Long before the early days of the mining industry, the area surrounding Chibougamau and Doré lakes was the Couchees family’s hunting and fishing territory.
In the early 20th century, William Couchees lived there alone with his family. He saw the arrival of the first prospectors and geologists, such as Joseph Obalski, and of the families of Cree trappers, attracted by the presence of the Hudson’s Bay Company at Chibougamau Lake.
He gradually had to share his territory with the Chibougamau Cree band and with people coming from the South along new roads opened to facilitate development of the mining industry.
Over fifty years, William Couchees witnessed a great historical transformation. His hunting and fishing territory went from being a distant land where no one but he and his family lived to a developing region with a mining town under construction.