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The MRC Pontiac welcomes the announcement made this morning by the Minister responsible for Culture and Communications and Minister responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, Luc Fortin, that he has designated the part of the Ottawa River located within the territorial limits of Québec as a historic site.
The MRC had joined the city of Gatineau, the MRC de Papineau and the MRC de Témiscamingue to protect the Ottawa River by signing the Gatineau Declaration of the Ottawa Riverkeeper in December 2016. The Ottawa Riverkeeper wanted the Quebec side of the river recognized as a historical landmark in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary.
The Ottawa River is one of the most beautiful and rich in history in all of North America. First Nations peoples lived on its shores for 6,000 years before the first Europeans made their appearance. At that time, the river was instrumental in spreading copper, obsidian, flint, and whalebone throughout the continent. From the fur trade of the 17th century to the transport of logs to Montreal and Quebec, which gave rise to the forest industry in the early 19th century, the Ottawa River played an important role in the history and economic development of the Pontiac region.