Saint-louis Mission National Historic Site

Saint-louis Mission National Historic Site

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Toronto, Canadá3.109 aportes
ago. de 2021
Not far from Sainte-Marie among the Hurons there is a national historic site of Canada, Saint-Louis Mission. The historical plaque on the cairn says:

“Saint-Louis was the name given by the Jesuits to the stockade village of the Ataronchronon in the 1640s. On the morning of 16 March 1649 a large Iroquois war party stormed the neighboring village of Teanhatentaron (Saint-Ignace), then fell on Saint-Louis. Among those captured and carried off to be put to death amid the ruins of Saint-Ignace were Fathers Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalement, who had been conducting a mission at Saint-Luis. Within a year the Iroquois raids had devastated Huronia and dispersed its once numerous population.”

There are also two interpretive signs, offering the following description:

“The arrival of the Jesuits to New France in 1625 brought a great change and created divisions between the traditional Huron-Wendat and those who had chosen to convert. During this time, the Iroquois Confederacy began expanding their territory into Huronia. The expansion brought the two Confederacies into increasing conflict. This led to the destruction of the St. Ignace II, St. Louis, and St. Marie missions, the dispersal of the Huron-Wendat from Huronia, and the retreat of the Jesuits to Quebec. Similar conflicts continued in the Great Lakes region until the signing of the Great Peace of Montreal in 1701.

The historic alliance between the Huron-Wendat and the French profoundly marked the history of Canada. For the people of the Huron-Wendat people today, it is important that the visitors to this site understand that the spirit of the Huron-Wendat is forever present in the territory of Huronia.”

“In the early 1640s this site was home to the main village of the Ataronchronon people of the Huron-Wendat (8endat) Confederacy of Huronia. The Huron-Wendat tended crops of corn and squash, and harvested beaver, fish, deer, sunflowers, apples, plums, grapes, nuts and berries. Villages often relocated every 8 to 12 years as the sandy soil in the fields became depleted. The people of the Iroquois Confederacy led a very similar agriculturally-based lifestyle in the territory south of Lake Ontario known as Mohawk Valley. The Huron-Wendat Nation was the first in this region to encounter European explorers, customs, weapons, economy, religion and disease. The development of the fur trade in the 1600s created increasing cultural pressure on Aboriginal nations as the colonies of European nations expanded. By 1640 multiple epidemics throughout Huronia had greatly reduced the population of the Huron-Wendat Nation from 30,000 to 10,000 people.”

A short drive away is the Mission of St. Ignace II National Historic Site. Following the capture of the missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant at Saint-Louis mission, they were brought back to Saint Ignace II and killed here. Unfortunately, the gate was closed and I was unable to visit the actual site. I understand that there is just a farmland and an interpretive sign.

Canadian poet E. J. Pratt (1882-1964) in 1940 wrote “Brébeuf and his Brethren”, an epic on the mission of Jean de Brébeuf and his seven fellow Jesuits to the Hurons, their founding of Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons, and their eventual martyrdom by the Iroquois. He was awarded one of his three Governor General’s Award for Poetry the same year. This is how he described the events that had taken place at this very site:

Less than two hours it took the Iroquois
To capture, sack and garrison St. Ignace,
And start then for St. Louis. The alarm
Sounded, five hundred of the natives fled
To the mother fort only to be pursued
And massacred in the snow. The eighty braves
That manned the stockades perished at the breaches;
And what was seen by Ragueneau and the guard
Was smoke from the massed fire of cabin bark.

Brébeuf and Lalemant were not numbered
In the five hundred of the fugitives.
They had remained, infusing nerve and will
In the defenders, rushing through the cabins
Baptizing and absolving those who were
Too old, too young, too sick to join the flight.
And when, resistance crushed, the Iroquois
Took all they had not slain back to St. Ignace.
Escrita el 3 de octubre de 2021
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Saint-louis Mission National Historic Site (Victoria Harbour) - Lo que se debe saber antes de viajar - Tripadvisor

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