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Gesgapegiac

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Teepee church. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)Gesgapegiac is a Mi'gmaq community situated along the south Gaspé coast just east of Maria, Quebec. The place-name "Cascapedia" (as in, the world-famous Cascapedia River) is actually a derivation of the name "Gesgapegiac," which is Mi'gmaq for "last land."

Although the Mi'gmaq presence on this part of the coast dates back many hundreds of years, the land that was set aside for the Mi'gmaq nation in Gesgapegiac was only reserved by the legislature of the province of Canada in 1853.

For generations, the Mi'gmaq people have depended for a living on the local timber industry and on fishing. Primarily, the fishing in this community is for the Atlantic salmon that spawn in great numbers in the nearby Cascapedia River.

Today, the Mi'gmaq in Gesgapegiac are known for their basket-making and other traditional crafts. These handicrafts are available for sale at a local artisans' coop. The community of Gesgapegiac is also home to a fine cultural centre, Galgoasiet, on Perron Boulevard, and to a very unusual church.

The church in Gesgapegiac, which was built in 1960, is shaped like a giant teepee. It is said to be the largest church shaped like a teepee in the world.