Commemoration Of The First Franco-Aboriginal Alliance At The Root Of French Settlement In Canada
The government of Canada commemorates the national historic significance of the franco-aboriginal alliance of 1603
BAIE-SAINTE-CATHERINE, Quebec, – September 24, 2009 -On behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Jacques Gourde, Member of Parliament for Lotbinière–Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, today unveiled a plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the Franco-Aboriginal Alliance of 1603.“The Government of Canada is proud to highlight the historic significance of this alliance, which took place in 1603 at the mouth of the Saguenay River, as it marked the beginning of a partnership between the Innu, their allies and the colonial authorities that would develop under the French regime. This agreement not only enabled sustainable military and commercial collaboration between the people but led to French establishment in Canada,” declared Mr. Gourde.
Between May 27 and June 9, 1603, diplomatic meetings at the mouth of the Saguenay River laid the foundation for a network of alliances that would play a defining role in the history of New France. Montagnais (Innu), Algonquins (Anicinabek), and Etchemins (Maliseet) sealed an initial alliance with France that enabled the French to settle in the Québec region in exchange for a promise of economic relations and military assistance against the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Signalling a new direction in French policy, this pact fostered the development of the fur trade and the establishment of a permanent colony in Canada. For the Aboriginal communities, it marked the beginning of vast changes to their cultures and territories.
“Commemorating First Nations history is a priority of our government. The Franco-Aboriginal Alliance of 1603 along with other aboriginal events, persons or places known for their national historic significance form an important part of the cultural mosaic of Canada,” concluded Minister Prentice.
Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that commemorate persons, places and events that have shaped Canada’s history and which offer visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discovery. Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada’s historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.
Parks Canada – Quebec
Backgrounder associated with this News Release.
The Franco-Aboriginal Alliance of 1603