Aboriginal Communities

Aboriginal communities is also about mayor Denis Coderre who, in 2017, announced the addition of a white pine to the flag and to the coat of arms of the City of Montreal.


An Eastern white pine described as the Great Tree of Peace by our Aboriginal Communities and the symbol of the Great Peace.

Also in 2017, mayor Denis Coderre announced that Amherst Street named after British general Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) was to be renamed. Amherst who, as an officer of the British Army supported the genocide of the Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples.

Two years later, mayor Valérie Plante confirmed that Amherst Street has been renamed and is now Akateken Street, a Mohawk word that symbolizes fraternity and peace.

The Innu Peoples of the Immensity

The Innu Peoples of the Algonquian family are one of the most populous Aboriginal nation in the province of Québec. Seven of the nine Innu communities are located in the Côte-Nord, while the two others are located in Lac-Saint-Jean near Schefferville. 


The nine Innu communities are Essipit, Pessamit, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, Ekuanitshit, Natashquan, Unamen Shipu, Pakua Shipi, Matimekush and Mashteuiatsh. Innu is spoken by the majority of the Innu Peoples and French is their second language. 

Nine Innu communities who differ from one another. Differences related to their geographical location, the size of their community and their socio-economic development. Their main economic activities include retail, outfitting establishments and activities related to hunting and to traditional fishing and trapping. Innu outfitters offer a large variety of outdoor activities.

The Innu traded freely with the Europeans who called them Montagnais because they lived in the low mountains of the North Shore. Innu means "human being" in their Innu-Aimun language and they never refer to themselves as Montagnais.

The Maliseet Peoples of the Beautiful River

During the 17th century, the nomadic Maliseet Peoples were offered a land in Viger located in the lower part of the St-Lawrence region. Interestingly, they preferred their freedom and dispersed throughout Quebec.

The Canadian Maliseets have not regrouped into communities yet except for the Viger Maliseet, the smallest Aboriginal community in Canada. It is only in 1987, after an extensive research that some of the remaining Maliseets reunited, formed the Malécites de Viger Nation and elected their first Band council and Band concillors.


The Maliseets speak French and some speak English. 

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Maliseets started their involvement in commercial and food fisheries. After having obtained many different fishing permits, a committee was formed. They now operate a commercial fishing enterprise and are busy diversifying their economy and developing their regional partnerships.

Nowadays, and among its many responsibilities, the committee coordinates the commercial and food fisheries, looks after human resources, recruits and trains new personnel, implements policies on fishing practices...

The MicMac Peoples of the Sea

Also interesting are the MicMac Peoples who, during the 16th century, were the first to encounter European newcomers. Their fishing and navigation skills just so happened to be invaluable to the explorers and the traders who had just arrived in our climate and immensity. MicMac Peoples who still practice their traditional salmon fishing.


Nowadays, the MicMacs maintain and promote their history through the development and the conservation of their ancestral sites. MicMacs who share close ties with other Indigenous Peoples such as the Maliseets. 

Interestingly, the Grand Council of the MicMac established long before the arrival of the Europeans is still their traditional governement although its political power has since been restricted by the Canadian legislation. A Grand Council who acts as a spiritual authority and whose members advocate, promote and preserve the traditions, the language and the culture of the Miꞌkmaq nation.

The Innus, the Maliseets and the MicMacs. Three out of 10 Indigenous or Aboriginal communities, plus the Inuit who live in Inuit Nunangat, the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and Alaska.

Montreal TOURISM Kit
Aboriginal Communities by Rachel Louise Barry