Nibachis' Fields

At the beginning of June of 1613, Champlain visited an Algonquin village somewhere near present-day Cobden, Ontario, located at the eastern end of Muskrat Lake:

"In this way we came to a lake, six leagues long and two wide, very full of fish; and the people of the country about come there to fish. Near this lake there is a settlement of savages who till the soil and raise maize. The chief is named Nibachis. He came to see us, with his followers, and was surprised that we had been able to pass the rapids and bad roads that it was necessary to traverse to reach them...They showed me their gardens and fields, where there was maize. Their soil is sandy, and for that reason they devote themselves more to the chase than to tilling the soil, in contrast to the Ochataiguins. When they wish to prepare a piece of land for cultivation they cut and burn the trees, and they do this very easily, for there are only oaks and elms. When the wood is burned they stir up the ground a little and plant their maize, kernel by kernel, as people do in Florida. It was only four inches high when I was there."