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.
This 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.
An unpaved road (opened in Aug 2001) connects the community to the
James Bay Road, 103km to the west.