The Mashteuiatsh Reserve is located on the western shore of Pekuakami, or Lac Saint-Jean, 6 kilometres (about 5 miles) from Roberval. Founded in 1856, it is the oldest Innu reserve. Before being named Mashteuiatsh, which means “where there is a point” it was already a passage and summer gathering place where fishing was often successful. The population of the community is of about 2100.
Around 6000 years ago, the Tshishennuatsh (Ilnuatsh ancestors) penetrated the heart of the Canadian Shield that had just been liberated from its glaciers. These newcomers occupied in its entirety a territory, well irrigated by the rivers which flow into the Saguenay and the Pekuakami (Lake St-John). The Pekuakamiulnuatsh, their descendants, have maintained over the years a nomadic life style in rhythm of the seasons.
Originally known as "Ouiatchouan", the community has been called Mashteuiatsh since 1985. For a long time, the popular name, “Pointe-Bleue” also designated the reserve's inhabited area.
Built on the shores of of the Lake St-John, the Native Museum has as its primary mission to promote further the development, to transmit the heritage to future generations.
If you stroll along the path exterior the museum, you’ll discover Nuhtshimitsh, in the Forest. Elaborated in four themes: shelter, travel, nourishment and medicinal, it allows the visitors to fill the sense of respect and harmony, profound values for the Ilnuatsh.
The community of Mashteuiatsh can be reached by route 169.