By Lawrence Belanger
Local Journalism Initiative
On Jan. 19, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) will host its first Heritage Talk of 2023, when Jean-François Lozier, Curator of French North American history at the Canadian Museum of History, will give a 30-minute talk based on his book “Flesh Reborn: The Saint Lawrence Valley Mission Settlements through the Seventeenth Century”. Lozier described the purpose of his book was to review conventional historical sources “against the grain and between the lines” in order to “figure out what is and isn’t being said about Indigenous peoples” in New France during the 17th century.
The common view of French Canada’s history is not entirely accurate, according to Lozier. “You find it written up in history books as the history of French settlement and development of a society that starts from Champlain settling in Quebec City, and it growing from a fur trading post to a town, to the capital of a continent-wide French empire,” he explains. “In most of these books, when you look for Indigenous actors…they…tend to be secondary or even tertiary in their role [in the books].” In actuality, says Lozier, sources from New Amsterdam (later New York) and New England paint “a portrait of dynamic population movements, wars, epidemics,” and more amongst indigenous communities concurrent with French colonization.
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