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Cree Nation of Eastmain

Pronunciation East-main
Population 483
Location Mouth of Eastmain River
Other Names

Eastmain House

Founded at the site of a Hudson's Bay Company post. Traditional family hunting territories extended up Eastmain and Opinaca watersheds. James Bay Project water diversion out of the Eastmain and Opinaca Rivers has almost eliminated water flow at the mouth of the Eastmain River. Today the village has all-season road access.

Eastmain River was a tough paddling river in the 1960s and 1970s for its remoteness and the challenges of Prosper and Ross Gorges. Few recreationalists have had the opportunity to do river as the mid-portion was flooded and the lower river diverted into the La Grande River in the late 1970s. Hence Eastmain has not been a common stop for canoeists.

Sources: Grand Council of the Crees, Energy Mines and Resources Canada, Hudson's Bay Company Archives, Keewaydin Archives, Dan Carpenter Jr.. Cree Nation of Eastmain

Photo: Geese cooking in a Cree meechwap "The meechwap was warm and fragrant inside with a thick layer of spruce bows on the floor. There was a rack over the fire with the geese suspended. The old woman (on the right) kept twirling them with a stick so they would cook evenly. "

Dan Carpenter Jr., the photographer, on his 1973 visit.

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