It’s mid-October, a time when most people are planning their Halloween or pulling out their fall jackets. Instead I’m packing winter boots, snowshoes and extra gasoline for a monumental trip to the Great Northern Quebec region; land of the Cree Nation. I spent the last couple weeks working out all the details and getting Ansel up to par for a road trip that would test my sanity, endurance and experience.
My nerves were tingling from excitement and fear as I stepped out of the door yesterday morning into the crisp cold breeze, clearing the frost-laden windshield on Ansel and preparing myself for prospect of a new day; A day in which I was about to embark on 6,500km solo driving trip to the farthest reaches of Northern Quebec. It will take me approximately 21 days and 80 hours of driving to visit this part of Canada that most people don’t even know exists.
The remote location is drawing me and my urge to explore the great unknown, in hopes to bring back the stories of lives above the 52nd parallel. A place filled with true Canadian history, both good and bad, forgotten by time yet changed by our demands. An area dominated by Quebec Hydro yet survived by the Cree, it’s easily removed from our minds. It was one of the first settlements by the Hudson Bay Company, opened for trading in the 1803. Originally it was called Fort George and located on the largest island in the mouth of the La Grande River; moved from the mainland in 1837. Due to the construction of the James Bay Hydro-Electric Project in the mid-1970s, Fort George was abandoned and the village of Chisasibi was formed on the mainland, approximately 10km from the shores of James Bay. Many other Cree villages were founded throughout the past century, several of which I will is visiting.
Over the course of the next 21 days I will be writing about my experiences and hopefully, depending on internet availability, will be able to post whenever possible; there will most likely be days of complete “radio silence”. I hope that you learn as much as I will through my photography and writings.
Thank you for your patience, understanding and for following my travels,
Sean P. Carson, B.F.A.