In Cree, “Wemindji” or “wiimin uchi” means “red ochre mountain.” The Crees inhabiting this remote oasis refer to themselves as “IyIyuuch,” or in English, “the people.” Wemindji is home to the James Bay Cree Nation, and we love to invite visitors into our world. In this land of caribou and northern lights, you will immerse yourself in Cree culture and the unique experiences that only Northern Quebec can provide. All of our guests come away from Wemindji with more knowledge on our history and heritage, everything from time immemorial to first contact, from the James Bay agreement to the modern-day Eeyou Istchee.
Sitting at the mouth of the mighty Maquatua River and on the east coast of the frigid James Bay, this place we call home is one of the nine Cree communities within the James Bay region. Years ago, we originally populated Old Factory Island, an islet about 45 kilometers south of our current settlement. Since the move, Wemindji has seen incredible growth as a community, now totaling more than 1,400 people. This town is an economic leader and community development giant in the region, known for being one of the fastest growing communities in Cree history.
Rich cultural experiences await you in Wemindji
In Wemindji, we are passionate about maintaining the traditions of our ancestors. We continue to practice the ancient hunting, fishing, and trapping techniques that sustained our community for numerous generations. We are an exceptionally creative people and have so much to offer those that wish to get to know us and our way of life. Traditional cuisine, stories and legends, and arts and crafts are just a few of the things that we love to share with others. Even for traditional activities and events, like the spring goose hunt or a walking out ceremony, we invite guests to join us.
Our elders are the bedrock of our community as they keep the traditions alive through storytelling. It is our legends that unify our nation and make it unique. The lakes, river, and mountains that you will see on your trip to Wemindji all have names and stories associated with them. This is the knowledge that our elders possess and pass down through oral tradition to our young. Storytelling keeps us together and perpetuates our beautiful nation.