New France, andinfluenced the Europeans in the period before 1663. The Indians, beingnumerous compared with the Europeans, came into frequent contact with them.The Indians and Europeans traded items with one another, which led tovarious events and actions that contributed greatly to the history of NewFrance. The Europeans who arrived after the Indians had already settledwere exposed to the native people’s way of life, from which techniques forsurvival were acquired.
Later, the Europeans depended on the Indians, someof whom acted as middlemen and who had items which were valuable to them.Various Indian personalities were also observed and admired by Europeansparticularly the Jesuits.The Native Indians were among the first people to enter North America.They entered America through the passage of the Bering Strait, a locationwhich is the midpoint of Alaska and Siberia. As time passed, they settledon various pieces of land and hunted, fished and grew crops. Alfred Baileymentions that, “It had been suggested that Siouans, the Iroquoians andAlgonquians were among the first to enter America.”1 Before the Europeansarrived, there were many native tribes that were already settled.
By thetime Europeans arrived in North America, they found natives occupying largeamounts of land.2 The Indians helped start the history of New France.Since the natives arrived early in North America, their populationstarted to increase quite rapidly. With the combination of migration aswell as the birth rate, the Indians inflated their population to a largesize. “In 1663, there were only still 3000 Europeans living in New France,no more people than constituted a small Iroquoian tribe.”3 The Indianswere in the majority before 1663.
Surrounding the area of New France there were two main native groupswho spoke different languages. These groups were the Algonquian and theIroquoian.The Algonquians were primarily involved in trading and fishing. Thesepeople remained in groups called bands, which included relatives such asparents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Algonquiansprimarily hunted, and so would develop groups to hunt in different areas.
They travelled around frequently and would take everything they neededwhile on their hunting journey. In the winter, they used snowshoes; in theSummer, they used the canoe. The Algonquians were always moving from onelocation to another; because of their hunting they never stayed in onelocation for a long period of time.The Iroquoians were mainly occupied with agriculture. This groupestablished themselves near land which could be farmed upon. They remainedin this area until the land was exhausted and nothing more could becultivated upon it.
After the land was worthless it was abandoned andanother piece of land was selected upon which to plant at another location.Their villages were known as Longhouses. These Longhouses were quite largeand supported more than five families in them. The men were mainly thepeople who constructed the Longhouse. While the men were busy during thesummer, hunting, trading, or engaging in war, the women would care for thecrops. The Iroquoians helped contribute to agriculture by being one of thefirst to grow crops.
While trading with the Europeans, the Indians were faced with manyinstances that were devastating and other cases which helped them profit.Trade in New France was so prominent that France decided to create amonopoly to bring the trade under control. Two provisions had to be met:Firstly, the private fur trading company had topromote colonization. Secondly, it had to send Roman Catholic missionaries to Christianize the Indians.4 On the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Tadoussac, became the chief trading centre forthe Europeans. The trade route surrounding Tadoussac contained connectionsfrom Hudson Bay to New England.
Some negative aspects of the fur tradewere that:The Fur Trade at first enriched traditional Indian life, but later increasing competition for pelts generated conflicts that led to the dispersal of many Indian groups. Indian wars grew out of long standing rivalries or developed as a result of Indian disputes over furs.5 An outcome of trading with the Europeans that devastated the Indians,was the epidemics which the Europeans presented. These epidemics destroyeda large percentage of the Indian population, which they did not deserve andwhich were calamitous to the population.
Certain groups, such as the Hurons, abandoned agriculture and focusedon trading. This reveals that trading had an enormous impact on Indiansand their heritage. The Indians were still in control of exchanging furs,since Indians controlled the supply of beaver