Annually, in the first week of August since 1973 the Norway House Cree Nation hosts the Treaty & York Boat Days. A summer festival that relives the community's history during the time of the fur trade and the accomplishments that resulted from the "will to succeed in life." These are symbolized in the famous and living icon enshrined in the community on the banks of the Nelson River.
The celebration honors those Cree, Metis and European settlers that carved out the community during a time when survival depended on an iron will and steady determination. The World Championship York Boat Races pays homage to the strength through determination of contestants from all over Manitoba and neighboring Provinces / States, who take it upon themselves to heave and thrust fifty pound oars in an effort to claim supremacy in the races. Sweat, calluses, and aching limbs are reminders of the tremendous stamina required to propel the mighty York Boat. "The race is part of our history. In the past, you had to be in good shape to take these boats from York Factory, filled with supplies and furs, to Norway House and on to markets in the South. In those days, there were routes along the mighty Nelson River and many times rough sailing on Lake Winnipeg. Today the race is a strong reminder of how hardy our people were." Treaty & York Boat days is a rich and many-colored showcase that highlights the culture of the Norway House Cree and welcomes people from all over the world to join in the celebration.
The week-long celebration also includes family events, sports tournaments and concerts. For more information visit the website - www.nhcn.ca/yorkboatdays.
Norway House Cree Nation is 450 air kilometers north of Winnipeg at the intersection of the Nelson River and Playgreen Lake. It is accessible via Provincial Highway #6, gravel highway 373 and a short ferry crossing. Norway House consists of approximately 124,219 acres. The language of the Norway House Cree Nation is Cree and English.