Whapmagoostui

Wâpimâkuštui N55 16 55 W77 45 55 //17W

Whapmagoostui (Cree: ᐙᐱᒫᑯᔥᑐᐃ/Wâpimâkuštui, “place of the beluga”) is the northernmost Cree village in Quebec, located at the mouth of the Great Whale River (French: Grande Rivière de la Baleine) on the coast of Hudson Bay. About 906 Cree with about 650 Inuit, living in the neighbouring village of Kuujjuarapik. The community is only accessible by air and, in late summer, by boat.

Whapmagoostui is about 250 kilometres north of the nearest Cree village, Chisasibi.

Although the permanent cohabitation of Inuit and Crees at the mouth of the Great Whale River only goes back to the year 1950, the two nations were rubbing shoulders in this area for a very long time; Inuit close to the coast and the Crees more in the interior lands.

In 1961, when the Quebec Government decided to give French names to northern settlements, the name Great Whale River was replaced with Grande-Baleine which itself was replaced a year later with Poste-de-la-Baleine.  In 1979, the Cree Village Municipality, identified as Whapmagoostoo, was established. The Cree village itself was officially named Whapmagoostui in 1986, from then on replacing all other toponyms.

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