QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2001-08 > 0998981761
From: "Carol Lambert" <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] La grande paix de Montreal 1701 - Someone asked me about this bef ore
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 06:56:04 +0000
The treaty actually took weeks to hammer out and the natives didn't have
much of a choice but to sign, the whites were starting to outnumber them
I can't let this pass without comment. Take the time to read the
historical background of the Great Peace of 1701. It took YEARS, not
weeks, to, as you say, "hammer [it] out". The Natives themselves were
involved in all the details. They were treated as Sovereign Nations. It is
absolutely false to say they "didn't have much of a choice but to sign."
I have seen Quebec's 'slant' on history such as the claim that Labrador is
theirs to the point they put it on the map of every Quebecer's driver's
license as being in Quebec even though Labrador is in Newfoundland. I much
prefer the natives 'true' version of history, they were outnumbered and they
knew it and had to sue for peace. When I say weeks I'm talking about the
actual get together and signing of the documents.
Calire, the Governor-general, was a mediator for the French government, and
had as his basic intent to accomplish a peace among the Western Tribes and
other Nations friendly to the French and the Iroquois, as well as the French
with _all_ these Nations.
But of course! They now more then ever needed the natives since the
suspension of the fur trade in 1696 seen their native alliances dwindle
drastically. They were outnumbered by the British and wanted to ensure the
natives would be on their side against the British and not the other way
around. They were NOT looking for friendship as you make it sound they were
using the Indians for their own cause.
At issue also was the return of prisoners taken by the Western Tribes and
the Iroquois, most of whom had been "adopted" into the Nation that took
them. Some did not even want to return. That's Iroquois prisoners taken by
the Western Nations and Western
Nation prisoners taken by the Iroquois, as well as French prisoners taken by
the Iroquois. The politics is far more complex than your response
It's simple enough to understand that the french came and took over the
Indian village of Hochelaga and declared that they had 'founded' it by
renaming it VilleMarie and then Montreal. They then proceeded to 'convert'
the 'savages' as they called them through the Jesuits and stuck them on
Also at issue in 1701 was trading privileges. The Iroquois wanted to trade
with the French and had already been granted access to Fort Frontenac
(modern day Kingston, Ontario).
During this time the Iroquois were making more money with the British in the
fur trade, they didn't need the french.
As I said above, the issues were indeed complex, and I haven't even
touched on the French / English politics. The Iroquois were negotiating
with the English at Albany that summer as well, but the English considered
them their "subjects", in contrast to the French approach.
In contrast to the French approach?! The french didn't treat them any better
than the British did!
Please don't confuse modern politics with the politics of the past.
I'm not, I know my history and it doesn't come from one or two books. It
comes from knowing my history well and having french family here since the
1600's and being married to a native man who also knows his history well.
His ancestors on both sides didn't come from Europe, they always lived here
in their native land.
Gilles Havard's _La Grande Paix de Montral_, published in 1992, has just
been revised and translated into English, published by McGill-Queen's
University Press, 2001. I have both books. I also have a photocopy of the
original treaty document.
Like I said my knowledge of history does not rely on one white man's version
of it. You need to read a lot more. As for the document you can find it on
There is no longer any excuse for Anglophones to plead ignorance (or
perpetuate misconceptions) about this important event.
I am half Quebecois de souche as the separatists call it and have lived here
all my life. I find this last statement of yours offensive coming from
someone from Michigan, USA!
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|Re: [Q-R] La grande paix de Montreal 1701 - Someone asked me about this bef ore by "Carol Lambert" <>|