Parks / Québec
Lawrence National Park
The Montagnais community on
the eastern border of the marine park serves
as a reminder that aboriginal people have inhabited
this bounteous land for more than 6000 years,
the confluence of the two major waterways making
it an important corridor for travel and peaceful
exchanges among many different cultures.
Fourteen archeological sites
located along the shore have rendered seal bone
fragments from the Archaic Period, and remnants
from the later Woodland Period, which began
about 3000 years ago, which reveal much about
the commerce between aboriginal cultures. European
contact began in the 16th century when whalers,
trappers, fishers and fur traders began exploiting
the rich resources of the land and marine animals.
For the native people this also marked a major
break with traditional approaches to the marine
environment. Aboriginal groups such as the Algonquin
and the Montagnais, the Cree to the north and
the Micmac to the east, arrived to trade furs
creating a cultural crossroads at Tadoussac,
the largest fur-trading centre in North America.
In the 1800's trapping slowly gave way to
logging, and pulp and paper plants, dams, power
plants and massive mining operations would follow.
For more than 100 years, industries along the
Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, the Saguenay
and its tributaries have discharged tons of
toxic effluent into the river system causing
some of the worst pollution on the continent,
possibly the world.