from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Native American people inhabiting an extensive area in Quebec and Labrador.
  • n. A member of this people.
  • n. The Algonquian language of the Montagnais and Naskapi.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. An Algonquian language spoken by approximately 11,000 people in Eastern Canada.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Canadian French, from French montagne, mountain; see Montagnard.


  • The Canadien were probably a southern branch of the people who were called Montagnais by Champlain.

    Champlain's Dream

  • “I studied their customs very particularly,” he wrote.76 He knew that the Montagnais were a hunting and gathering people—and thought that they were the most skillful hunters he had ever met.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Champlain believed that part of the problem of the Montagnais was their extreme vulnerability to famine.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Among the Indians, the Montagnais are the only ones who talk in this fashion.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Algonquin tribes, generally known as Montagnais or Mountaineers, living in rude camps covered with bark or brush, eking a precarious existence from the rivers and woods, and at times on the verge of starvation, when they did not hesitate at cannibalism.


  • Indians as "Montagnais" to the Labrador natives it is doubtful whether you would be understood.

    The Long Labrador Trail

  • This was an area harshly fractured between Champlain's trading partners of the Algonquin, Huron, Montagnais, Abanaki and Ojibwa versus their hated enemies of the Iroquois League - Mohawks, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca.

    Tom Alderman: The Man With Big Orenda - An Audio Book Review

  • Saying that Etruscans are autochthonous to Italy is like mistaking those of European descent here in Canada as Aboriginals and then assuming that English is a Native language like Haida and Montagnais.

    "Proto-Aegean" - What I mean and what I don't

  • It has been purported to be derived from an Algonquian word (possibly from the Abnaki language: askimo) meaning 'raw meat eater'[1], although other scholars refute this etymology and offer another alternative involving the Montagnais term aiachkimeou /a:jasʧime:w/ or its Cree counterpart askimew both meaning 'snowshoe-netter'[2] (even though snowshoes were hardly a distinguishing feature of the Inuit in contrast to any other aboriginal peoples of Canada).

    A note about 'Inuit' and 'Eskimo'

  • Finally, another alternative etymology is suggested in Hirschfelder/Beamer, Native Americans Today: Resources and Activities for Educators, Grades 4-8 2000, p.3: "Some linguists argue that the word originated with the Montagnais and actually means 'snowshoe netter.'"

    Archive 2008-05-01


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