Canadian Indian


This hand-colored drawing portrays a Canadian Indian, most likely a Nipissing, who was part of a settled community on the Île aux Tourtes near Montreal. An explanatory manuscript on a separate folio states: “these natives, who are good warriors, used to live by a Canadian lake named after them, and were attracted to the colony in 1704 in order to make it their home. They currently live on the Île aux Tourtes, which is southwest of the Island of Montreal on the Saint Lawrence River. The idea was to have them come here and place them at the entrance to the colony so they could serve as a shield against the Iroquois and the Indians further inland. Their help would have been considerable if they had stayed in that location, but it is very hard to relocate a whole nation, even if it is only comprised of 300 warriors. Some went back to the place where they had come from, which only resulted in their nation being scattered, with only 60 or 80 warriors left at this time.” “Settled” Indians in New France were those living in Christianized villages in the Saint Lawrence valley near the French settlements of Quebec, Trois-Rivières, and Montreal. They included members of the Huron, Algonquin, Abenaki, Iroquois, Nipissing, and other tribes. The Nipissing are an Algonquin people, first encountered by the French in 1613.

Last updated: November 4, 2015