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Cree Nation of Chisasibi

Pronunciation Tsa-see-bee or TCHEE-sa-see-bee
Population 2,715
Location Upstream from the mouth of the La Grande River
Other Names

Ft. George

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.

Photo: Fort George in fog

The empty village of Fort George in the morning fog.

 Ft. George

Former Home of Chisasibi Residents

Pronunciation  —
Population 3 families
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.
Photo: Ft George cemetery

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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