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Alexander Von Gernet

ANT241 Lecture 4 October 1, 2007 TA: Brendan [email protected] • Images of “Indians” in Canadian and American history • Late 19 century- dew individuals that have contributed to the European understanding of aboriginal people • There is a period in Canadian history known has heroic history which began with the arrival of John Cabot in 1497 like Columbus in 1492 • John Cabot plays little role since he had little contact with the indigenous people • This period ends with the establishment of a royal government in New France in 1663 • It took a long time to establish a government • Populations in 1663 in what are now Ontario and Quebec o had 3000 Europeans o 125, 000 aboriginal people o Yet we tend to know more about the names and roles of these Europeans over the aboriginals • Europeans get far too much attention in history in proportion to their actual population in this period Early writers on “Indians” in Canada • 17 century (1600’s) is the beginning of famous writings and this era tends to have a lot more information on aboriginals then later writings o Marc Lescarbot (lawyer)- accompanied an excavation to arcadia port royal (Nova Scotia) with Champlain in the first decade in the 17 th century and by that time the French had been in the area for some time so he had actually lived in what is now Nova Scotia and interacted with the population  This was an eye witness who interacted with locals and because he was literate he left s information on the ingenious people o Samuel Champlain (colonist)- he was a soldier who accompanied one of the first expeditions to the new world and then came back as a leader and known as the “found of new France”  he went down the St. Laurence and founded France o he drew maps with considerable ethnographic detail- where people are located in connection to the environment  he thought of aboriginals as being somewhat rude and savage • savages did not seem to have laws, rules or organized systems of government o All Europeans were different in their perspective depending on their exp. and encounters with such people o Jesuits (priests)- one of the most important writers of the 17 century came in to do missionary work  Were different from other religion organizations whose missionaries goals were to go in to the community bring them out of their ways and convert them to their religion  Jesuits h/o believed that the only way to convert the indigenous pop. was to live with the indigenous people, learn their language, create dictionaries, translate Christian text  They were known as martyrs b/c they were often tortured and burned  They had a lot of friends, close to many Huron so during wars they were sometimes bound to one side h/o other times they were on both  Even though the Jesuits were a product of their own Europeans religion they are nonetheless excellent communicators of aboriginal history  They had to report back to France every year in order to justify where they were using money and in their reports (17 volumes- most important historical source) one can see that many events were in Canada  They were also map makers o Even though many of these writings are subjective to the writers point of view they are excellent eyewitnesses of events that occurred at that time th • 18 century (1700’s) o Joseph-Francois Lafitau (Jesuit)- compared the practises of the salvages of the Americas and those of the Europeans  Noticed some many extraordinary things, and what fascinated him was that many of the stuff he saw was what he read about in ancient texts so he began to compare aboriginals traditions and even object to those of ancient Europe  He noticed such detail b/c he was very educated and well versed in all classical literature, like all other Jesuits (they were the school house of Europe)  He also maintained this theory b/c he was able to explain why this happen (such a connection btw societies) so he came up with the idea of a doctrine of generations- which stated that these savages had degenerated somehow from a common noble past (same origin) ; maybe because they were separated on this different continent o Pierre de Charlevoix (Jesuits)- he wrote a history of Canada that lasted from centuries  According to him (rare firsthand experience) Indians were salvage, adulterous negative people but he did praise them for their bravery  Yet he created stereotypes for all cultures (i.e. Huron are most hated) and made connections to environmental conditions (i.e. Algonquians are hunters/ gathers so more war like)  He said the main diff was education  Europeans had learned already and they need to still “teach” the ingenious peoples • 19 century (1800’s)- not some many in Canada but around the rest of the world  George Glidden (polygenesis)-he was looking at tomb paintings in
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