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Although Claude McKenzie and Florent Vollant, formerly of the local aboriginal group Kashtin – the only nationally-known band to perform in a native tongue – have gone on to solo careers, they still appear occasionally at the excellent Innu Nikamu festival of song and music (information t 418 927 2181, w innunikamu.ca), held in early August, 14km east of Sept-Îles in the Montagnais reserve of Maliotenam. Inspired by Kashtin’s success, numerous other groups travel to the four-day festival to produce some of the best of Canada’s contemporary and traditional aboriginal music. As well as the music, the festival includes aboriginal food and craft stalls; despite the reserve’s alcohol ban, there is always a good buzz. There is no public transport to the reserve: by car, take Hwy-138 towards Havre-Saint-Pierre and turn right at the Moisie intersection for the Maliotenam entrance. Tickets, available at the gate, cost $5–10.

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