Return to home page Home page. Site map. To contact us. Québec Portal This external link will open a new window. Search Français. Ministre du Conseil Exécutif - This external link will open a new window.
Menu Contenu
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
Home > Press centre > Press releases > 2011 > November 15, 2011

Minister Kelley and Minister St-Pierre Inaugurate a Cree Cultural Institute in Oujé-Bougoumou

Oujé-Bougoumou, November 15, 2011 – Today, Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs, and Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, travelled to Oujé-Bougoumou to inaugurate Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute. The Grand Chief of the Council of the Crees, Matthew Coon Come, the Chief of the Council of the Crees of Oujé-Bougoumou, Reegie Neeposh, and the President of the Institute, Dianne Ottereyes Reid, were also on hand.

"This long-awaited institute will play a major role in preserving the Cree heritage and expanding its reach. The building, a reflection of Cree culture, blends in perfectly with its environment and is powerfully evocative. I’m convinced that this new venue will become a reference point for all of the Cree Nation and a major tourist attraction for the region," said Minister Kelley.

Under the various memoranda of understanding signed in 1998 and 2001, the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones granted a total of $6.25 million to support the project. For the construction of this colossal facility, the Cree called on architect Douglas Cardinal, who in the early 1990s had drawn up the master plan for the village of Oujé-Bougoumou and designed its main public buildings. The outside recalls a wigwam, the traditional habitat of the Cree, and a longhouse, a traditional place of gathering for Aboriginal communities, while the interior is described by some as an animal’s rib cage and by others as an upside-down canoe.

The Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine has also given $275,000 for a permanent exhibition slated to open in June 2012.

"The Cree Cultural Institute is destined to become a major cultural hub for the Cree Nation and for the visibility of Québec’s Aboriginal heritage internationally. The exhibition promises to be a fascinating panorama showcasing the rich elements and heritage of this great Nation," Minister St-Pierre enthused.

The Institute meets international museological standards and features cutting-edge technology enabling curators and archeologists to interact with visitors. In addition to the museum, the institute also houses a research and documentation centre, a public meeting place, several classrooms and offices, and a demonstration room with indoor and outdoor settings where traditional Cree lore is taught.

The village of Oujé-Bougoumou is the perfect location for the museum. Situated between Chibougamau and Chapais, the Institute is easy to get to for the other eight Cree communities in Nord-du-Québec and for all visitors to the region.

– 30 –

Signature gouvernementale
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
905, avenue Honoré-Mercier, 1er étage - Québec (Qc)  G1R 5M6 - 418 643-3166
Online as of November 15, 2011