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The main part of the municipality is located on a peninsula in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The eastern part is an island surrounded by several bays and peninsulas, including Brador Bay to the north, Middle Bay to the west and Gros Mécatina River estuary to its south. The area was first inhabited by Mi'kmaq people who named it "Piktuk" or "Piktook". It means place where there are many fish (Mi'kmaq: pîktuak). In 1838, French settlers arrived at this location from Rivière-du-Loup and called it Côte du Golfe St-Laurent after which they founded a village that took its name from that river's mouth into St. Lawrence River which was known as Pointe de la Baie des Ha!Ha!.