Cree-owned Nibiischii earns national recognition for recently launched attractions


Mistissini-area destination named as a top-three “business that launched a new experience” at last week’s Indigenous Tourism Awards

MISTISSINI, QC – After launching an on-water/on-ice outdoor cinema, astronomical & Northern Lights observatory, and unique cultural tourism packages in the summer of 2023, the Nibiischii Corporation was recognized with a finalist spot in the “New Operator or Business that Launched a New Experience” category at the Indigenous Tourism Awards last week.

The Nibiischii Corporation, which manages and oversees tourism activities on the Albanel-Mistassini-Waconichi Wildlife Sanctuary, opened their Mwakw floating cabins in 2022. Since then, they have added a multitude of complementary attractions that bring together Cree culture, nature, and adventure. This has earned them runner-up spots in several major tourism awards, including this latest distinction from the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)’s Indigenous Tourism Awards.

Mireille Gravel, Executive Director of the Nibiischii Corporation, says it is a true honour to be named as a finalist alongside such impressive Indigenous tourism operators. “Receiving recognition from ITAC is so meaningful to us, because Cree culture is at the heart of everything we do at Nibiischii. Whether a guest is partaking in a mushroom and tea walk with a local guide, meeting the tallyman and his family to learn about smoking fish, or simply taking in the beauty of this incredible place – we owe all our experiences to the land, the water, and the Eeyou people who call this territory home.”

The Nibiischii Corporation is continuing to innovate, working hand-in-hand with the Cree Nation of Mistissini and Cree Knowledge Keepers to build sustainable, eye-catching attractions. Currently, they are building unique accommodations specifically suited to the winter, in hopes of welcoming more tourists year-round. A breathtaking Arial Trail, which includes stunning cliffhanging sections and a suspended bridge, is also under construction. Cultural interpretation will enrich the trail, blending panels, sculptures, and virtual reality to provide a fully immersive experience.

The Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association (COTA), a Cree entity mandated to provide “marketing, booking and promotion services” for operations such as the Nibiischii Corporation, was honoured to help them apply for this year’s Indigenous Tourism Awards. The award application was rooted in positive personal experience, as the COTA team recently hosted their own staff retreat at the site.

COTA Executive Director, Robin McGinley, said it was a truly memorable trip. “The floating studio and complex on the lake were a spectacular backdrop to our teambuilding exercises, with the added novelty of doing yoga on the water. Our team bonded as we hiked the nature trails, learned bannock-making and traditional cooking, and stargazed at the open-roof observatory. We left the experience reconnected, recharged and excited to return.”

Currently, Nibiischii’s Mwakw cabins on ice, cultural packages, and snowshoe activities are accepting reservations as part of their winter offering. More information can be found online at www.nibiischii.com.

ABOUT THE NIBIISCHII CORPORATION: The Nibiischii Corporation is an award-nominated organization responsible for the management and development of the Albanel-Mistassini-Waconichi Wildlife Sanctuary, including fishing and tourism activities. For more information about Nibiischii, visit www.nibiischii.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Mireille Gravel, General Director, the Nibiischii Corporation – mgravel@nibiischii.com