The St. Lawrence Iroquoians are dispersed

March 19, 2017

Plan of Hochelaga, Island of Montréal

Plan of Hochelaga, Island of Montréal, Giovanni Battista Ramusio, 1550. Archives de la Ville de Montréal, VM166-D4000-3-001

1550 to 1600

Sometime between Jacques Cartier’s third voyage and 1603, the Iroquoian-speaking peoples living in the St. Lawrence valley vanished from the region. No written account of what happened has survived, but the introduction of epidemic diseases from Europe and pressure from neighbouring First Nations may have been contributing factors. Traditional oral history — to some extent buttressed by archaeological discoveries — seems to indicate that some of the survivors relocated to the west, where they were incorporated into the Huron-Wendat Nation.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.