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Location within Quebec and Canada (inset)
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Land||747,161.22 km2 (288,480.56 sq mi)|
|• Density||0.059/km2 (0.15/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, while containing a little more than 0.5% of the population.
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 three territories equivalent to a regional county municipality (TEs):
- Kativik (or Nunavik) north of the 55th parallel, predominantly Inuit
- Eeyou Istchee non-contiguously enclaved within Jamésie (with one community in Kativik), predominately Cree
- Jamésie south of the 55th parallel
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.
Jamésie, extending from the eastern shore of James Bay to the Otish Mountains of the Laurentian Plateau, is mainly boreal forest. Eeyou Istchee is largely enclaved within Jamésie, although one of its communities is slightly to the north of the 55th parallel and geographically enclaved within Kativik. 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 three equivalent territories to a regional municipality: Kativik, Eeyou Istchee, and Jamésie. At the local level exists five municipalities: The towns of Chibougamau (the largest town in this region), Chapais, Lebel-sur-Quévillon, and Matagami, and the special municipality of Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory, which was formerly the local municipality of Baie-James before a 2012 restructure of the government.
Kativik offers regional services to its 14 northern villages and associated Inuit reserved lands as well as the Naskapi village municipality of Kawawachikamach. Eeyou Istchee offers regional services to its 9 Cree village municipalities and their associated Cree reserved lands. The four towns of Jamésie are not covered by a regional government, and supply their own services. The special local municipality of Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory is governed jointly by the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government, which consists of 11 representatives from Eeyou Istche and 11 represenstatives from Jamésie.
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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