|Motto: The Place Where People Gather|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Chief||Reggie Neeposh|
|• Federal riding||Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou|
|• Prov. riding||Ungava|
|• Total||2.54 km2 (0.98 sq mi)|
|• Land||2.54 km2 (0.98 sq mi)|
|Elevation||372 m (1,220 ft)|
|• Density||285.2/km2 (739/sq mi)|
|• Change (2006–11)||19.6%|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|Postal Code||G0W 3C0|
|Area code(s)||418 and 581|
Oujé-Bougoumou (Cree: ᐆᒉᐳᑯᒨ/Ûcêpukumû, akin to name of the nearby town Chibougamau, the meaning of which has been lost) is the newest Cree community located on the shores of Lake Opemisca, in the Jamésie region of Quebec, Canada. It has a population of 725 people (Canada 2011 Census).
Oujé-Bougoumou (referred to as "Oujé" by local residents) is accessible by a 25 kilometres (16 mi) paved road (gravel before 2008), linking to Route 113 not far from Chapais. Along with the neighbouring towns of Chibougamau and Chapais, Oujé-Bougoumou is serviced by the Chibougamau/Chapais airport located approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) away on Route 113.
The Cree in the Chibougamau area had been marginalized in the 20th century by many forced relocations. After decades of such treatment, this band won recognition from the government and was granted land for a new permanent village. It was designed by architect Douglas Cardinal (famous for the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec) and was built in 1992. It has won recognition and awards for its contemporary design, which attempted to take architectural expression, economic sustainability, and environmental conservation into account.
Education & Learning
While a majority of the youth attend the English and Cree immersion school, Waapihtiiwewan School, operating in Oujé-Bougoumou, some families send their children to French schools in nearby towns instead.
A cultural institute, the Aanischaaukamikw Institute Aanischaaukamikw, opened its doors on November 15, 2011, after 10 years of planning and construction, at a cost of 15 million dollars. The name Aanischaaukamikw (âniscewikamikw in the southern dialect) is equivalent to "heritage centre" (âniscew-, meaning 'ancestry' + -kamikw, meaning 'room' or 'building') in English. It is a multi-purpose cultural institution for local cultural programs and will adapt and include programs currently provided by the James Bay Cree Cultural Education Centre and the Cree Regional Authority. It will also collaborate on the Cree language research currently being conducted by the Cree School Board.The Cree community hopes to attract between 10,000 and 20,000 tourists each year. It stands in on a semicircular lot in the middle of the village and was designed by Douglas Cardinal of Ottawa and Rubin Rotman of Montreal. The inside of the building is open to the sky and has a number of features typical of Cree culture. It has become a major tourism destination in the region, with a mission to preserve Cree culture and tell visitors about Cree history, culture, and vision. Discussions are currently underway about hotel construction nearby as a way to continue this project and continue to promote Cree and northern culture.
In addition to the local Petaapin Youth Centre, there is also a sports complex with a swimming pool, competition grade rink, and weight training facility. Just outside the village is a motocross course that can be converted to a snocross course in the winter.
The economy of Oujé-Bougoumou centres on mining exploration, trapping, tourism, construction, outfitting, and the blueberry cultivation.
On November 9, 2009, under the Canadian Economic Action Plan, it was announced that a total of $3.2 million would invested in the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute. The funding would come from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Economic Development Agency, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
In designing their community, planners had the opportunity to look into new urban planning ideas. After looking at teleheating in some urban areas, planners decided to establish a community-wide district heating system. Heat for the village is thus generated in a central boiler house with two boilers. One has dual fuel capabilities and can burn wood or oil, while the second is for peak and standby purposes and runs on oil only.
The wood-fired boiler is fully automatic from fuel in-feed to ash removal. The system has a built-in telecommunications modem for remote troubleshooting and monitoring. The wood supply is actually a by-product from nearby sawmills that would otherwise be considered waste. If the wood supply runs short because of severe weather conditions, the boiler is run on oil.
From the boiler house, the heat is piped via an underground hot water distribution network with supply and return pipelines in a closed circuit. Each building is connected to the network via a customer heat transfer station that regulates and measures the energy taken from the distribution system. Each building is directly connected to the distribution system. From there, each building gets a supply of hot water and in cooler weather, heating.
- Reference number 280619 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (French)
- Statistics Canada Census 2011 - Oujé-Bougoumou census profile