The Broadback river seen differently

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Story of a canoeing adventure on the majestic Broadback


Nicolas Dagenais has been passionate about canoe expeditions since he was a teenager. He has navigated many rivers in the province of Quebec, but his most beautiful experience by far was navigating the Broadback river. With a length of 451 kilometers, the Broadback has everything to seduce adventurers: rapids, drops, falls, lakes and breathtaking scenery. But this wide river remains untamed, fiery, and wild. Any expedition on these waters requires experience as well as meticulous and exemplary preparation.


"This is simply my favorite place on this planet to date.''


Because it is impossible to record every detail of this imposing river during a single trip, the adventure is worth living and reliving, according to Nicolas. He is preparing his third expedition for the summer of 2021.

An adventure in the heart of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James


The uniqueness of this experience is characterized by its isolation. During the descent, the adventurers truly feel alone in the world. We do not come across many things that were man-made. This distance makes it possible to connect with the land and be in complete harmony with nature. It is once in symbiosis with the river that one can appreciate all its features, rain or shine. Because the sun does not shine every day... Rain, wind and storms can be both beautiful and terrifying. Hence the need to be well prepared! Such an expedition offers the chance to have a front-row seat to nature's spectacles. This is why, regardless of the weather, this river remains a highlight of the territory, according to Nicolas.


"It's a rare trip of about 30 days that will have as many rapids as you can go down with open canoes, without too much portage. It's just the perfect place, accessible without a seaplane, to practice our passion for a month."

Meeting with the Cree Nation of Waskaganish


The highlight of the canoeing adventure is the arrival in the Cree community of Waskaganish During both of his visits, Nicolas was welcomed with open arms and met authentic people who were proud of their roots. There is no better way to complete this type of adventure than by sharing a meal with the residents and participate in traditional craft workshops. Because the richness of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James is not only its landscapes; it is also its people, their culture, and their history. The beauty of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James is not only fashioned by its landscapes, but also by the people, their culture, and their history.


"On the river, we follow in the footsteps of the ancestors of the residents of Waskaganish. This connection is magical when you discuss your experience with them."

This sharing is of course highly formative and meaningful for the young canoeists who are attending workshops on Aboriginal awareness at Camp Minogami. For them, these exchanges with the people of Waskaganish are the icing on the cake after having travelled through the Cree territory. The group always makes sure they know the Aboriginal name of the river they are paddling down. The Broadback River is named Chistamiskau Sipi by the Cree community. It means "the river with deep waters".


Rest assured, you don't have to paddle down the 451 kilometers of the Broadback River in a canoe to enjoy a warm welcome in Waskaganish.

For a guided tour of the community, contact Stacy Bear, local tourism officer.

To practice any activity on Category 1 and 2 lands, you must obtain authorization from the Band Council.

Organizing Your Canoe Trip on the Broadback River


This canoe-camping adventure represents all that the region has to offer: the hospitality of the communities, the millennial history, the rich culture, the untouched nature, and the unique landscapes. While not everyone can experience the Broadback River by canoe-camping, other options are available for those who want to discover Eeyou Istchee Baie-James.



"Eeyou Istchee Baie-James is a treasure trove for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to being a great region, it's beautiful and the air is pure."

Nicolas Dagenais is an instructor and canoe guide at Minogami summer camp. Almost every summer, Minogami organizes this expedition for a group of young people trained and prepared especially for the Broadback river.


The Cree communities remain closed to non-residents until further notice. All services and attractions located in these communities are therefore inaccessible for the moment.