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The Call of the West
Spread out over a vast territory (covering over 65,000 square kilometres), the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Outaouais regions have been home to the Anishinabeg, who are Algonquin, since the 13th century. The nine Quebec Algonquin communities are either close to the region’s logging and mining towns or totally isolated :
Eagle Village Kipawa Grand-Lac-Victoria Kitigan Zibi Lac-Simon Pikogan Wolf Lake Rapid Lake Timiskaming Winneway
There, they maintain the Aboriginal people’s ancestral bond with the Earth. The living presence of the Anishinabe culture is revealed in the place-names. Abitibi, in Algonquin, means “where the waters part” due to the region being located on a water divide, or “halfway water,” due to Lake Abitibi being located between the St. Lawrence River and the Hudson Bay.
Outaouais is said to be derived from an Algonquin word meaning “to buy and sell,” for trading was an important activity for the Algonquins. Anishinabe means “real man” in Algonquin. The native language of the Anishinabeg of Quebec, who have remained close to their ancestral and traditional lifestyle, continues to be spoken among 60% of their people.