Eastmain, Quebec Canada

Discover Eastmain, Quebec: A Historical Cree Community

Eastmain, Quebec, is a Cree community nestled on the east coast of James Bay at the mouth of the Eastmain River. This small coastal Cree village has seen a steady increase in population, with 924 residents recorded in the 2021 Canadian Census, up from 866 in 2016. Known in Cree as ᐙᐸᓅᑖᐤ/Wâpanûtâw, which translates to "Lands east of James Bay," Eastmain is accessible by air via the Eastmain River Airport and by car over a gravel road linked to the James Bay Road.

The History of Eastmain, Quebec

Like other coastal villages on Hudson and James Bay, Eastmain, Quebec, was established around a Hudson's Bay Company trading post, originally known as East Main House. The Cree community settled in this area for the convenience of trading.

Demographics of Eastmain, Quebec

As of May 2022, Eastmain, Quebec, had a total of 943 members, with 830 individuals residing in the community. The village boasts 223 private dwellings occupied by usual residents out of a total of 280. The linguistic breakdown of the residents is as follows:

  • English as a first language: 11.0%
  • French as a first language: 1.2%
  • Cree as a first language: 86.1%
  • Other indigenous languages: 1.6%

The population trend of Eastmain, Quebec, has been steadily increasing:

  • Population in 2001: 614
  • Population in 2006: 650
  • Population in 2011: 767
  • Population in 2016: 866 (2011 to 2016 population change: 12.9%)
  • Population in 2021: 924 (2016 to 2021 population change: 6.7%)

Climate of Eastmain, Quebec

Eastmain, Quebec, experiences a subarctic climate (Dfc), typical of communities along the eastern shore of James Bay. Summers are mild and rainy, with comfortable days and cool nights. Winters are cold with extremely heavy annual snowfall, averaging 261.3 cm (102.9 in).

Economy and Services in Eastmain, Quebec

With a population nearing 1000, the main economic activities of Eastmain, Quebec, are in its services sectors. These include a restaurant within a hotel, private businesses, and a construction company with a gas station and garage. Eastmain also serves as the headquarters for the Cree Regional Trappers Association, which supports local Cree Trappers in maintaining their traditional activities.

Other services in Eastmain, Quebec, include emergency service departments, a local radio station, a post office, local schools, government service sectors, a sports and recreation complex, a local development corporation, and local medical services, including a clinic.