La Matanie borders both the Bas-Saint-Laurent (Lower St. Lawrence) and Gaspésie (Gaspé Peninsula) regions. Located between sea and mountains, it stretches on, with 100 kilometres of coastline, covering a 3400 km2 area. The region's vast and wild territory, 10 kilometres away from nearby towns and villages, is easily accessible. The unorganized Rivière-Bonjour territory's scenery offers peaks close to 1000 metres of altitude, multiple great lakes as well as a rich wildlife, mostly known for its high population of moose.
The region, rich in diversity, offers a wide array of touristic activities for everybody, from the outdoor lover to the history geek, and promises wonderful discoveries along the way.
Native Americans roamed our region for millenniums but it is first mentioned in historical records in 1603 when Samuel de Champlain names our river «Mantanne». Amongst the many hypotheses surrounding the name's origin, most believe it comes from the Micmac language referring to a «Castor's nest», a common resource in the area.
By the 16th century, the region is visited seasonally by European fishermen and fur dealers but it is colonized only later, after the foundation of the Saint-Jérome-de-Matane parish in 1662 and the acquisition of a seigneury covering both coasts of the river by the Lord Mathieu D'Amours de Chauffours in 1677. The first villages develop soon after, spanning from the east to the west coast of the Saint Lawrence River, in the second half of the 19th century due to the forest exploitation booming (ex. Sawmills, spindle wood manufacturers). Most territories are colonized by French Canadians but some, like Baie-des-Sables, are occupied by British colons. The location near the Matane River, the birth of many industries and the evolution of different infrastructures like transportation (harbor and railway) lead to Matane becoming the regional economic center by the beginning of the 20th century.
To fight the unemployment and poverty of the 1930's, the government of Quebec, under the guidance of Minister Vautrin, emphasizes on forest exploitation and agriculture which results in the emergence of new parishes in the Gaspésie region. Populating villages in the Matanie backdrop prove to be sometimes difficult with certain parishes (Saint-Nil, Saint-Thomas-de-Cherbourg, Saint-Paullin-Dalibaire) closing in the 1970's, despite the crowd's opposition voiced during the Opérations-Dignités. Nevertheless, many municipalities resist to closures and continue to develop to this day.
Matane becomes a MRC in January 1982 and dictates its first regulation the following year, in favor of the region's development. The MRC, ever since its creation, has been a key player when it comes to encouraging the regional economy's blossoming and highlighting the tourism industry and new technologies, such as the windmill energy in recent years. Since the territory reorganization in 2001, the MRC has to face the challenge of bringing together Matane, the prosperous urban center where the majority of the population lives, and all the nearby municipalities that suffer from a weak economy but still cover most of the territory. In 2013, the MRC of Matane becomes the MRC of La Matanie.