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|Region; also Census division|
Location within Quebec and Canada (inset)
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Land||747,161.22 km2 (288,480.56 sq mi)|
|• Density||0.1/km2 (0.3/sq mi)|
|• Change (2006–2011)||6.9%|
Nord-du-Québec (French pronunciation: [nɔʁ dy kebɛk]; English: Northern Quebec) is the largest, but the least populous, of the seventeen administrative regions of Quebec, Canada. With nearly 750,000 square kilometres (290,000 sq mi) of land area, and very extensive lakes and rivers, it covers much of the Labrador Peninsula and about 55% of the total land surface area of Quebec.
Before 1912, the northernmost part of this region was known as the Ungava District of the Northwest Territories, and until 1987 it was referred to as Nouveau-Québec, or New Quebec. It is bordered by Hudson Bay and James Bay in the west, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay in the north, Labrador in the northeast, and the administrative regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, and Côte-Nord in the south and southeast.
The Nord-du-Québec region is part of the territory covered by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975; other regions covered (in part) by this Agreement include Côte-Nord, Mauricie and Abitibi-Témiscamingue administrative regions.
Nord-du-Québec region is divided for statistical and other purposes into two territories equivalent to a regional county municipality (TEs):
- Kativik north of the 55th parallel, predominantly Inuit
- Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, south of the 55th parallel, jointly governed by Cree and non-Natives. This territory was formed when the former TEs of Eeyou Istchee and Jamésie were unified in 2012.
The territory north of the 55th parallel is also referred to as Nunavik.
From the Canada 2011 Census, Eeyou Istchee has a land area of 5,586.25 km2 and a population of 16,350; Jamésie has a land area of 298,202.78 km2 and a population of 14,139; Kativik has a land area of 443,372.20 km2 and a population of 12,090. However, when the Grand Council of the Crees speaks of "Eeyou Istchee", they refer to a much larger and contiguous traditional territory and homeland that covers much of Jamésie.
The most populous community overall is the city of Chibougamau, which is in Eeyou Istchee Baie-James (formerly in Jamésie); the most populous community in pre-2012 Eeyou Istchee is Chisasibi; the most populous community in Kativik is Kuujjuaq.
Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, extending from the eastern shore of James Bay to the Otish Mountains of the Laurentian Plateau, is mainly boreal forest. Before 2012, the Eeyou Istchee territory was enclaved within Jamésie, although one community is slightly to the north of the 55th parallel. Kativik has some boreal forest in its southern portion but is mainly tundra which covers the entire Ungava Peninsula.
Population and local government
The 44,561 inhabitants of Nord-du-Québec at the 2016 census included about 16,000 Cree and about 12,000 Inuit. The remaining population, concentrated in the south, are mainly of European descent.
The administrative structure of Nord-du-Québec is divided between two native semi-autonomous governments and five municipalities. The Cree Regional Authority, which in practice has been incorporated into the Grand Council of the Crees, represents all nine Cree villages of northern Quebec in a territory officially known since 2007 as Eeyou Istchee ("The People's Land"). The largest of the five municipalities was Baie-James, almost entirely covering the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory.
The Kativik Regional Government offers local services to all residents of the 14 villages of the Nunavik region, both Inuit and non-Inuit, except the Cree village of Whapmagoostui whose residents participate in the Cree Regional Authority.
The principal towns and villages of Nord-du-Québec are Chibougamau (the largest town in this region), Chisasibi, Mistissini and Kuujjuaq. Although less populous, Nemaska is significant as the administrative centre of Eeyou Istchee.
The region is linguistically diverse. According to the 2011 Census of Canada, the most common mother tongues were French (34.7%), Cree (34.3%), Inuktitut (25.0%), and English (4.3%). 50.9% of residents reported being able to speak French, the official language of the province, and 63.3% could speak English.
Transportation and access
There is a limited network of roads in the Jamésie region which reaches most of the few, small communities. Most were constructed as part of the James Bay Project. The "main road" of the region is the 620 kilometres (390 mi) long James Bay Road, a paved (albeit remote) extension of Route 109 from Matagami to Radisson. The 407 kilometres (253 mi) long gravel Route du Nord connects the James Bay Road to Route 167 near Chibougamau. The 666 kilometres (414 mi) gravel Trans-Taiga Road branches off the James Bay Road to Caniapiscau, the northernmost connecting road in eastern North America.
There are no roads to Nunavik from the south. There are isolated roads in and around villages, as well as an isolated road running from the Raglan Mines to Deception Bay, connecting to Salluit. Access is limited to air travel, sea travel to coastal areas, or hiking great distances. All villages have their own airport, with the Kuujjuaq Airport functioning as a regional hub.
Geographic hierarchy of census division
In the rightmost column, summed up area adds up to 747161.23 rather than the correct 747161.22 due to rounding error.
- Dana, Leo Paul 2010, "Nunavik, Arctic Quebec: Where Co-operatives Supplement Entrepreneurship,” Global Business and Economics Review, 12 (1/2), January 2010, pp. 42–71.
- Landry, Michel K., et al. Équation Nord: formule gagnante pour des affaires prospères dans le nord du Québec. [Toronto, Ont.]: Deloitte, . Without ISBN
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