Hurons-Wendat of Wendake
At the time of the destruction of Huronia by the Iroquois, in 1649-1650, about 500 Huron left Georgian Bay to seek refuge close to the French, in the Québec City region. These Huron, who quickly converted to Catholicism, initially settled on Ile d'Orléans (1650-1656), but moved their villages several times before finally settling some kilometres north of Québec, at Jeune-Lorette (now Wendake), in 1697. In the decades that followed, the Huron population slowly declined. It reached its lowest level of about one hundred people in 1760 before gradually increasing to attain a level of approximately 300 in the mid 19th century. One of the Seven Nations of Canada, the Huron were allies of the French until 1760, then of the British. Due to their small numbers however, they played only a modest role in the North American conflicts.
After establishing themselves in the Québec region, the Huron would progressively attach greater importance to hunting to ensure their subsistence. This was done to the detriment of the cultivation of light crops that in the 19th century occupied only a marginal place in their way of life. The Huron hunting territories were found north of the Saint-Lawrence, between Saguenay and Saint-Maurice. In the second half of the 19th century, several factors however, rapidly forced the Huron to abandon their traditional hunting activities: the opening of new regions of colonization; the formation of numerous private hunting and fishing clubs; and the creation of Parc des Laurentides. From this time on, making and selling crafts articles (snowshoes, baskets, canoes, etc.) occupied a dominant place in the Huron economy. The Wendake today are among the most urbanised and most prosperous aboriginal communities in Québec. In 1997, the Huron-Wendat nation comprised about 2800 members.