Baie-Johan-Beetz, residency location during the project, summer 2016. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Nature exploited as ressource, hydroelectric dam construction site, La Romaine, Minganie, 2016. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Nature protected as heritage, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, 2016. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Names of islands (Innu and French), Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, in "Origine et formation de la toponymie de l'archipel de Mingan", Georges Gauthier-Larouche, Commission de toponymie, 1981. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Detailed map of Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve with Innu identification of the territory, "Origine et formation de la toponymie de l'archipel de Mingan", Georges Gauthier-Larouche, Commission de toponymie, 1981. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Cleaning of the banks of the Mingan Archipelago with Parks Canada, 2016. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Garbage collected on the banks of the Mingan Archipelago, 2016. Photo : Demetrio Sabatini.

Rifle cartridges picked up on the banks of the Mingan Archipelago with Parks Canada, 2016. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Innu translation of the term "baggage" sent by Lydia Mestokosho-Paradis.

Workshop organized with La Boîte Rouge vif, April 2017. Photo: Devon-Lee Rich.

Reproduction of a traditional Innu camp made by Anastasia Nolin, workshop participant. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Transport bags made by Anastasia Nolin. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Compass and maps of Charles Kavanagh, workshop participant. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Innu traditional tools from Adèle Bellefleur, workshop participant. Photo : Olivier Bergeron-Martel.

Notes from workshop participants. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Notes from workshop participants. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Ekuanitshit, June 2017. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

With Patrick Michel in Ekuanitshit. Photo : Michel Paquette.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Ekuanitshit, installation of the traditional Innu tent. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Traditional Innu stove made in Ekuanitshit for the bivouac-exhibition. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, June 2017. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Charles Kavanagh with a canoe piece, Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Artistic canning, stopover in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Artistic canning, stopover in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Baie-Johan-Beetz, June 2017. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Object brought by Huguette Déraps during the community meal, stopover in Baie-Johan-Beetz. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Robert and René Déraps with objects to photograph, stopover in Baie-Johan-Beetz. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Thérèse Cassivi and Chantal Harvey, stopover in Baie-Johan-Beetz. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Community meal, stopover in Baie-Johan-Beetz. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Nutashkuan, June 2017. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Artistic canning, stopover in Nutashkuan. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Nutashkuan. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Community meal, stopover in Nutashkuan. Photo : Léo Harvey-Côté.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Natashquan. Photo : Luc Leclerc.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Natashquan. Photo : Luc Leclerc.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Residents of L’Oasis du Bel-Age, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau.

Claire Dufour with a photo of the caplan, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Souvenir to be photographed, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Objects loaned for the bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Kathleen Caouette.

Snack at L’Oasis du bel-Âge, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau.

Artistic canning, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Detail, bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Aguanish. Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot.

Installation of the bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Havre-Saint-Pierre. Photo : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover in Havre-Saint-Pierre. Photo : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau.

Homemade scones and jams prepared by Guy Côté, stopover in Havre-Saint-Pierre. Photo : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau.

Bivouac-exhibition, stopover Havre-Saint-Pierre. Photo : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau.

Subsistences • Inniun

A multi-part collaborative and participative project — residency, bivouac-exhibition, medium-lenght film — in the communities of Aguanish, Baie-Johan-Beetz, Ekuanitshit, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Natashquan and Nutashkuan and at the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.

 

Produced by Partners in Art for Repères2017|LandMarks 2017

Curator : Véronique Leblanc

With the collaboration of La Boîte Rouge vif and Parks Canada

 

2016-2017

Minganie (North Shore region of Quebec)

Production team : Charlotte Lalou Rousseau, research and coordination assistant ; Maxime Girard, filmmaker ; Mirko Sabatini, artisanal objects, technical support and music ; Louise Dupont, logbook ; Léo Harvey-Côté, photographic documentation ; Véronique Leblanc, production assistant and coordination.

 

Including a workshop prepared in collaboration with La Boîte Rouge vif : Olivier Martel-Bergeron, project manager and facilitator ; Jean-François Vachon, facilitator ; Maxime Girard, filmmaker. With the participation of : Adèle « Maniaten » Bellefleur, Réjean Cormier, Louise Dupont, Chantal Harvey, Edouard Kaltush, Charles Kavanagh, Annick Latreille, Devon-Lee Rich, Lydia Mestokosho-Paradis, Anastasia Nolin « Natah Nuna » and Michel Paquette.

For the event LandMarks 2017, I lived in the Minganie region, on the Quebec North Shore, from August 2016 to July 2017. Taking the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve as my point of departure, I familiarized myself with the territory through the eyes of people I spent time with in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in the region. Natives of the area identified as Innu (Indigenous people residing in Ekuanitshit and Nutashkuan), Paspéyas (descendants of original settlers in the town of Paspébiac in the Gaspé), and Cayens or Macaquins (Acadians who came from the Magdalen Islands), whereas people from outside the region are known as “Les Étranges” (the strange or the foreign). These distinctions had been important for many years, due to the isolation of villages; in 1976, however, Highway 138 connected the western part of Minganie to the rest of Quebec, and it was extended farther east twenty years later.

 

Attentive to the natural elements and phenomena of the territory, I moved from village to village, travelling two hundred kilometres, to develop a conversation with people on the place of nature in their ways of life, at a time when some traditions seemed threatened or “on the way to extinction.” Many practices associated with life “before” had been abandoned or were being transformed into new activities. Some reference points, however, resisted the trend. What has subsisted? How do these “subsistences” fulfill a common human need? Taking the attitude of a gatherer, I harvested images, objects, stories, and observations that describe ways of living in, becoming attached to, and contemplating the territory.

From May 29 to June 17, 2017, the project took the form of a bivouac-exhibition that toured the villages of the Minganie region between Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Nutashkuan. In parallel with these public events, I conducted performative actions with many elements of this installation. All of this work resulted in the production of a medium-length film in  s a with Maxime Girard, filmmaker-collaborator of La Boîte Rouge Vif.

 

The bivouac-exhibition was composed of a traditional Innu tent and stove made by members of Ekuanitshit’s community, an old clinker-built boat borrowed from a resident of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and a pick-up and trailer belonging to Baie-Johan-Beetz residents. I also carted around a collection of trash gathered from the shores of the Mingan Archipelago: outdated fishing items recovered from Pêcheries Shipek, vestiges of daily subsistence (orange peels, salmon skins, flour bags), and natural debris from the coast (driftwood, stones, whale vertebrae). Functional elements, such as blankets and carrying bags, and symbolic objects were made by the region’s artisans. Finally, the words spoken by the people encountered during the year circulated through the bivouac in audio and print forms.

 

Many people were involved in the Innu tent installation and food preparation in each village. Visitors were invited to contribute to this collective baggage by bringing an object, photograph, or anecdote that embodied their relationship with the territory (the coast, the interior, the archipelago, the sea). These contributions, whether they were shared, lent, or given, were documented during the stopovers. Participants in each locality also took part in an artistic canning activity. In a can prepared for someone in another village were sealed a composition of fragments from the installation. The stopovers often brought people together for a dinner or snack with a local flavour (goose, bannock, crab, eider duck, scones, baked-apple tarts).