Cover image of Ontario Archaeology Volume 96: Daily life amongst Iroquoian groups during winter / Illustration: Francis Black, 2017

Introduction (Circles of Interaction)


For decades, the history and culture of the Huron-Wendats has been recorded, interpreted, and written by Euro-Canadian scholars and researchers who essentially built their reputations and credibility on the very rich heritage of this First Nation. These scholars typically observed distinctive attributes of the material culture in the St. Lawrence Valley in the sixteenth century. They thus considered the “St. Lawrence Iroquoians” as a distinctive ethnic group that differed from the ancestral Wendats. Archaeologists refer to the people encountered in A.D. 1535 by Jacques Cartier as St. Lawrence Iroquoians. They were thought to have “disappeared” by A.D. 1608 when Champlain arrived in the region. Archaeologists have long tried to explain this disappearance as a result of the introduction of European disease, warfare, and environmental changes that impacted agricultural yields. Where the St. Lawrence Iroquoians went, therefore, became a mystery to be solved, an issue we will discuss in detail in a later section.

In Ontario Archaeology