In 1745, the Iroquoians still spoke their mother tongue. But depending on where they lived, some had also learned French or English.

The Huron near Québec City

Many of the Huron of Jeune-Lorette (Wendake), which is right beside Québec City, spoke French in 1745. They had learned the language through their frequent interactions with the inhabitants of Québec City. They were bilingual because they also spoke the Huron language. However, the Huron language is now extinct. The Huron no longer speak it.

The domiciled Iroquois

Most of the people living in the Iroquois villages near Montréal spoke Mohawk. Some also spoke French, but not as many as the Huron.

The missionaries in the villages often spoke one or more Native languages. This is because they thought it would be easier to convert Native people in their own language. They even translated religious songs and prayers into Native languages.

Today, many people in the communities of Kahnawake, Kanesatake and Akwesasne still speak Mohawk. Most of them also speak English.

The Five Nations and the Huron-Petun

The Five Nations Iroquois who lived on their ancestral territory still spoke their mother tongue. A few of them had also learned French or English. This was the more or less the same among the Huron-Petun: they all spoke Huron, but some also spoke French.

Author:  Service national du Récit de l’univers social