James Bay was a real highlight, mostly just because it’s JAMES BAY! If you get really technical, it counts as Arctic Ocean. (it was very mildly salty…I tasted it) The scenery isn’t spectacular, and the waves are mild, but it does have an east coast feel to it…which was different after so many remote miles through the bush.
Longue Point is a bay off of the bay, at the end of a 50km gravel road. It is the farthest north on James Bay that you can drive. Pretty much all of the coast around the Bay is Cree territory. There were a number of “camps” as they called them.
I’m impressed with the natives in the far north. They apparently go out fishing in these boats most days. They have many hunting camps all over the place, along James Bay Road and the Trans-Taiga. A camp would often have a very simple building or two, and often a teepee. Their actual towns were more what we would expect…kind of run down..but I kind of understand that if you spend a lot of time out hunting and living in your camp.
It really does seem like they live off the land and still try to do it the old ways, even if they own pickup trucks and atvs. I’ve read that there are mixed feelings about road access, as it allows drugs and alchohol in that otherwise wouldn’t be there.
Which does make the hydro dams kind of sad. Apparently there are a number of old fishing places that no longer have fish. Some of the bays are more salty as the river’s flows were diverted. In the early days there were issues with mercury poisoning because of land locked mercury being introduced into the water through the flooding of reservoirs.
That being said, it seems that they have found new fishing holes and continue on. I’m sure there are tons of problems on both sides, but I did appreciate the way they live up there.