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(or Innu) language is part of the Algonquian linguistic group. It is related to the
Cree, Attikamek and
Naskapi languages. More than 80% of all members of the Montagnais Nation speak their language.
With an estimated population of 13,775 people, the Montagnais Nation is the second largest First Nation in Quebec, after the Mohawks.
There are more than 9,570 residents living in one or the other of the nine Montagnais communities in Quebec. Montagnais (also known as the Innuat, or Innu in the singular) also live in Labrador, which is considered a part of the province of Newfoundland.
Montagnais communities have territories on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence; on the western shore of Lac Saint-Jean; and in the area near the Quebec-Labrador border and the municipality of Schefferville.
The Montagnais Nation in Quebec is made up of nine communities, including Betsiamites, Ekuanitshit, Essipit, La Romaine, Mashteuiatsh, Matimekosh, Natashquan, Pakua Shipi, and Uashat mak Mani-Utenam.
Each community has its own band council for the administration of local affairs. There are two organizations which represent the collective interests of the Nation: the Conseil tribal Mamuitun and the Mamit Innuat. An economic association, the Société de development économique montagnaise, and a tourism promotion organization, the Société touistique innu, have been created by the Nation. All Montagnais communities have a community radio station linked to the network of the Société de communication Atikamekw-Montagnais (SOCAM).