Samuel De Champlain Painting courtesy of Hamel, Théophile. “Samuel de Champlain.” Painting., 2006,

French Colonists of Canada

As early as 1534, the French were exploring the Canadian shores. In 1604, Samuel de Champlain, who is considered the Founder of Quebec, established the first organized French settlement in Passamaquoddy Bay.

The French settled in New France, which is now Quebec, Canada and establish it in 1608. They were important allies to the native population that extended through the North-East. The French Royalty had ordered that the French not impede on Natives in the region, for they were too important to economic growth. This order also included not expanding onto Native Territory as the Natives were an important factor in the successful domination of the fur trade and general survival.

This narrative drastically changes over the time period of 1620’s-1630’s with the arrival of Jesuit missionaries. The Jesuits ministry was determined to take a strong position of influence over the Natives which took on the central role of the Native Americans dispossession. The Jesuit missionaries’ initial approach was to discipline and “civilize” the Natives in order to bring them under the rule of God. Decades later, after the displacement of the local Natives and a realization of their failed attempts, the Jesuit missionaries would later turn to more flexible methods of evangelizing that we’ve come to associate with the French Jesuits.

French-Indigenous alliance ended in 1763 when Britain took control over the New France through the Treaty of Paris.

Later in history New France had an extensive slave market that included the enslavement of both African Americans and Indigenous people.

To learn more visit The Canadian Encyclopedia

English Colonists of Massachusetts

See English settlers for an in-depth discussion of the English colonists roles against the Native Americans of Keene and the surrounding area. 

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