Waskaganish is a small Cree community a short way inland from James Bay, at the
confluence of the Nottaway, Broadback, Rupert and Pontax rivers, on the
south shore of the Rupert River. It has a population of about 1830.
community is located at the mouth of Rupert River in the southern part of James
Bay Coast. The name,
Waskaganish means "little house" in Cree. Formerly known as Rupert
House, it was a popular meeting place for
communities established in the interior. Also known as Fort Charles, Fort Rupert
and Fort St-Jacques, in 1668 it became the site of the first trading post
established by Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médart Chouart, Lord Des Groseilliers.
Waters of James Bay are accessible from the community by boat. Waskaganish
(Little House) was chosen to be the first Hudson Bay Post (1668) in Canada
called Fort Charles. Also well known as the historic Home Land of the Nomad
(Cree) hunters and trappers who make their livelihood by means of living the
traditional lifestyle by hunting and trapping of the land. There is a local
artists and arts/crafts store stocked with the famous goose decoy made of
natural larch branches.
unpaved road (opened in Aug 2001) connects the community to the James
Bay Road, 103km to the west.