L’sitkuk (Bear River)

The community of L’sitkuk is located in the Annapolis Valley between the towns of Annapolis Royal and Digby. The community provides for Treaty Gas and opens a seasonal Heritage and Cultural Center. A Learning Center provides space for a number of educational activities and a Health Center contributes to a Wholistic Healing Approach. A RCMP Satellite Office has recently been established and a Fitness Center will soon be opening.

Historically L’sitkuk has been a central meeting place for the Mi’kmaq due to its strategic location on old water routes connecting the Atlantic coastline to interior lands. In former times, L’sitkuk was an important meeting place for the Wabanaki Conferacy, a political and cultural alliance among the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Mi’kmaw tribes.

The traditional economy of L’sitkuk was based on hunting, fishing and gathering. They were well-know for their artwork: embroidering porcupine quills on birchbark, leatherwork, and basketry. This work is carried on today by the community’s craftpeople and woodworkers. The community has also built a strong tradition as hunting and fishing guides for non-native sports. Traditional values still practiced today include respecting elders, sharing, and striving to live happy and peaceful lives. The People love their children very much.
The name L’sitkuk means “flowing along by high rocks” or conveys “water that cuts through.” The description is fitting because the river appears to cut through the granite rock of the surrounding landscape. L’sitkuk is a place and a space where culture, a language, and a distinct and proud identity are gaining strength after hundreds of years of colonialism.

Bear River Heritage and Cultural Center