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Your first steps in the innu culture

This guided tour will help you discover a thousand-year-old culture. This is a culture of human beings, or Innu, who endeavoured to live in harmony with nature throughout the seasons, while respecting values that harken back to time immemorial. That has been made possible because of their particular way or transmitting knowledge on a continuous basis, a social phenomenon always essential, mostly non-verbal, that the elder would provide to the younger. The tale of Tshakapesh is a pertinent example of this way of learning. Just follow Zacharie who, in the footprint of the Innu Legend, initiates his grand-son Messanak, to his world.

  1. 1. Traditional Teaching : Death
    4:56 min - In this first step of our guided tour, we are plunged into a universe of hunting specific to the Innu people. Messenak becomes aware that the relationship between birds, fish, and hares that are hunted ...
    In the bush, a frightened Messenak Bellefleur encounters death for the first time in his life
  2. 2. Contemporary Teaching : School
    2:16 min - Messenak will have to go to school in Unaman-shipu, as did his grandfather who was forced to go to the Sept Îles residential school fifty years earlier. And he lost his culture! What are the ...
    Innu children perform manual tasks in a school in Unaman-shipu
  3. 3. Affiliation : Grandmother
    3:59 min - On this guided tour, we learn that, following an invitation from his great-grandmother (Nukum) who lives in the bush, Messenak, who never knew his great-grandparents, questions his grandfather, Zacharie. Why this invitation? What surprises does ...
    Messenak Bellefleur receives his first snowshoes from his great-grandmother
  4. 4. Hunter : Snowshoe
    6:15 min - Messenak receives his first pair of snowshoes from Nukum, his great-grandmother: this first pair of snowshoes will bring him to the way of the Innu hunter. But learning is not as easy as one might ...
    Messenak Bellefleur receives his first snowshoes from his great-grandmother
  5. 5. Season : Spring
    5:36 min - Traditionally, the Innu went back downriver to the coast in April for the return of the Canada geese and the return of salmon to the rivers in May. We follow Messenak and Zacharie during these ...
    An Innu hunter on the ice sets out decoys to attract geese
  6. 6. Before Leaving : Gathering and departure
    8:14 min - For the Innu, living by the rhythm of the seasons also means planning ahead. Summer is the time to organize the next departure for the hunting territory. After the great gatherings of early August, they ...
    A group of young musicians perform onstage at the Innu Nikamu festival in Mani-utenam
  7. 7. Pride : Messenak kills its first caribou
    10:31 min - Last step in the guided tour, we follow Messenak and Zacharie into a sweat lodge in preparation for the hunt. More power to Messenak, since he kills his first caribou and learns a new lesson ...
    Messenak Bellefleur sticks his head out of the canvas folds of a sweat lodge to catch his breath

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