboriginal peoples, Algonquin society was greatly
affected by the arrival of the Europeans on their
ancestral lands. Part of the Algonquin response
to this situation was to retreat farther and farther
inland, to the less occupied areas of what were
to become known as Quebec and Ontario.
nine communities now established in southwestern
Quebec include Abitibiwinni,
Village (Kipawa), Kitcisakik,
Lake. There are also two communities in neighboring
Ontario: Golden Lake and Wahgoshig.
(The links direct to the First Peoples-Native Trail
most other First Nation communities, the
territory of Kitcisakik is not an Indian
Reserve, as legally defined by the Indian
Act. It is, what can be termed, an "Indian
settlement" and goes by the name of Grand
Lac Victoria. The territory is located
66 km southwest of Val d'Or, at the mouth
of the Outaouais River, where it flows
into Grand Lac Victoria.
surface area of the Grand Lac Victoria
settlement is 12.14 hectares. Highway
117 is 17 km to the east of the settlement,
and the territory can also be reached
by canoe from the Dozois Reservoir. There
are around fifty camp sites on the territory,
usually inhabited from May until September,
but there are no road networks, nor any
permanent residences on the settlement.
are nearly 330 people in the community
of Kitcisakik. This Algonquin community
is the only remaining nomadic people of
any native community in Quebec.
is one of the nine communities that make
up the Algonquin Nation in Quebec. In
Algonquin, " Kitcisakik " means "big opening",
a reference to the mouth of a river, such
as the opening of the Outaouais River
onto Grand Lac Victoria. The territory
is considered an Algonquin ancestral meeting
ground. With no legal jurisdiction as
a reserve, the lands are officially the
property of the province of Quebec.
principal languages spoken in the community
are Algonquin and French.
community has its own band council for the administration
of local affairs. From 1980 to 1991, the Algonquin
Council of Western Quebec represented the collective
political interests of all the communities in the
province. Two organizations have since grown out
of this association, in order to handle the shared
interests of specific communities. Abitibiwinni,
Eagle Village (Kipawa), Kitigan Zibi, Lac-Simon
and Long Point are part of the Council of the Anishinabeg
Algonquin Nation. Three other communities, Barriere
Lake, Timiskaming, and Wolf Lake are associated
in the Algonquin Nation Programs and Services Secretariat.
Kitcisakik, the only remaining nomadic people of
any native community in Quebec, has a band council
but is not part of either regrouping of the Algonquin
Nation in Quebec. The Algonquin Development Association
was created in 1991, to play a part in the economic
improvement of certain communities. The Maticieeia
Society has the same role in terms of cultural development
and the promotion of the Algonquin language.
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