Where history runs deep
The Ottawa River, which separates Quebec from Ontario, is named—like the region—after an ancient Anishnabe (Algonquin) band that occupied the territory at the time of the first European settlers. Two of the nine Algonquin communities live in Outaouais today and give life to the Anishnabe culture, which continues to thrive in a natural setting or near cities that still have Algonquin names.
In Algonquin, Outaouais means to buy or to sell, reminiscent of the era when bartering took place around the Ottawa River, a major tributary of the Saint Lawrence River. The word Anishinabe means first people. Still very attached to their traditional way of life, the Anishinabeg in Quebec continue to use their ancestral language, which is spoken by 60% of their population.