The community of Gesgapegiag was officially established in 1850.
The name Gesgapegiag, where the flow dissipates, is the origin for the name of the Grande Cascapedia River, as well as the Petite Riviere Cascapedia.
Most of the members reside on land set aside by the federal Government by the legislation of Lower Canada in 1853, though no title was found in support of such an occupation, the Supreme Court, in Guerin vs The Queen (1984), confirms and defines the concept of ancestral rights. According to the judgement, the aboriginal title is “derived from the Indians’ historical occupation and possession of their tribal lands”, and exists independently of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Thus, the title of ownership of old reserves like Gesgapegiag originates from the possession of the lands since time immemorial rather than from a transfer between governments.
Gesgapegiag is one of three Mi’gmaq communities on the south shore of the Gaspésie, with a local population of 695 with the remaining 797 live in the eastern United States and across Canada. Most community members, regardless of residence, participate in democratic elections held every four years to elect one Chief and seven Councillors in accordance with Canadas’ Indian Act Election Regulations.
Some of the services provided in the community are; Health and Community Services, Early Childhood Center Daycare, Wejgwapniag School, Mi’gmaq Language, Family and Child Social Services, Gesgapegiag Police and Fire Department.
Community employment sector; salmon anglers outfitting and tourism, forestry, turbine generated electricity, local construction, inshore fisheries, traditional crafts and amusement centers.
Aug 11, 2020