Saint Lawrence Island is an uninhabited islands in the Saint Lawrence River, located in the middle of the waterway between Montreal and Toronto. The island is part of the Quebec City metropolitan area, and is administratively a part of the City of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The Notre Dame Basilica is situated on the island.
Saint Lawrence Island is first mentioned in 1534 when it was discovered by French explorer Jacques Cartier. The island was not permanently inhabited until 1859, when the first homesteaders arrived. Development of the island gradually slowed after World War II, and today Saint Lawrence Island only has a small population of about 50 people.
Saint Lawrence Island measures long and wide with a total area of . The highest point on the island is at above sea level. It is mostly covered in trees, with a few scattered houses and businesses. There are no roads or vehicles on Saint Lawrence Island.
The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and by an ice road that passes through frozen sections of the St Lawrence River during winter months; however these are not typically used for year round transportation.
Because of Lake Saint Thomas’ size, only about one mile across its widest point at , there have never been any ports on the island: no roads or harbors can be built without displacing either lake water or land around it. The largest community is St Malo (Saint Maloche)on lower shore with less than 100 permanent residents.
The Saint Lawrence Island climate is classified as maritime subarctic, meaning that the climate is colder and drier than other regions of Quebec. Winters are long and harsh, with average lows below 0 °C and high winds from the northwest. Summers are short but hot, with average highs above 25 °C. At the end of winter, Solberg Inlet freezes over.
Prior to this ice navigation through it was impossible until 1957 as a result of several failed attempts upstream led by Lieutenant-Colonel Cuthbert Osborne during which he had to retreat and abandon two steamers The Colonel Gaultier in 1854 and The Georgette on 29 July 1871 but his efforts were eventually successful with an innovative method using horses or dogs pulled sleds filled with blocks of ice from the original site where Station Nord is now located just downstream from Montreal Island towards Saint Lambert near Quebec City that reached Diable Lake on 19 February 1857. Because of shifting water levels, the ice continues to move and shift in Arctic Iceberg Lake throughout the year hinging on release from pack ice upstream faster than that of downstream.
Saint Lawrence Island has retained its Micmac culture, which is the only surviving native culture in Quebec. The traditional mask dances are among the most popular and well-known events on the island. The first such celebration was called “Masquerades”. It is still possible to visit the site of Fort Prince of Wales in the tiny community of Saguenay on Quebec’s north shore.
As with all indigenous peoples, members of Saint Lawrence Island First Nation are facing increasing challenges from resource extraction and energy development associated activities located near their traditional lands throughout Canada that carry threat impacts as well as negative socio-economic effects they already face which has a direct impact on hunting stocks.Opportunities for employment in host communities can be limited by language barriers or other factors including income inequality among different socioeconomic levels or further away from economic centres such as Montreal, Quebec City or even farther away New York City.
The Saint Lawrence Island First Nation is governed by a democratically elected council of seven members. The current Chief and Council are: The Saint Lawrence Island First Nation is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Organization on American Indian Affairs (OAI) and National Congress Of American Indians.
It entered into a treaty in 2011 establishing an Alcohol Education Trust Fund for administration by Indigenous governments to help offset costs associated with alcohol related incidents on their territory.
The Saint Lawrence Island First Nation operates its own community hall and a store that sells general merchandise and gasoline. The Indian Health Service provides health services to the community on an annual basis. The Painted Turtle Memorial Hospital is located in Pasquia, Quebec.
An interest to restore and operate a 200-room hotel/motel was raised by an entrepreneur as early as 2006. Already announced the need for infrastructure or improvement on roadways and docks which are gradually improving with various government funding allocated by all levels of governments that include federal, provincial services agencies such many other indigenous communities in Canada from past decades going back even before it gained regional self-government through national legislation creating reserve status also now encompassing more than half of Newfoundland’s Labrador Peninsula area where most tribal Nunatsi utut have or had clan mother lands but only a few that went up until the time of Confederation and for most of those, who subsequently lost their homes in Coast Districts during region First Nations being incorporated into 19th century east coast sovereignty struggles related to fighting among aboriginal nations dominant stakeholders against neighbouring British colonies while they were still under effective American not-owned by England colonial control through Indian Removal Act forced relocations and English Settler Colonization systems mandates.
Saint Lawrence Island is a remote, mountainous island in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence that is part of the Province of Quebec, Canada. It has a total land area of 2,851.5 square kilometres (1,110 sq mi), and its population was 1,521 as of the Canada 2011 Census. Saint Lawrence Island is home to the nation’s only national park, Mount Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne National Park.
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