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Encyclopedia > St. Lawrence Iroquoians
Territory occupied by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, circa 1535
Territory occupied by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, circa 1535

The St. Lawrence Iroquoians lived, until the late 16th century, along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. What little is known of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians is found in the writings of Jacques Cartier and in archeological and linguistic studies of the late 20th century. The Saint Lawrence River (French fleuve Saint-Laurent) is a large west-to-east flowing river in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. ... Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Official languages French Flower White garden lily Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Lieutenant-Governor Lise Thibault Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 75 24 Area Total  - Land  - Water    (% of total)  Ranked 2nd 1,542,056 km² 1,183... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Official languages English (French has some legal status but is not fully co-official) Flower White trillium Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats... Portrait of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, ca. ...


The visit of Jacques Cartier

The explorer Jacques Cartier observed in 1535 and 1536 several Iroquoian villages north of Île d'Orléans, including the village of Stadacona on the site of modern-day Quebec City, as well as the village of Hochelaga in the vicinity of modern-day Montreal. Archeologists have unearthed other similar villages further West, near the eastern end of Lake Ontario. St. Lawrence Iroquoians lived in villages which were usually located a few kilometres inland from the Saint-Lawrence River and were often enclosed by a wooden palisade. Up to 2000 persons lived in the larger villages. Although Jacques Cartier made mention of longhouses in Hochelaga, he left no description of Stadacona or the other villages nearby. Events January 18 - Lima, Peru founded by Francisco Pizarro April - Jacques Cartier discovers the Iroquois city of Stadacona, Canada (now Quebec) and in May, the even greater Huron city of Hochelaga June 24 - The Anabaptist state of Münster (see Münster Rebellion) is conquered and disbanded. ... Events February 2 - Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza founds Buenos Aires, Argentina. ... ÃŽle dOrléans is located in the St. ... Motto: Don de Dieu feray valoir (Gift of God shall make prosper) Area: 547. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Hochelega was an Iroquois village in northeastern North America. ... City motto: Concordia Salus (Latin: Well-being through harmony) Province Quebec Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area  - % water 366. ... Lake Ontario seen from near Wolcott, New York Lake Ontario (French: lac Ontario), bounded on the north by Ontario and on the south by Ontarios Niagara Peninsula and by New York State, is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. ...

The demise of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians

By the time of the arrival of Samuel de Champlain and the founding of Quebec in 1608, however, there was no longer any trace of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians who were visited by Jacques Cartier some 75 years earlier. The complete disappearance of the Iroquoians has spawned several theories, including devastating wars with the Iroquois tribes to the South or with the Hurons to the West, the impact of Old World diseases or their migration towards the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Samuel de Champlain by Théophile Hamel (1870) Samuel de Champlain (about 1580 – 25 December 1635) was a French geographer, draftsman, explorer and founder of Quebec City. ... Events March 18 - Sissinios formally crowned Emperor of Ethiopia May 14 - Protestant Union founded in Auhausen. ... The Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee, also known as the League of Peace and Power, Five Nations, or Six Nations) is a group of First Nations/Native Americans. ... This article is about the First Nations people, the Wyandot, also known as the Huron. ... The discovery of America is variously attributed to the following people, depending on context and definition: Native Americans, the first people to live in America (see Paleo Indians and Clovis Culture) Viking explorer Leif Ericson, the first European proven to have landed in America Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, such... The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ...

Archeological evidence points most strongly to devastating wars with the neighbouring Iroquois and Huron tribes in an attempt to control the trade routes with Europeans. In the mid to late 16th century, the St. Lawrence Valley had probably become a very dangerous area and the St. Lawrence Iroquoians seemingly paid the price. It would also appear that some of the Iroquoian survivors were probably taken in by the neighbouring Huron, Mohawk and Algonquin tribes, by force or by mutual agreement. Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech/discourse) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... The Mohawk (Kanienkeh or Kanienkehaka meaning People of the Flint) are an indigenous people of North America who live around Lake Ontario and the St. ... The Algonquins or Algonkins are an aboriginal North American people speaking Algonquin, an Algonquian language. ...

At the time of Samuel de Champlain's arrival, both Algonquins and Mohawks hunted in the Saint-Lawrence Valley and conducted raids, but neither had any permanent settlements. The exact location of Hochelaga remains unknown.


Main article: Laurentian language

Linguistic studies indicate that the St. Lawrence Iroquoians probably spoke several distinct dialects of their language, often referred to as Laurentian, one of several languages of the Iroquoian language family that includes Mohawk, Huron-Wyandot and Cherokee. Since only sparse records were made by Jacques Cartier during his voyage in 1535-1536, including two vocabulary lists totaling only about 200 words, the St. Lawrence Iroquoians may have spoken two or more distinct languages in an ares stretching over 600 km, from Lake Ontario to East of Île d'Orléans. Territory occupied by the St. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... Territory occupied by the St. ... Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... Mohawk is a Native American language spoken in the United States and Canada. ... Wyandot is the Iroquoian language traditionally spoken by the people known variously as Wyandot, Wendat, or Huron. ... Cherokee (Cherokee: Tsalagi) is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people. ...

The word "canada"

At least one word of the language of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians may still be in use today as Canada's name: the word "canada" meant village in language spoken by the inhabitants of Stadacona. Jacques Cartier wrote that ilz appellent une ville canada (they call a village canada). Jacques Cartier also used the word to describe both the region near Stadacona and the St. Lawrence River that flows nearby. Detail from the current Canadian $20 bank note, issued in 2004. ...

Curiously, both the Canadian Encyclopedia of 1985 and various publications of the Government of Canada, such as "The Origin of the Name Canada" published by the Department of Canadian Heritage, suggest that the word "Canada" stems instead from a "Huron-Iroquois" word, "kanata", meaning village or settlement. Although this would appear at first to be an astounding historical error, since neither the Hurons nor the Iroquois lived in the St. Lawrence valley in the 16th century, it should be remembered that this statement reflects theories first advanced in the 18th and 19th centuries that were later discredited by archeological evidence and linguistic comparative studies of the late 20th century. Several prominent authors, notably W. Kaye Lamb, the "former Dominion Archivist" who authored the article on Canada in the Canadian Encyclopedia of 1985, were apparently unaware of the many archeological and linguistic studies published since 1950. This "Huron-Iroquois" theory was later integrated into the article on Canada in the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1996. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Department of Canadian Heritage, also referred to as Heritage Canada or simply Department of Heritage, is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for policies regarding the arts, culture, media, communications networks, and sports and multiculturalism. ... Library and Archives Canada (French: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada) is a new cultural institution created by the Parliament of Canada in 2004 (S.C. 2004, c. ... 1913 advertisement for the 11th edition, with the slogan When in doubt — look it up in the Encyclopædia Britannica The Encyclopædia Britannica (properly spelled with æ, the ae-ligature) was first published in 1768–1771 as The Britannica was an important early English-language general encyclopedia and is still...


  • Jacques Cartier. (1545). Relation originale de Jacques Cartier. Paris: Tross (1863 edition). (Vocabulary list on pages 46 to 48)
  • James F. Pendergast. (1998). "The Confusing Identities Attributed to Stadacona and Hochelaga", Journal of Canadian Studies. Volume 32. Pages 149-167.
  • Bruce G. Trigger et James F. Pendergast. (1978). "Saint Lawrence Iroquoians", Handbook of North American Indians. Volume 15. Pages 357-361.
  • Bruce G. Trigger. (1976). The Children of Aataentisci I: a History of the Huron People to 1660. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press. Pages 214-228. ("The Disappearance of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians")



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