I absolutely must tell you about an extraordinary event that is taking place in my town, this summer of 1701. But allow me to introduce myself first: I’m Jacques. I am 34 years old and I live in Montréal.

In 1667, the year of my birth, a truce began in what some called the Iroquois wars. The Iroquoian groups to the south, known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, had been expanding their territory to gain access to larger hunting grounds. The French soldiers had attacked them that year, and both sides had stopped fighting and sought peace. So, my father, who was a farmer, was finally able to work in the fields without fear of being attacked. I was born then and grew up on that farm. But unfortunately, the war resumed when I was 13 or 14 years old, and my brother was actually killed as the conflicts continued.

But today the future seems full of hope. I have seen more than 1300 Indigenous people arrive here since the beginning of summer, some of whom have travelled for several weeks by canoe. Some come from nations that are allied with the French, but there are Iroquoian nations from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy here, too. It seems like a lot of people from different Indigenous Nations and the French are interested in finding agreements to stop this never-ending war!

And that is exactly what happened: On August 4, 1701, 39 representatives of Indigenous Nations, along with Louis-Hector de Callières, the representative of France, signed the Great Peace Treaty. Peace like we have never known before now. And without war or threat of attack, now the colony will truly be able to grow and prosper.

Alternative images available on the RECITUS page here ,  on the Pointe-À-Callièr Museum site and also at the Canadian Encyclopedia

Author: Service national du RÉCIT de l’univers social adapted by LEARN


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Video series by Pointe-à-Callière