Wemindji is a village in Quebec, located on James Bay, which is the southern part of Hudsons Bay.
Wemindji is part of the Cree nation. The first language spoken in Wemindji is Cree. Due to the historical contact with the Hudson Bay Company, many Cree people speak English as a second language.
Wemindji is accessible via the James Bay Road. The gravel access road to Wemindji is located at kilometer 518 of the James Bay Road (518 km north of Matagami). Once on the gravel road, it is 96 kilometers to Wemindji. There are no services until you reach the village of Wemindji.
As of 2009, the gravel road is in good repair and is regularly graded. There are a few areas of washboard but not many. The road is passable by and is regularly used by passenger vehicles.
Note that fuel is available 24 hours a day on the James Bay Road at Matagami, QC (km 0), at Relais Routier (km 381) and at Radisson (km 620). Fuel is also available in Wemindji at Sibi Gas Station and Hardware Store, however it may not be available 24 hours a day.
The James Bay Road is very remote. Make sure your vehicle is in good repair. Be prepared to deal with black bear and insects, which are common throughout the northland.
Wemindji Airport is served by Air Creebec with connections to Montreal, Val-d'Or, and Chisasibi.
Wemindji is a small community surrounded by a vast wilderness. It is on Paint Hills Bay about 5 km from the open water of James Bay, and is surrounded with many lakes, inlets, bays and islands. During the summer, canoes and motorboats are the most common way to access the surrounding area. During winter, snowmobiles are the usual means of transport.
Canoes and kayaks are available for rent, and outboard motor powered freighter canoes with guide are available for longer excursions.
Canoe and kayak launch sites are available. There is a trailer boat launch for light vessels available in Wemindji. There are many boating opportunities in the protected chain of lakes around Wemindji. Boaters are cautioned that conditions on James Bay may change rapidly, and that the open waters of James Bay must be navigated with offshore ocean skills. The maze of islands can be confusing, so a GPS navigation system is recommended. It is recommended to speak to locals about your boating plans so that if you go missing, they will know to look for you.
Mawabou Taxi is available in the village.
James Bay and Paint Hills Island - Guided motorboat excursions may be arranged to visit Paint Hills Island, or any of the many islands surrounding Wemindji, where wildlife can be observed.
Interact with Cree people and learn about their culture
Practice your kayaking skills
Explore a deserted island
Learn about how to build a Cree tipi shelter
Look at the freighter canoes
Observe northern plant, animal and sea life
Walk the rocky coastline
Mountain bike the singletrack and two-track trails around the village
Sibi Hardware Store
Banking - the Bank of Montreal
Please respect that Wemindji is a dry community.
Maquatua Inn - Hotel
Kookum Sarah's Bed & Breakfast
There are primitive, informal camping locations available just outside of the Village. You may be able to park an RV near the freighter canoe launch. It is best to ask if it is OK at the Police station or the village offices. There is a large construction site / gravel pit about 10 km east of the village which would be a good place to park an RV, although it is somewhat far from the village. There is a lot of room there, it is all flat gravel. Ask at the village about what is the best place to park. There are no water or dump station services, you will need to be self contained.
If you are tenting, take a good groundcloth to protect your tent and sleeping pad to protect your back, most good camp areas are gravel.
Throughout the James Bay Region, it is common to park the vehicle just off the road and camp. There are a number of quarries, logging roads and access roads that can be used with care to find good sites for tenting and RV parking off of the main road.
- Wemindji Police Force: +1 819 978-0320
- Ambulance: +1 819-978-3911
- Fire Department: +1 819 978-3773
- Clinic: +1 819-978-3117
- Dental Services: +1 819-978-0341
The nearest villages by road are Radisson (198 km), Chisasibi (268 km), and Eastmain (366 km).