What to KNOW
Pakua Shipi is an Innu community located across from the village of St. Augustine on the west bank of the St. Augustine River. The name Pakua Shipi derives from an Innu term meaning river of sand, an appropriate description of the striking sand banks that appear at low tide at the mouth of the river. Until recently, traditionally nomadic Innu travelled along the St. Augustine River to the interior to fish, hunt and trap the renowned salmon, trout and fur-bearing animals along the river.
In the 1860s, a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post was established near the mouth of the river to serve local settlers and Aboriginal traders. The post was abandoned and then reopened in the early 1900s. A community at Pakua Shipi has existed in some form or another for centuries. It became an official village in the 1970s with the start of a government housing project. Residents of Pakua Shipi continue to practice traditional Innu activities, including fishing, hunting, trapping, and making handcrafted goods. People speak the Innu language among themselves. Most also speak French, and a few of the older residents speak English.