Kash

Our History and Culture

Kashechewan First Nation brings an understanding of the relationship of people, lands and resources as their foundation for planning and way of life. As expressed in words below, all of these concepts will be brought out and integrated into the land use plan as a set of principles to be prepared, structured and balanced properly in planning by Kashechewan First Nation.

Kashechewan Crees have lived in these Lands and used the James Bay (Weenee-peg-kook) waters and surrounding rivers and lakes for generations.

Our ancestors - We have been and continue to be custodians and stewards of the lands and waters and all their resources. We multiplied and spread across a vast territory.

Our Cree origin taught us spirituality and everything we needed for our holistic wellbeing through kinship, language, culture, history, and traditional governance practices.

Our relationship to the lands and waters are an integral part of our cultural and economic existence and we are a part of this land.

Our Elders passed on oral and pictographic knowledge of the traditional values and teachings to guide our responsibilities in the safe keeping of our homeland to sustain our resources of life for future generations. There are elders alive today who still remember this knowledge and history and pass down orally this way of life and existence.

In the summer of 1905 at She-Ban-Nuck (Old Post) Albany River, Treaty No. 9 Nation to Nation treaty was orally agreed to and signed, and nothing would be changed and the people would continue to harvest and survive from the resources of the land as they had for countless generations. It means our children continue to learn the ways of their ancestors and that Cree is the language of the land.

We never agreed to draw our territory on a piece of paper and never surrendered our rights and resources to this territory.

In the year 1957, some members moved to the north shore, building tents and cabins on reserve no. 67. This move was based on better services of housing, education, health and infrastructure and today, known as Kashechewan.

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The Naming Of Our Community

 

It all started when the commissioner landed at the old Albany post in the island across from were we are now, which was in 1905. In 1912, the commissioner hired some people from the community to work with the surveyor, to make boundary lines for our reserve. The people then understand everything verbally what the government plans are, and then had written down what was brought to them by word of mouth. In between the years 1956 and 1957 the commissioner was back again, to give treaty money for everyone present at the old post. People complained to him about the problems, especially the Hudson Bay manager, about flooding. It came that the chief and council made noise to the government. They demanded that they need a better place to settle. The commissioner conducted research around for the community to find a better location to settle. He came to offer this location, where we now are. Community members didn’t agree, saying that it is too low still and insisted inland further up river would be better. The government said that the barge wouldn't be able to come further inland, due to shallow water. Our elders agreed in principle. If this floods than they would have to go further inland the government stated at the time.

 

Now the story about Kashechewan, when they relocated to here from Old Post or Old Albany, There was problems arose within the mail. The Anglican minister mailed wine up in Fort Albany, where Fort Albany now exists. He asked the elders what name they'll give to this new community. They talked and discussed this, and one elder said, what does Albany mean in Cree? The Anglican minister said it was the name of the river. When the first government came, they said “As long the sun shines, the grass grows, and as long as the river flows, my promise will live on”. So they agree to name this community kakegachewan meaning “water flows forever”. This was the simple promise of the government of 1905. It then became Kashechewan because of the way the non-native pronounced it. So Fort Albany claimed that they are living in the reserve, and claim that we were just living like a satellite community.

"Kashechewan" has no real meaning in Cree. 

- Leo Friday, Oral History

Cultural Immorality

The Cree people of Kashechewan First Nation has a unique culture and traditions in the community. It is rich and it has been our lands and people for time of immemorial. It is important to know that the cultural activities, practices, and principles is an aspect that is gifted in our soul as Cree people. You will see many community members inheriting culture skills whether that’s through art, building, and harvesting.

 

Associated Activities:

  • Community Powwow’s

  • Community Round dances

  • Culture Gatherings

  • Indigenous Day

  • Local Drummers

  • Hand Drumming

  • Land based healing, gatherings and activities (Snowshoe walk, ice fishing, etc...)

  • Ceremonies

 

Community Members Skills:

  • Harvesting (Trapping, Hunting, fishing, etc..)

  • Carving

  • Artist

  • Tamarack making

  • Bead work (Medallions, lanyards, keychains, ear rings, etc..)

  • Dream Catcher making

  • Hand Drum making

  • Log building (Nimisuk Women’s Center)

  • Incorporating Natural Resources

  • Teachings (Treaty, Seven sacred, how to fish net, etc..)

  • Medicine (Labrador tea, toothache, cleansing, etc..)

 

Language is very important as Kashechewan is very fluent in Cree, it is also written through syllabics. English is the second language. Cooking traditionally through wild meat is also a big thing in the community as it’s been our main dish for centuries. It has been passed down through generations to generations.

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