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Aboriginal tourism experiences in Abitibi-Témiscamingue

When Europeans set foot on the land now known as Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Anicinabe people have been there for more than 8,000 years. At the time, the Timiskaming and Abitibi came together, sharing their hunting techniques, beliefs, knowledge of medicinal plants and the harshness of winter. The two Aboriginal nations then saw French Canadians settle in and help them brave the cold and disease, and guide them through the vast wild forests. French Canadians and Anicinabek permeate each other, creating the Témiscabitibian identity through mutual influence. To learn more about the First Peoples of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, here are inspiring Indigenous tourism experiences.

A water-discovery route -Anisipi

Anisipi, a large light and interactive show, has three different main stops, including the tipi in Pikogan. This creation is a collaboration between Amos-Harricana Tourism, the Abitibiwinni community of Pikogan and Moment Factory. At the tipi, in an experience of video projection, sound and light, the Anicinapek tell their vision of the world.

We discover a universe where animals are considered brothers, where humans occupy a modest place and where the fragile balance of nature would be maintained. The faces of the Pikogan community animate the tipi. To live the experience, just sit in the big circle. We listen to the reflections of this people who have been roaming this territory for millennia thanks to Nanika, today known as Harricana.

Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue

More than three centuries ago, in 1720, the authorities of New France allowed the establishment of a first trading post on the present site of Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue.

Then, 177 years after the construction of the fort, Ville-Marie was born. Beyond the fort, there are now nearly six millennia of Aboriginal presence on the site! With the help of a guide, it is possible to step back in time to experience the theatre of commercial rivalries between fur traders for 200 years.

Karl Chevrier also spent the summer there to teach bark canoe construction, in the ancestral rules of art.

Karl Chevrier, pendant l'été, enseigne la construction du canot d'écorce selon les règles ancestrales. On peut voir son travail au Fort Obajiwan Témiscamingue, en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Il s'agit d'une très belle expérience de tourisme autochtone.
Photo : Louis Jalbert

Abitibiwinni : l’expérience algonquine

Discover how the knowledge, beliefs and love of the Algonquin communities, including Pikogan, are preserved and transmitted. In this sense, in the Abitibiwinnik community, it is possible to see an exhibition that recounts the history of these people. The exhibition presents a thousand-year-old occupation that has left its mark on a vast territory. The church of Pikogan, in the shape of a tipi, as well as the craft shop are two must-sees of this visit.

Skydreamer Studio – The creative studio of Frank Polson

Frank Polson Frank Polson is a multidisciplinary artist from the Long Point First Nation community in Winneway, Témiscamingue. His works are sold around the world and are exhibited across Canada.

For the past 25 years, he has been painting in the Woodland style, a style he has developed so that his modern touch respects tradition. This summer, it is possible to visit his creative studio in an intimate context.

To experience this immersion, it is important to call the studio to plan your visit. To book: 819 722-2054.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue Pow Wow Route

Let us also highlight the great festivals of First Peoples culture that take place in the communities of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Pow Wows are parties where sacred ceremonies take place, but also demonstrations of traditional dances, sometimes competitions, often songs and ancestral drums.

Everyone is welcome at these beautiful gatherings.

Here are some dates for 2024:

  • Pow Wow Abitibiwinni, in Pikogan - June 7-9, 2024
  • Lake Simon Pow Wow - July 20-21, 2024
  • Pow Wow Timiskaming First Nation, in Notre-Dame-du-Nord - Pow Wow Timiskaming First Nation, in Notre-Dame-du-Nord - Les 10 et 11 août 2024
Une danseuse portant une robe à clochette lors du Pow Wow Abitibiwinni de Pikogan, en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Les Pow Wow resprésentent des expériences de tourisme autochtone très spéciales à vivre.
Photo : Marie-Raphaëlle Leblond

In recent years, we have heard a lot about the reconciliation of peoples. This involves, among other things, the sharing and knowledge of traditions. To learn more about the First Peoples of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, open your horizon with these inspiring Indigenous tourism experiences.

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