11,000 (2011 census). Includes 5,870 Western Montagnais, and 2,620 Eastern Montagnais. 10,500 L1 speakers of Montagnais and Naskapi [nsk] (2001 census). Ethnic population: 10,000 (1996 D. Myers).
Quebec and Labrador, Lake Saint John east along Saguenay Valley to north shore Saint Lawrence River and Gulf of Saint Lawrence east to St. Augustin, north to height of land at Schefferville and inland Labrador (Goose Bay, Lake Melville). 11 communities. Western Montagnais in 4 communities: Mashteuiatsh (near Roberval, Quebec), Betsiamites, Uashat-Maliotenam (near Sept-Iles, Quebec), Matimekosh (near Schefferville, Quebec). Eastern Montagnais in Mingan, Natashquan, La Romaine, Pakuashipi (Saint Augustine, Quebec, sometimes called Pakuashipu), Sheshatshiu (North-West River, Labrador).
Eastern Montagnais, Western Montagnais. Palatalized l-dialect and palatalized n-dialect within Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi language complex or dialect subgroup. There are possibly 3 dialects based on the shifting of Proto-Algonquian *l within Western Montagnais to ‘n’. 2 Western Montagnais communities (Mashteuiatsh, Betsiamites) use ‘l’, as the reflex of Proto-Algonquian *l, and the other Western Montagnais (Uashat-Maliotenam, Matimekosh) use ‘n’. Uashat-Maliotenam and Matimekosh could be classified as Central Montagnais. All Eastern Montagnais speakers use ‘n’.
Ethnonym: Innu used in northeast Quebec and Labrador. Culture mainly based on family hunting grounds visited seasonally.