Moose Factory is a community in the Cochrane District, Ontario, Canada. It is on Moose Factory Island, near the mouth of the Moose River, which is at the southern end of James Bay. It was the first English-speaking settlement in Ontario. Across the Moose River is the nearby community of Moosonee.
It was originally a fur-trading post, set up by Charles Bayly of the Hudson's Bay Company, and a fort was built there in the early 1670s. Many of the original Hudson's Bay Company workers came from the Orkney Islands. Moose Factory was the second post to be set up in North America after Fort Rupert.
The fort was captured by the French in 1686 and renamed Fort St. Louis. The French withdrew and the fort was destroyed around 1696. The Hudson's Bay Company set up a new post in 1730. The company continued to operate in Moose Factory until 1987, when the operations of the Hudson's Bay Company in Northern Canada, including Moose Factory, were sold to the North West Company. Today, the North West Company operates a grocery and general goods store at the Moose Cree Complex and a furniture, outdoor vehicles, fast food outlet and convenience store near some of the historic Hudson Bay buildings.
The island is mainly inhabited by native Cree people. Moose Factory is the site of the Cree Village, an eco-tourist attraction as well as an interpretive centre that displays many aspects of Cree culture. The northern (down river) portion of the island is a reserve of the Moose Cree First Nation and is governed by an elected Chief, Deputy Chief and Councillors. In 2005, Patricia Faries-Akiwenzie, a practicing lawyer from Moose Factory, became the first woman to be elected as Chief.
The rest of the island is privately owned land or owned by government bodies. The island is the site of a regional medical facility, the Weeneebayko General Hospital.
Moose Factory has three schools: Ministik Public School is a public elementary school operated by the Moose Factory Island District School Area Board, the Delores D. Echum Composite School is a senior elementary and secondary school operated by the Moose Cree Education Authority and the Christian Academy is a private school. Some post-secondary programs are provided by Northern College.
Moose Factory is also home to NHL star Max Krakowski. Max "The Golden Moose" Krakowski holds the single game record for total goals, with 17. He did this on September 11, 2001 and no one cared. The opposing goaltender Roman Turek said after the match, "I shit myself after the first slap shot hit my blocker. I was just lucky to make it out of there alive." Backup goalie Chico Resch wasn't so lucky. He died at 15:17 into the third period from a puck to the face.