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MORE THAN 350 VISION

An Opportunity for 360° Holistic Community Development in a spirit of Šawelihcikewin

  • The More than 350 Initiative is a collaborative response to a once-in-a-generation opportunity: a major anniversary of regional, national, and international importance.

  • On March 7, 2023, an opening ceremony launched the year-long commemoration of “More Than 350 Years in the Making: Moose Factory in Omushkego Aski from Time Immemorial to 1673 to 2023.” Major celebrations in the Moose Cree Homeland were held to mark the first three seasons of traditional Cree calendar: Sikwan (early spring), Milosakamin (late spring), and Nipin (summer).

  • The last three seasons of Cree calendar, will be marked by events that have been rescheduled for 2024-25: a joint Takwakin (autumn) Celebration and Šawelihcikewin Knowledge Keepers Gathering, as well as the Mikiskaw (freeze-up) and Pipon (winter) celebrations. 

  • Our More than 350 Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the commemoration (spread over two years, due to temporary funding gaps). This closing ceremony will also mark a shift towards our long-term vision of “building a future with our shared past.”

  • Our goal is not only to celebrate and commemorate a living history, but to use these events and activities as a catalyst for 360° Holistic Economic and Community Development that integrates culture and language revitalization, reconciliation, education, art, music, health, etc. We also hope this two-pronged More than 350 Initiative can be a model for other Northern & Indigenous regions, and also for Canada as it seeks to envision better relations founded on a spirit of Šawelihcikewin (“receiving with gratitude and a desire to give back,” “reciprocity,” “hospitality”) for all Treaty peoples.


An Anniversary of Local, Regional, National and International Importance

  • Moose Factory is one of Canada’s oldest continuous sites of Indigenous-European relations and intermarriage and a National Historic Site. Established as Moose Fort in 1673, on a much older Cree gathering site, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s second oldest post evolved into the headquarters of its Southern Department. Canoes and ships have been built here, reflecting its role as a trans-Atlantic and trans-continental communication hub. Prior to Newfoundland’s adhesion to Canadian Confederation, it was also Canada’s oldest surviving English-speaking permanent settlement.

Re-Centring our History

  • The significance of 1673-2023, however, extends well beyond the establishment of a fur-trade post on Moose Factory Island. It presents an opportunity to explore a broader and deeper history of the region, with emphasis on the heritage of hospitality and reciprocity that has seen Eeyou Cree, other Omushkego Cree, and diverse Indigenous and European peoples welcomed into Moose Cree Homeland, friendships, and families for centuries. The MRHHA’s collaboration with the Ontario Heritage Trust in the development of a new trilingual historic site plaque for Moose Factory, unveiled at the Cree Cultural Interpretive Centre on August 5, 2023, is one of several examples of this.Moose Factory is one of Canada’s oldest continuous sites of Indigenous-European relations and intermarriage and a National Historic Site. Established as Moose Fort in 1673, on a much older Cree gathering site, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s second oldest post evolved into the headquarters of its Southern Department. Canoes and ships have been built here, reflecting its role as a trans-Atlantic and trans-continental communication hub. Prior to Newfoundland’s adhesion to Canadian Confederation, it was also Canada’s oldest surviving English-speaking permanent settlement.

Following Our Elders’ Example

  • In 1973, Moose Cree First Nation leaders and members worked with other Moose Factory residents to plan a tricentennial anniversary celebration that had a big impact on our community and emphasized that “In this land, no achievement by any people is real unless it respects those who are its First People.” The MRHHA’s objective is to follow their example and leverage the More than 350 anniversary year to draw attention to the much deeper and broader history of our community and region.

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