Nain was first established in 1771 by Moravian missionaries. It is among the oldest permanent Inuit settlements in Canada, most communities in Nunavut and Nunavik were settled le labrador PDF the 1950s or later. In 1959, residents of Hebron and Nutak resettled to Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
In 2016, the Google Street View imaging service uploaded images of various roads in Nain. Nain is one of the few communities in Labrador with images on the service. On December 1, 2005, Nain became the administrative capital of the autonomous region of Nunatsiavut which is the name chosen by the Labrador Inuit when the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act was successfully ratified by the Canadian Government and the Inuit of Labrador. Hopedale, further south, is the legislative capital. Nain is located on the north side of Unity Bay, a small inlet. The bay is open to the Atlantic Ocean but Nain’s harbour is protected by numerous islands, the largest of which is Paul’s Island.