About Washow

Washow Lodge is a world-class, Aboriginal ecotourism wilderness facility that is being developed by the Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, Canada.  We provide our guests with unique cultural, nature and wilderness adventure experiences thoroughly rooted in a Cree cultural and historical context.

We welcome Washow guests to be treated to Moose Cree First Nation’s genuine and unique northern hospitality, and a memorable remote northern ecolodge experience. Some guests will come mainly to be immersed in and learn about Cree culture, and to have a chance to experience traditional Cree ways of living. Some will come to observe and experience the land, the waterways and the abundant wildlife. Others will visit the Centre as part of their wilderness travel adventure: to ski, canoe, kayak or snowmobile in this incredible region.

Where are we?

The Washow site is located at Hannah Bay, 75 km east of Moose Factory, and some 10 km south of where the Harricanaw River flows into James Bay in Northern Ontario. Visitors will be able to reach the Centre by a variety of travel modes, each an adventure in itself! During summer months guests will travel to Washow by paddling down the Harricanaw River, riding in a freighter canoe from Moose Factory (a four hour trip) or by float plan (a twenty minute flight). In winter, the Centre can be reached by ski, snow machine or bush plane. During the fall freeze-up and spring break-up, access is by helicopter only. The Centre may also be accessed in similar ways from Waskaganish, Quebec, which is 85 km east of Hannah Bay.

The location…

The Hannah Bay area features an incredibly rich environment with an abundance of natural attractions. Over one hundred and sixty species of migratory birds frequent this region every spring and fall including various species of geese. Hawks and eagles are abundant year round. The bay and the rivers of the region have pickerel, pike, whitefish and sturgeon. Caribou and moose are plentiful. Beaver, marten, muskrat, bears, seals and whales are all common. On occasion, walrus are also observed. Recently, there was a rare sighting of a Polar Bear at nearby Big Stone Island.

The profusion of natural attractions is matched only by the area’s abundant cultural and historical legacies. The stories and legends of the Moose Cree elders tell of their people’s timeless traditions of governance and land stewardship, harvesting their food from the bush, the rivers and the bays, preparing their meals, and sharing the gifts given to them by the Creator for their use in this challenging northern environment.

Some history…

There are many Cree stories also, as well as written historical accounts, of Hannah Bay’s role in Canada’s fur trade history. Most historians agree that the first contact between Europeans and the Cree occurred in 1611 at the mouth of the Churchill River. After a visit to the Rupert River in 1668, trade began in southern James Bay near present day Waskaganish, Quebec, where the Hudson Bay Company’s first Canadian outpost was established. Attracted by more lucrative trading opportunities the HBC relocated their headquarters to the Moose River in 1673, where Ontario’s first English settlement, Moose Factory, was established. An outpost at Hannah Bay was launched soon after the establishment of the Moose Fort, serving as a trade centre for Crees to the north-east and Algonquins and other groups to the south-east, and was active well into the nineteenth century.




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