A meeting place for the Inuit and Naskapi territories
For generations, Inuit have been using the George River and Ford River systems to access the inland trails that allow them to hunt caribou and trap the fox. Rivers and lakes east of the George River, including the Koroc River, were part of the Inuit-based network on foot or dog sled to cross the peninsula and reach the Labrador coast. In the early 1960, Black Spruce (mainly from the Saningajualuk area) that was cut along the George River was used in Kangiqsualujjuaq to build houses, boats, sleds and tools. Wood was also exported to various Ungava bay communities such as Killiniq. Threfore, many Inuktitut place names within the park refer to areas where the wood was cut.
The the park is also considered by the Naskapi Nation to be an important place in their heritage, a place of historical, cultural and religious significance that confirms their identity. Occasionally, the Naskapi camped at various locations to practice hunting, fishing and subsistence trapping. Traditionally, the Naskapi subsistence was based on Caribou and their movements were closely related to those of the George River Caribou herd; They used a vast territory that covered the area in part. However, the naskapi of today have few memories associated with this territory. Only some people still tell stories spent at the George River to work as a guide in outfitting camps.
The May Family
The modern history of the region is largely linked to the emergence of outfitters. This phenomenon began in the early years of 1960, when Bob May began operating an outfitter on the lower George River. From 1943 to 1952, May was in charge of the Hudson Bay Company in George River. During these years of service, He got to know the surroundings and made many trips upstream of the George River With his Inuit hunting friends, including Willie Emudluk, Moses Etok, Elijah Sam Annanack and Johnny George Annanack.
In 1954, May set up a first hunting and fishing camp in a place known as the Name of Pijuminniq, about fifteen kilometers downstream of Helen Falls. The following year he moved Its activities at Helen Falls and established a camp on the east bank of the river. The Camp welcomed Salmon fishermen during the summer fishing season and sports hunters Caribou Fall. The company was thriving. In addition, the sawmill that opened its doors On the George River in 1958 provided the lumber necessary for the construction of huts Additional services for guests and service facilities. May was co-owner of the company Helen Falls until 1963.
His eldest son, Johnny, remembers that by the time they closed the Helen Falls camp for The year in the fall of 1960, they moved equipment and equipment to about fifty kilometers upstream of the river to a place called "Big Bend". They spent the year there. It is not clear at what point Bob May decided to build a camp in Big Bend, but he was able to see the potential of the place in that year. The salmon abounded. However, the location was only accessible by seaplane.
May continued to explore places to find a suitable place to build a camp and evaluate the extent to which the salmon migrated upstream. The Pyramids area offered everything was looking for: beautiful scenery, excellent fishing and hunting opportunities and, above all, a Long gravel tray that can be used as an airstrip. By the mid-years 1960, the Family came back to clear the grounds and build huts and other facilities Accommodation, assisted by the Inuit of Kangiqsualujjuaq and Kuujjuaq. Just as it had been the case at Helen Falls and Big Bend, everything at Pyramid Mountain Camp had to be done by hand.
In 1975, due to the growing popularity of the Pyramid and Big Bend camps, a Second satellite camp was built in Little Pyramid. This camp was operated by Peter May, another son of Bob. The camps employed Inuit and Naskapi guides, usually men that Bob May knew a lot of the time he worked for the HBC in the area. For a certain Number of seasons, from the end of the years 1970, Naskapi guides were transported to The Pyramid Mountain Camp outfitter from Schefferville aboard a single-engine aircraft as part of a government Labour program. After 1986, The Naskapi have stopped coming, apparently because of the decrease in the number of customers, which reduced the number of guides needed. Later, the guides working at the camp were for the most part Inuit of Kuujjuaq.