Small Town, Big History: Waskaganish 350 in photos

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Photos by Ian Diamond

For four days in February the community of Waskaganish became the centre of all Eeyou Istchee as it commemorated its 350th anniversary.

The community traces its modern history back to 1668, when Europeans arrived on its shores aboard the British Royal Navy ketch HMS Nonsuch.

Not long after that first contact a trading past called Rupert House, now known as Waskaganish, would become the centre of an empire built on the fur trade.

Because of its unique history, the community holds a special place in not only in Cree history but that of Canada and North America.

The four-day celebration kicked off with an artisan and crafts fair that ran through the festival. The fair was accompanied with traditional artisan workshops like hide tanning, snowshoe making, and net weaving.


The first day also saw the community come together for a beaver and rabbit skinning followed by a feast. Day two saw several events take place including a snowshoe race and an old timers’ hockey showdown.

On February 24, Waskaganish community performers shared the stage with well-known stars such as singer Mariame Hasni and Moose Factory’s Country Mayhem.

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