Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec

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Indian settlement
Skyline of Oujé-Bougoumou
Flag of Oujé-Bougoumou
Motto: The Place Where People Gather
Oujé-Bougoumou is located in Quebec
Coordinates: 49°55′32″N 74°49′04″W / 49.92556°N 74.81778°W / 49.92556; -74.81778Coordinates: 49°55′32″N 74°49′04″W / 49.92556°N 74.81778°W / 49.92556; -74.81778[1]
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Region Nord-du-Québec
TE Eeyou Istchee
Founded 1992[2]
 • Chief Reggie Neeposh[3]
 • 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[citation needed] 372 m (1,220 ft)
Population (2011)[4]
 • Total 725
 • Density 285.2/km2 (739/sq mi)
 • Change (2006–11) Increase19.6%
 • Dwellings 251
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal Code G0W 3C0
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Website www.ouje.ca

Oujé-Bougoumou (Cree: ᐆᒉᐳᑯᒨ/Ûcêpukumû, akin to the 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 Eeyou Istchee TE of Quebec, Canada. It has a population of 725 people (as of the 2011 census).

Oujé-Bougoumou (referred to as "Oujé" by local residents) is accessible by a 25-kilometre (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 served by the Chibougamau/Chapais airport located approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) away on Route 113.


Village centre (right) and Pentecostal Church (left)

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 (known 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.[5][citation needed]

Education and learning[edit]

The town has the Cree School Board English and Cree immersion school, Waapihtiiwewan School (Cree: ᐧᐋᐸᐦᑏᐧᐁᐧᐊᓐ ᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᐅᑲᒥᒄ), operating in Oujé-Bougoumou. On September 21, 1993 the school, designed by indigenous artist Douglas Cardinal, opened.[6]

While a majority of the youth attend the village school, some families send their children to French schools in nearby towns instead. [7]

Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute

Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute[7] opened 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' and -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[when?] provided by the James Bay Cree Cultural Education Centre and the Cree Regional Authority. It will also collaborate on the Cree-language research currently[when?] being conducted by the Cree School Board. The Cree community hopes to attract between 10,000 and 20,000 tourists each year. It stands 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[when?] 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 the Albert Mianscum Memorial Sports Complex with a swimming pool, competition grade rink, skate park, 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 blueberry cultivation.[8]

On November 9, 2009, under the Canadian Economic Action Plan, it was announced that a total of $3.2 million would be 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.[9]


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 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.[10]


  1. ^ Reference number 280619 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in French)
  2. ^ "History". Ouje.ca. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  3. ^ Page not found!
  4. ^ a b Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Statistics Canada: 2011 Census Profile". StatCan.gc.ca. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Ouje-Bougoumou - Québec". ProvinceQuebec.com. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Waapihtiiwewan School." Cree School Board. Retrieved on September 23, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Aanischaaukamikw". CreeCulturalInstitute.ca. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  8. ^ Ouje-eng.asp
  9. ^ 2227.html
  10. ^ "Innovation". Ouje.ca. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 

External links[edit]