By 1745, the Iroquoian territory was no longer what it had been in 1500. It was now much smaller and divided up into three unequal parts. The Iroquois Five Nations were the only ones who were actually still living in the same territory as in 1500. Only this part of the territory was still being called Iroquoia in 1745. There were Petun-Huron in the Great Lakes Region, but they were few in number and no longer lived in the same territory as in 1500. There were also Iroquoians living in villages in the St. Lawrence Valley, near Québec City and Montréal.

Between 1500 and 1745, there had indeed been many changes that had affected the Iroquoian territory.

1. European settlement in North America

The lives of the Native nations had been turned upside down by the arrival and settlement of Europeans in North America. By 1745, the French had become firmly established in the St. Lawrence Valley. They had settled on land where Native people once lived, or on land that belonged to their hunting territory.

2. Missing and scattered nations

The only Iroquoian nation that had been living in the St. Lawrence Valley in 1500 was now gone: the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. In 1745, this nation no longer existed.
Other Iroquoian nations had encountered difficulties as a result of wars and had changed territory. The Huron and the Petun had been the first to be driven from their territory by the Iroquois. Soon after, so were the Neutrals, the Eries and the Susquehannock.

3. Native villages in the St. Lawrence Valley

The Huron and Iroquois, who were members of the Iroquois Five Nations, had come to settle in villages (missions or reductions) near French colonists. There were a total of seven Native villages in the St. Lawrence Valley. The Natives living in these villages were called “domiciled”.


Author:  Service national du Récit de l’univers social