For her Landmarks2017 project, Raphaëlle de Groot decided to move to the Côte-Nord region – taking the Mingan Archipelago as her focus – from August 2016 to July 2017 to immerse herself in the area’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Her intention was to gain insight into the Minganie area through the eyes of the people she met and spent time with. As she spoke with residents, she began to see the different towns and villages across the water from the Mingan Archipelago as an archipelago in their own right, formed of islands of cultural diversity: Innu people (in their communities of Ekuanitshit and Nutashkuan), Paspéyas (from Paspébiac in the Gaspé), and Cayens or Macaquins (Acadians who had come from the Magdalen Islands). These distinctions had long been important, especially because the villages had been so isolated: Route 138 linked one part of the region to the rest of Quebec in only 1976; it was extended to the township of Natashquan twenty years later.

As she travelled from place to place, de Groot adopted the attitude of a picker or gatherer. She harvested images, objects, and stories about the archipelago, the sea, the coast, and the interior. The Subsistances project is thus based on listening to a variety of human experiences, paying attention to natural phenomena specific to the region, and allowing linkages to emerge.

The collection of visual and text elements harvested as the seasons passed, what we call the “sea bed” of the project, is composed of photographs taken in the field, excerpts from interviews, quotations from books, archival documents, and video clips that embody different relationships with the land and as many different ways to describe them. It is the encounter of these elements, disparate at first glance, that raises questions that inspired de Groot’s project and the communities of Minganie.

Acknowledgement & Credits

Thank you to everyone who lent their voice to this collection: Adèle Bellefleur, Étienne Belles-Isles, Michèle Boucher, Samuel Boucher, Luc Bourque, Christophe Buidin, Ghislaine Charland, Chavin Chavez, Jean-Marc Collin, Claudie Cormier, Geneviève Cormier, Jean-Jules Cormier, Rachel Cormier, François Côté, Guy Côté, Josiane Côté, Nathalie de Grandpré, Huguette Déraps, Delvina Devost, Gérard Devost, Jacques Devost, Steve Dubreuil, Louise Dupont, Caroline Dupuis, Marie-Ève Gagnon, Katy Gavrilchuck, Chantal Harvey, Sarah Haverstock, Cynthia Ishpatao, Audrey-Ann Ishpatao Malec, Aimé Jomphe, Alex Jomphe, Charles Kavanagh, Johnny Napish, John John Malec, Noëlla Mestokosho, Priscille Mestokosho, Rita Mestokosho, Lydia Mestokosho-Paradis, Michel Métivier, Julie Plante, Pierre Miegueu, Rémy Morisset, Jean-Christophe Ouellet, Sébastien Renard, Yann Rochepault, Sylvain Roy, Pierre Saint-Hilaire, Pauline Vachon, Marie-Andrée Vaillancourt, Pierrot Vaillancourt, Yvon Tanguay, Yann Troutet.

A very special thanks to Charlotte Lalou Rousseau, for her careful reading of all of this material.