The Huron-Wendat of Wendake (formerly called the Hurons of Lorette)
originally came from the Georgian Bay region. Until the middle
of the 17th century, our ancestors occupied a vast territory
straddling part of what is now of the United States (from Detroit
as far south as Oklahoma), south-eastern Ontario (Penetangueshene
and Midland) and Quebec; they hunted and trapped throughout this
territory (mainly in the Laurentian Mountains, between the central
section of the St. Maurice River and the Saguenay).
Between 1634 and 1650, the Wyandot Confederation was dismembered;
its families, having been gathered into four (4) or five (5)
tribes, were dispersed. It is estimated that the Huron population
totalled approximately 20,000 to 30,000 people in 1634.
By 1650, only a few hundred individuals remained. Most of
the rest had been decimated by epidemics or had perished over
the previous twenty (20) years in wars involving Hurons and Iroquois,
French and British.
Part of the Huron population had also been integrated into
the Iroquois Confederation. The survivors of this tragic episode
divided into two groups: the Great-Lake Wyandots and the Huron-Wendat,
who were the ancestors of the Huron-Wendat of Wendake.
This marked the beginning of a period of exile for the three
hundred (300) or so Wendat, an era during which they would occupy
as many as six (6) different sites in the province of Quebec
before settling for good in the village of Lorette (which was
until recently called the Huron Village) in 1697. First established
on Orleans Island in 1651, the community moved to Quebec City
in 1668. Subsequently, the Wendat temporarily resided in Beauport,
Notre Dame de Foy, Ancienne-Lorette and then the New Lorette
consult the photographic index of the Grand Chiefs of the Nation,
please click here.