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Originally it was a seasonal camp that was visited only in the spring and summer to take advantage of the prime fishing on one of the main drainage rivers of James Bay.
Historically, in the wintertime, families left the location to live in other trapping, hunting and gathering sites along the coast, inland or on Akimiski Island (General 2012:iii).
The area is composed of 18 kimberlite pipes of the Attawapiskat kimberlite field, 16 of which are diamondiferous; the Victor Mine sits on top of the Victor pipe and mines from Victor Main and Victor Southwest which have appeared close enough to the surface to be used in an open-pit mine.
The Victor Kimberlite is a composition of pyroclastic crater facies and hypabyssal facies, and is considered to have a highly variable diamond grade.
Therefore, there is still an awareness of traditional way of life among most of the Attawapiskat First Nation members.
More than a third of the members of the Attawapiskat First Nation who still live on their home reserve are under the age of 19 and three-quarters are under the age of 35 (2010-12-03).The overall purpose of the project was to help the regional Council and its associations develop a strategy for natural resource co-management, self-government, and sustainable regional development." In 1990 Dr.Fikret Berkes, Distinguished Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Manitoba, and a team of academics interviewed 925 aboriginal hunters from eight communities (Attawapiskat, Moose Factory, Moosonee, New Post, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Peawanuck and Fort Severn) of the Mushkegowuk region, Hudson and James Bay Lowland.The Attawapiskat River carved out several clusters of spectacular high limestone islands less than 100 kilometres (62 mi) from its mouth that are unique to the region.
These formations (and therefore the river and community) are called chat-a-wa-pis-shkag in Swampy Cree.Their results published in 1995, showed "that geographically extensive land use for hunting and fishing persists in the Mushkegowuk region, some 250 000 km2.