are the indigenous inhabitants of the area they refer to as Nitaskinan
, in the upper St. Maurice valley of Québec
. Their population currently stands at around 4,500. They have a tradition of agriculture as well as fishing, hunting and gathering. The Atikamekw language, which is related to Cree
, is still in everyday use, but their land has largely been appropriated by logging companies and their ancient way of life is almost extinct.
They have close traditional ties with the Innu people, who were their historical allies against the Inuit, but they are unrelated: their language and culture is quite distinct.
Their name, which literally means "white fish", is sometimes also spelt Attikamekw, Attikamek, Attimewk or Atikamek. The French colonisers referred to them as Têtes-de-Boules.