A sedentary way of life
The Iroquoian nations were sedentary, meaning they mostly stayed in one place; unlike the Algonquian people who were constantly moving. The Iroquoian people lived in villages and farmed their food. They stayed in the same place for 10, 15 or even 20 years, as long as the land continued to produce enough food. When the soil became depleted, the entire village had to move to another location on their territory where the soil was fertile. The village also had to be near a source of drinking water and close to a forest for wood supplies.
Some people lived in small villages with only five to 15 longhouses. But some villages had 50 houses. These large villages were often surrounded by a palisade for protection. This was the case in the village of Hochelaga on the island of Montréal, where the St. Lawrence Iroquoians lived.
Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social
Important concepts and big ideas: