THE OTTAWA RIVER | A BUSY WATERWAY
Symmes Inn Museum
1, rue Front, Gatineau, (Québec), J9H 5E6
For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples, particularly the Anishinabeg, whom the French called the Algonquins, travelled up and down the Ottawa River and its tributaries. Under their chief Tessouat, said “Le Borgne” (The One-Eyed Man), they long played a crucial role in the Ottawa Valley, acting as political and commercial middlemen, with other Indigenous tribes and the early European explorers. Those who wanted to cross their territory had to obtain permission or pay toll the right of way. Later, the river and region got their name from the Ottawa or Outaouais people who took over the fur trade from the Kichesipirini.