À la rencontre de deux générations.png
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Canada ( Quebec)
Atikamekw, French, English
Catholic Church, Other
Related ethnic groups
Innu, Cree, other Algonquian peoples

The Atikamekw are the Indigenous inhabitants of the subnational country or territory they call Nitaskinan ('Our Land'), in the upper Saint-Maurice River valley of Quebec (about 300 kilometres (190 mi) north of Montreal), Canada. Their current population is around 8,000. One of the main communities is Manawan, about 160 kilometres (99 mi) northeast of Montreal. They have a tradition of agriculture as well as fishing, hunting and gathering. They have close traditional ties with the Innu people, who were their historical allies against the Inuit.

The Atikamekw language, usually considered a variety of Cree in the Algonquian family, is closely related to that of the Innu. It is still in everyday use, being among the indigenous languages least threatened with extinction.[2] Their traditional ways of life are endangered, however, as their homeland has largely been taken over by logging companies. Their name, which literally means 'lake whitefish', is sometimes also spelt Atihkamekw, Attikamekw, Attikamek, or Atikamek. The French colonists referred to them as Têtes-de-Boules, meaning 'Ball-Heads' or 'Round-Heads'.

A small number of families make their living making traditional birch bark baskets and canoes.

  1. ^ "Aboriginal Ancestry Responses (73), Single and Multiple Aboriginal Responses (4), Residence on or off reserve (3), Residence inside or outside Inuit Nunangat (7), Age (8A) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2016 Census - 25% Sample Data". Government of Canada. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  2. ^ "Cultures et traditions" (in French). Conseil des Atikamekw d'Opitciwan. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2010-03-09.

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