Winter Living With Cree Hunters In Northern Quebec

  • Course Info
  • Dates: 2/17-2/24
  •  Max. Size: 10
  • Tuition: $1300
  • Travel Expenses Not Included

We’re heading back to Oujé-Bougoumou in northern Quebec in February, 2023, where we’ll spend a week in the bush experiencing Cree culture with our guides David and Anna Bosum in their ancestral homeland, Eeyou Istchee. This trip north is a special one, and as always we’re looking forward to the fantastic hospitality of our friends.

Here’s a link to quick video that David and Anna’s son Harry Bosum created on our last visit. It starts to touch on some the incredible things we’ve experienced up there.

Jack Mountain/ School Of The Forest Nuuchimi Wiinuu Trip Log

Not a class in our modern understanding of the word, David explains it by saying, “Come with us and experience how we live.” It is definitely participatory; you can expect to do many things that are common to the Cree bush life in the winter. These include setting snares for snowshoe hares, setting a gill net under the ice, carving useful tools, splitting firewood, going out on the trapline for beaver and lynx, snowshoeing miles across frozen lakes and along trails through the bush, hearing traditional stories about the land, and more. It’s an opportunity to respectfully immerse yourself in an intact hunting culture with people who know their land intimately.

Prerequisites: None. It will be cold. You’ll need a good sleeping bag (at least -20 F)  and cold weather clothing. But you don’t need any previous experience. You will also need a passport.

Itinerary: This is based off a previous trip. Anything can happen, and you should be ready for some surprises.

2/17.  For those carpooling, we can meet for dinner and to go over gear, etc., in Vermont.

2/18.  Meet in Lac St. Jean. We’ll split up hotel rooms to cut down on travel costs, and grab dinner to discuss the upcoming experience.

2/19.  Arrive in Oujé-Bougoumou before nightfall. We’ll meet David and Anna and get settled in.

2/20-2/24.  David and Anna will guide us through whatever they have going while we’re at their bush camp. It’s a great experience but varies based on what they’re currently working on, or have materials available for. Be ready to jump into anything.

2/24.  We’ll head back to Oujé-Bougoumou for the morning, then spend some time at the Cree Cultural Institute, an amazing facility that tells the story of the people. After that we’ll head home. Sometimes we split that drive back to the SOTF campus into two days, but often we drive straight through so folks can make their flights etc.

We will make every effort to stick to the itinerary, but in the event of nasty weather we won’t sacrifice safety for an arbitrary deadline.


Recommended Gear:

Plan to have some warm clothing and a warm (-20 F) sleeping bag/pad combination. Otherwise, bring what you need to be comfortable. A knife and axe are advisable, as is a headlamp, rain gear (just in case) and boots with removable liners. If you have questions about this, get in touch.


Travel:

The course tuition covers from when we arrive inOujé-Bougoumou until we depart.  Traveling expenses are NOT included.  This will include 2-3 nights in a hotel, meals, and splitting the vehicle-related expenses (gas, etc).

Travel Options:

  1. Carpool/Caravan

We’ll be in touch before the trip to talk about vehicles, who’s driving, how many spots they have, etc. This option has worked for us in the past and is a lot cheaper than renting a van (if we could even still rent one that allowed us to cross the border). We’ll get a head count on this early on.

  1. Drive your own vehicle and meet us there.
  2. Fly to Chibougoumou from Montreal via Air Creebec

Registration

Tuition: $1300 plus travel expenses. See below for more information.

Deposit of $650 is needed to hold your spot.

Since we’re acting as the middle man in this, we won’t be accepting paypal payments unless there is an added amount to cover their fees. We’ll also be accepting checks and money orders.

Paypal fee calculator: http://thefeecalculator.com/   –  $1,339.13


Recommended Reading
Some of these are hard to find. If you have no luck with the usual online booksellers, you might try contacting the store at the Cree Cultural Institute in Ouje-Bougoumou.

Lastly, here’s a podcast we recorded on a previous visit, if you’re looking for a more in depth discussion of the day to day life while up in Ouje.