My trip to the place the Innu call Mushuanipi on the George River in the Innu lands of northern Quebec was amazing! Flying for seven hours in a small Cessna float plane from near Quebec City all the way to the George River gave an incredible opportunity to see a vast transect of Quebec’s Boreal Forest though the bumpiness on the first leg of the trip gave me a bad case of nausea and my body shut down and went to sleep for a while.
We stopped to refuel at a float plane base on the giant reservoir Manic-5 and then at the community of Schefferville near the Labrador border, both times giving me a chance to regain my queasy stomach. The landscape of the final hour of flying reminded me of parts of the Northwest Territories that I have flown over. There was no sign of human activity as far as the eye could see and thousands of lakes, ponds, and rivers. In many places you could see the trails left by generations of migrating caribou through peat bogs and tundra meadows.
When we arrived at the George River and looked down to see the striking white tepees of the encampment on a high point overlooking the river it was like the plane had somehow also traveled backward in time.
I will write more about the birds, wildlife, plants and the stories we learned of Innu cultural ways but in the meantime I will post here some of the photos and video of the trip:
Credit: Jeff Wells