Committed to a lifestyle and economic development that respects traditions and the environment, the Atikamekw are masters of bark work, canoe-making, and of making blueberry gummies and maple syrup! Their name means “white fish.”
Manawan, a tranquil community of 2,000 inhabitants, is in the beautiful Lanaudière region. Its name means place where we gather eggs. In the past, the Atikamekw gathered eggs from migratory birds for food. Interesting fact: the Atikamekw have 6 seasons. Nipin (summer), Takawakin (autumn), Pitcipon (pre-winter), Pipon (winter), Sikon (pre-spring) and Miroskamin (spring).
Located on the north shore of the Gouin Reservoir about 140 km south of Chibougamau, is the Atikamekw community of Opitciwan, formerly known as Obedjiwan. Opitciwan, in Atikamekw, means current of the strait.
In this Atikamekw community, the local economy is based on arts and crafts, forestry, outfitting and trapping. The Hudson’s Bay Company even used to have fur trading posts in the area. Most of the community members still speak Atikamekw as their first language. Atikamekw is the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Quebec.