Naskapi

Introduction

The Naskapi are the indigenous Innu inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan, which comprises most of what other Canadians refer to as eastern Quebec and Labrador, Canada.

Innu people are frequently divided into two groups, the Montagnais who live along the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in Quebec, and the less numerous Naskapi who live farther north. The Innu themselves recognize several distinctions (e.g. Mushuau Innuat, Maskuanu Innut, Uashau Innuat) based on different regional affiliations and various dialects of the Innu language.

The word “Naskapi” (meaning “people beyond the horizon”) first made an appearance in the 17th century and was subsequently applied to Innu groups beyond the reach of missionary influence, most notably those living in the lands which bordered Ungava Bay and the northern Labrador coast, near the Inuit communities of northern Quebec and northern Labrador. The Naskapi are traditionally nomadic peoples, in contrast with the territorial Montagnais. Mushuau Innuat (plural), while related to the Naskapi, split off from the tribe in the 20th century and were subject to a government relocation program at Davis Inlet. The Naskapi language and culture is quite different from the Montagnais, in which the dialect changes from y to n as in “Iiyuu” versus “Innu”. Some of the families of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach have close relatives in the Cree village of Whapmagoostui, on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay.

Text adapted from Wikipedia’s article on the Naskapi people

Get Rid of Ads. Support us on Patreon!

Voices of the Caribou People

We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

independent uncompromising indigenous
Except where otherwise noted, articles on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons License
IC is a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies (cwis.org), a 501C(3) based in the United States