Huron Indians

Who are the Huron Indians ?

They probably had their roots in and around the St Laurance valley.

They are closely connected to the Iroquois tribe although over time they were bitter enemies.

There is sarong probability that they had their own homeland in southern Ontario along the shore of Lake Ontario.

They had their own name they called themselves “The Wendat” which translated means Dwellers of the peninsula or Islanders.

They were not a tribe as such but part of a confederacy of four or more tribes who had mutually intelligible languages.

It was the French who came into contact with the Huron people in the early 17th century .

At the time their population was around 20000to 40000 people but like all other native peoples on Turtle Island disease devastated their no’s significantly .

Competition with other tribal nations and war fare intensified over the fur trade to satisfy the European fur traders.

The introduction of firearms from the Europeans had a massive impact on these tribes.

However, the Huron were not as experienced in the use of firearms as other tribes like the Iroquois .

They were at a disadvantage geographically as the Iroquois league had a good access to fire arms and other metal tools from the Europeans such as the Dutch, French and British  so they had to rely on their more traditional weapons such as bows and arrows axes and clubs.

Jesuit missionaries who travelled with the fur traders into the interior of the continent were prominent in contacting native tribes to try and convert the natives to Christianity.

This also led to conflict as several missionaries were attacked and burned and the priests killed.

In 1807 the wendat joined forces with three other tribes the Ojibwe ,Potawatomi and Odawce.

This was the treaty of Detroit which resulted in a major secession of their lands to the U.S government.

By the 1840s most of the Wendat people were displaced to Kansas through forced Indian removal were living conditions and status were abysmal and by 1855 there  were  no more than 600 or so people in Kansas.

On august the 27th 1999 representatives from far flung Wyandot bands of Quebec ,Oklahoma ,and Michigan gathered at their historic homeland in Midland Ontario where they formally re-established the Wendat confederacy.

Their cultural way of life was very similar to that of the Iroquois people with the same type of dwellings houses in a village surrounded by a wooden stockade to protect then from attacks.

As mentioned, they were bitter enemies of the Iroquois Confederacy who they competed with over the fur trade.

To day there are around 4056 registered people in the Wendat Huron first nation in Wendake Quebec Canada.