Historical/cultural site Kikendatch cimetary

Aire faunique communautaire (AFC) du réservoir Gouin


Site of interest : Historical/cultural

Kikendatch cemetery

Geographic coordinates

48°22’46’ ‘ N, 74°18’32’ ‘ O




The Kikendatch cemetery represents the remains of an Atikamekw village that was abandoned at the beginning of the twentieth century. When the water began to rise, forming the Gouin reservoir, the buildings of this tiny village were completely flooded. Historical documents linked to this event are contradictory. Certain documents stipulate that in 1912, the chief of the Atikamekw of the Kikendatch village had demanded the Department of Indian Affairs for the creation of an Indian reserve at Opiticiwan (Obedjiwan). The goal was rumoured to be the acquisition of hunting territories to the north of the reservoir, and thus get some distance from other indigenous communities that were encroaching on the Haut-Saint-Maurice territory. Other documents, including several from Atikamekw authors, argue that the flooding pushed the indigenous community from their land, when they wanted to stay. The indigenous community of Kikendatch was relocated to Obedjiwan, where after many steps, an Indian reserve was given to them. The only remnants of the Kikendatch village are a few crosses placed in the abandoned cemetery.


In 2007, skulls and skeletal remains of the Kikendatch cemetery were found on the borders of the Gouin reservoir. A lack of management of water levels by Hydro-Québec was to blame. Erosion of the banks caused by abnormally high water levels caused the remains to be unearthed. In 2007 and 2009, archeological interventions by the firm Archéotec took place at the site. The work was mandated by Hydro-Québec. Very little information is available on the subject. It would seem that as many burials as possible were unearthed to be replaced, and protected.