La Romaine is made up of a very small French-speaking community and a much larger Innu reserve, Unamen Shipu, next door. The name La Romaine is a French corruption of the Innu word ulaman or sometimes uruman, meaning “ochre,” which refers to the usually rusty red waters of the spring runoff.
Unaman Shipu was founded in 1956 and is the largest Innu reserve on the North Shore. They are among the last Aboriginal peoples in North America to maintain a semi-nomadic way of life and are also known for their birch bark canoes.
Today many residents of La Romaine work in the lobster fishery or in private sport-fishing camps.