Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach

Coalition Member

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Naskapi Nation

Organization Name: Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach


Head of Government/Organization: Chief Theresa Chemaganish

Description:  For generations, the Naskapis were nomadic and followed caribou herds from the Hudson Bay in the west to the Labrador Coast in the east, and from the southern coast of Ungava Bay in the north to the vicinity of Labrador City in the south. Between the mid-1800s and mid-1900s, they relocated back and forth to Fort Chimo (Kuujjuaq), Fort Nascopie and Fort McKenzie according to trade needs and interests of the Hudson’s Bay Company. They eventually established in Kawawachikamach in 1983, a community they built some 12 km northeast of Schefferville, near the Québec-Labrador border. Kawawachikamach is the only Naskapi community

With the signing of the Northeastern Québec Agreement (the “NEQA”) on January 31, 1978, the Naskapis joined the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA). The NEQA is a modern treaty, within the meaning of s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982: its provisions are mandatory and binding on the governments of Québec and Canada, and the rights granted therein to the Naskapis are constitutionally protected.

In Québec, both the NEQA and JBNQA establish the land regime for the Territory that used to be known as Rupert’s Land. The land regime provides, among others, exclusive use and benefit of the Naskapi Nation over Category IA-N lands. Section 24 of the JBNQA and Section 15 of the NEQA also establish “areas of interest” and Caribou-Zones with respect to the regime governing hunting, fishing and trapping activities.

Signatories to the Agreement: The Naskapi Nation, The Cree of Eeyou Istchee, The Inuit of Nunavik, The Government of Canada & The Government of Québec

Key Dates: NEQA – 31st January 1978

Brief description of the region covered by claim: Québec-Labrador Peninsula (Northeastern Québec & Labrador Trough)

Total Land Area:

  • The total area of Category IN lands is 41km2 for Category IA-N lands, where the community of Kawawachikamach is established and where a majority of Naskapis live, and 326km2 for Category IB-N lands situated northeast of the community of Kawawachikamach where the Naskapi Landholding Corporation has full ownership right.
  • The total area of Category II-N lands, situated north of the 55th parallel,  is 4 144km2, where Québec exercises administrative, mineral and sub-surface rights, and where Naskapis hold exclusive treaty rights to hunt, fish and trap, and run outfitting operations.

Number of Beneficiaries: 1 522

First Nations/Inuit within the Land Claims Area: 3

Indigenous Languages Spoken: Naskapi

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