Cree Nation of Chisasibi
|Pronunciation||Tsa-see-bee or TCHEE-sa-see-bee|
|Location||Upstream from the mouth of the La Grande River|
The original community lived at Ft. George, located on an island on the La Grande River. After the start of the James Bay Project, the people were told the increased water flow from upstream river diversions would wash the island away. Construction began in 1978 and In 1980, the community was relocated upstream on the south shore of the river. This community has been the most negatively affected by the hydro-electric projects as the prime family hunting grounds have been flooded. Traditional hunting territories extended up the La Grande River watershed. Today, it is the largest Cree community of the nine nations.
The empty village of Fort George in the morning fog.
Former Home of Chisasibi Residents
|Location||Island in the mouth of the La Grande River|
|Other Names||Big River, Great River, Shayseppy, Keeshay|
|Ft. George was founded around a Hudson's Bay Company post. Even when told by Hydro-Québec that the community would erode into Hudson Bay from the larger flow of the La Grande diversions, three families refused to leave. Ft. George is still there today, unfaded by the bigger current, but nearly a ghost town. Like other old villages, some have returned seasonally, sometimes building, sometimes maintaining old family dwellings.|
Cemetery at Fort George still
maintained by Chisasibi
Photos: Brian Back
|Sources: Grand Council of the Crees, National Atlas of Canada, Hudson's Bay Company Archives|
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