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 Nitchequon

Closed HBC Post

Pronounced NITCH-e-kun
Population 0
Location Lac Nichicun
Other Names Nichicun, Nichikun

First established as an inland post of the Hudson's Bay Company, its full history is not known, but it is believed to have operated for most of the periods 1816-22, 1825 and 1834-1943. 

Nitchequon was located far east beyond the headwaters of the Eastmain River on Lac Nichicun, in an area once considered Labrador. Because it bordered on Naskapi territory, some residents were Naskapi. It was one of the remotest trading posts in eastern North America, located near the center of what is today Quebec and Labrador. It was supplied out of Rupert House using the Rupert Brigade for most of its discontinuous life until 1925. After that, until about 1943, brigades may have come out of Mistissini. Spring breakup was so late, fall freeze-up so early and the journey so long, the brigade could barely make the round trip to Rupert's House or Mistissini. The Post was simply uneconomical to the HBC and it was closed in 1943.

In 1945, the federal government established an aeradio station (today known as a flight service station) there, along with a simple airstrip. The station's primary job was to provide air-traffic control and weather information for pilots in the region. With air as a replacement to the brigades, the HBC post was re-opened about 1950.  After the HBC closed the post for the last time, possibly in the 1960s, most of Cree residents went to Mistissini.  In 1986, the weather station was closed and today it is a ghost town.

Sources: Hudson's Bay Company Archives, Cree-Naskapi Commission, Alex Perkins, Maurice Brochu

Photo: Nitchequon,2001 July 2001

 

Photo: Alex Perkins

 

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