Mashteuiatsh is the only First Nations community in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area. It is located on the western shore of the Pekuakami, the Innu term for large body of water, which refers to the Lac-Saint-Jean, 6 km from Roberval.
The Mashteuiatsh First Nation is part of the Innu Nation. Traditionally, the Innu people’s identity is tied to the place where they live with their family. As such, the name Pekuakamilnuatsh (Innu term for Pekuakami) is still used today to identify members of this community.
The majority of the members of the Pekuakamilnuatsh First Nation live in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, mainly in the community of Mashteuiatsh. The Montagnais band in the Lac-Saint-Jean region is made up of 6,339 members, 2,029 of whom live in the community.
The Mashteuiatsh community faces a number of challenges regarding school perseverance and success.
Since 2011, members of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan (Band Council), as well as the Department of Education and Labour, schools in the community, multiple local organizations, and Pathways to Education meet regularly to discuss the issue and lay the groundwork for the development of a school success program. These meetings were geared toward gaining a better understanding of the needs in the community and identifying how these may be adjusted within the Pathways model, with the goal of creating an adapted program that would be more culturally and contextually relevant for First Nations youth.
Puakuteu Comité de Femmes de Mashteuiatsh (Women’s Committee of Mashteuiatsh) is the host organization for the Project for Academic and Social Support (PASS) and is responsible for overseeing its operation at the local level. Services have been provided to students in the community since January 2014. The PASS program is an initiative of Pathways to Education.
Pathways Program Partner:
Puakuteu – Comité de Femmes de Mashteuiatsh
1747 rue Ouiatchouan
Boundaries: Mashteuiatsh (G0W 2H0)
Area dropout rate (pre-Pathways): Very high, as compared to the rates in the rest of the province of Quebec.