February 14, 2002

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve in P.Q. Canada


This article gives an overview of the St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve.

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Location

The territory of the Abenaki community of Odanak, also known by the name of Saint-François-du-Lac, is located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River, about 32 km east of Sorel. 

The surface area of the reserve is 607.02 hectares. Three highways, the 132, 143 and 226, provide the main access routes to Odanak. Within the community there is a gravel road network (1,330 meters), a paved road network (6,020 meters) and approximately 184 houses.

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Population

There are 1,675 people in Odanak, with approximately 295 residents on the actual territory of the reserve.

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Ouick Facts

  • Odanak is one of the two communities that make up the Abenaki Nation in Quebec. “Odanak” is the Abenaki word for “coming to the village”.
  • It is very rare to find people who speak the Abenaki language.
  • The community first arrived in the area at the beginning of the 19th century. The Abenakis were originally based in New England and came to Quebec at the end of the 17th century. They lived in Sillery, at a Catholic mission, and then along the Chaudière River, before settling in the present location of Odanak.
  • The principal language spoken in the community is French.

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Administration

Local administration is assured by the Conseil de bande d’Odanak, under the direction of Chief Gilles O’Bomsawin. The council is part of the Grand conseil de la nation Waban-Aki. 

For information :

Conseil de bande d’Odanak

102, rue Sibosis

Odanak (Quebec)

J0G 1H0

Telephone : (514) 568-2810 and 2819

Fax : (514) 568-3553

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Economy

Forestry is one of the most important sectors of economic activity in the community. The manufacturing sector, specifically in the clothing industry, is another important area of activity. 

Odanak is also well known for its arts and handicrafts production. More than 25 members of the community are working on the reserve. 

Commercial enterprises in the community include construction, food distribution, and furniture.

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Education

There is no school on the reserve itself. About 50 students, at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels, attend schools under the jurisdiction of the Quebec Ministry of Education. 

There are about 60 other members of the community attending post-secondary studies programs at the CEGEP and university levels.

St. Francis Abenaki of the Odanak Reserve Services

Police services are provided by the Amerindian Police. 

Drinking water, fire protection, and garbage collection are provided by the inter-municipal public service department of Pierreville – Saint-François-du-Lac. 

Odanak has a sewage system, storm-drain network and a water treatment basin. Hydro Quebec supplies electricity to the community. 

The Band Council manages a community health care center through an arrangement with Heath Canada. 

Members of the community also have access to provincial hospitals and other medical services. 

Odanak has a community center, recreational services, a library, museum and church. 

Abenaki Indians
About Raven SiJohn

Leave a Reply