The Innu community of Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam (ITUM) is divided in two sectors. The Uashat sector, located on the western outskirts of Sept-Îles, covers 1.08 km2 of the city. The Mani-Utenam sector is 16 km east of Sept-Îles and covers 5.02 km2. This area includes the community’s Nitassinan. In 2012, ITUM numbered approximately 3,544 members, among which 2,885 were living in the community. The main spoken languages are Innu-Aimun and French.
In socio-economic terms, the community has many businesses and has also signed an agreement with Hydro-Québec for the hydroelectric development of the Sainte-Marguerite River (SM-3). The community specializes in commercial fishing (activities are described below).
Other than basic infrastructures and services, the community has a seniors’ residence, an outdoor theater, sports facilities, a youth home, a shopping center and a museum. It is also the home of Institut Tshakapesh, whose mandate is to promote Innu culture and language.
Fishing and processing activities
The commercial fishing activities of the ITUM community are managed by Pêcheries Uapan. Uapan is a commercial fishing management company within the Société de développement économique Uashat mak Mani-Utenam. Its role is to manage commercial fishing permits and assets such as boats and fishing gear.
The ITUM community has 37 fishing permits, 15 of which are in operation. The main species fished are ground fish (Greeenland halibut and Atlantic cod), snow crab, Icelandic shrimp, American lobster and surfclams. The community operates 8 boats: La Gamme, Monikaroline, Pathfinder, Karine II, Brigitte-Suzanne, Colibri, Kerry S. (inactive) and Innu II (inactive). In 2012, ITUM employed 23 Innu, including 3 captains, among its 6 crews.
As a member of Groupe UMEK (co-owned with Essipit, Pessamit and Crabiers du Nord), the community operates a snow crab processing plant in Sept-Îles. Overall, ITUM’s commercial fishing activities generate 38 jobs in the community.
The community’s fishing activities are burgeoning and many projects are in development, such as:
- Packing vessel for the northern shrimp
- Development of expertise in order to operate new permits (scallops, whelks, herring, etc.)
- Acquisition of vessels and permits
Video on snow crab fishing
The following film, produced by the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters, presents the snow crab fishing activities of Captain Jeff Vollant from the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam community.