La Matawinie region is well supplied with forests with an abundance of lakes and rivers. The Attikamek Nation has inhabited the northern part of the region. This Native American (Aboriginal) group was nearly destroyed by epidemics in the 1600's. Their communities suffered the consequences of the major developments in the last few centuries. Damns flooded their settlements; forestry industry used their territories, and mercury poisoned their rivers. Today, Atikamek live in Manawan and other two communities. They still use their native language. Rarely spoken French is the only option for visitors in communication with this First Nation.