MataneMatane, Qué, Town, pop 14 742 (2006c), 14 948 (2001cA), inc 1937. Matane is located in the Gaspé region on the south shore of the St Lawrence River 100 km northeast of RIMOUSKI. Its name is a derivative of the local Micmac word for "beaver pond." Jacques CARTIER visited the site in 1542 and noted its abundant stocks of fish and game. Jesuit missionaries established contact with the MICMAC in 1643, while the first seigneury was granted in 1672. Permanent European habitation dates to the building of fishing camps in 1688. Agricultural development began in the late 18th century and the population remained very small until the growth of the lumber and forest products industries.
In the 1950s, the closing of several paper mills resulted in widespread unemployment. A decade later, however, the recognition of Matane's port as an important regional transportation and distribution point revived interest in the town. There is now a pulp mill and a paper mill providing employment. Shrimping is another important activity. The town is predominantly French-speaking and is served by a community college (CEGEP).