The Petite-Nation River is a river in western Quebec, Canada, that flows from the Laurentian mountains to empty into the Ottawa River near Plaisance, Quebec. The river is 97 km in length.
This river's French name refers to the Algonquin people that inhabited this region, the Weskarini, which means "people of the little nation". The valley of the Petite-Nation was part of the Seigneury de la Petite-Nation, originally owned by Monsignor François de Laval, the first archbishop of New France. The seigneury was awarded to Louis-Joseph Papineau after his involvement in the failed Lower Canada rebellion, and his return from exile in the United States as a means of quelling him by the Parliament of the day. After the seigneury feudal system was abolished, the Papineau seigneury was sold off and became the Seigneury Club, which in turn later was acquired by Canadian Pacific hotels, now known as Fairmont.
Louis-Joseph Papineau built a sawmill on the river at the Chutes du Diables Falls. A village, named North Nation Mills was part of the seigneury owned by Louis-Joseph Papineau,a former rebel in Lower Canada who was operating the mill at the time, developed at this site. Pine logs were floated down the river to the mill.The mill changed hands from the Papineau family to the Cooke family, and then the Gilmour family, and finally to the Edwards and the McClarens. The village was demolished in 1920 after the sawmill was shut down.
The area near the river's mouth was flooded by a Hydro-Québec dam on the Ottawa River. A Quebec park is located in this area.
There is also a South Nation River in Ontario which empties into the Ottawa River.
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