Search for "New France"

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Christian Religious Communities in Canada

Christian religious communities are groups of people who have chosen to devote their lives to the work of their respective churches. The first Christian religious communities in what is now Canada were established in New France. In the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), 22,102,745 Canadians identified as Christian. The majority of that number, 12,810,705 people, identify as Catholic.

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Pierre Mercure

Pierre Mercure, composer, producer, bassoonist, administrator (b at Montréal 21 Feb 1927; d accidentally near Avallon, France 29 Jan 1966). Mercure, always seeking a new, multimedia language, learned French music and became an orchestrator with Claude CHAMPAGNE.

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Wintering Partner

A wintering partner (also "winterer") was an inland trader and shareholder, most notably in the North West Company. The wintering partner system evolved in New France, where fur merchants divided their profits with associates conducting the trade.

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François Dollier de Casson

François Dollier de Casson, explorer, superior of the Sulpicians in New France (1670-74, 1678-1701), seigneur of Montréal, vicar general, historian (b in the château of Casson-sur-l'Erdre in Lower Brittany 1636; d at Montréal 27 Sept 1701).

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Black Enslavement in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

The practice of slavery was introduced by colonists in New France in the early 1600s. The practice was continued after the British took control of New France in 1760 (see British North America.) For about two hundred years, thousands of Indigenous and Black African people were bought, sold, traded and inherited like property in early Canada. Slavery was abolished (made illegal) throughout British North America in 1834.

(This article is a plain-language summary of slavery in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry on Black Enslavement in Canada.)

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Voyageurs

Voyageurs were independent contractors, workers or minor partners in companies involved in the fur trade. They were licensed to transport goods to trading posts and were usually forbidden to do any trading of their own. The fur trade changed over the years, as did the groups of men working in it. In the 17th century, voyageurs were often coureurs des bois — unlicensed traders responsible for delivering trade goods from suppliers to Indigenous peoples. The implementation of the trading licence system in 1681 set voyageurs apart from coureurs des bois, who were then considered outlaws of sorts. Today, the word voyageur, like the term coureur des bois, evokes the romantic image of men canoeing across the continent in search of furs. Their life was full of perilous adventure, gruelling work and cheerful camaraderie.

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Gouverneur

Gouverneur (governor), the French monarch's official representative in NEW FRANCE. The office, created before a complete system of government had been established, was always granted to a member of the nobility by royal commission, and the appointment could be withdrawn at any time.

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Alice Jones

Alice Jones, writer (b at Halifax 26 Aug 1853; d at Menton, France 27 Feb 1933). Developing international themes and the "New Woman" figure in her novels, Jones counterpointed the superficiality of European life against the vitality of Canadian society and character.

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Nancy Huston

Nancy Louise Huston, novelist, essayist (b at Calgary, Alta, 16 Sep 1953). Nancy Huston grew up in Calgary and Wilton, New Hampshire. In 1973, after attending Sarah Lawrence College, she moved to France, where she studied at the Université de Paris under Roland Barthes.

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Arthur Romano

Arthur Romano. Saxophonist, clarinetist, oboist, english hornist, teacher, b Naples 23 Mar 1914, naturalized Canadian, d Montreal 16 Jan 1964. He studied with his father, Giulio, with Alfred Gallodoro in New York, and with Marcel Mule in France, and at first played in cabarets.

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Ursulines in Canada

The Ursulines are a Roman Catholic female religious order devoted to girls’ education. The order has been in Canada since Ursuline nun Marie de l’Incarnation arrived in New France in 1639. Although initially focused on education and missionary work with Indigenous girls, the Ursulines gradually shifted their vocation toward educating French Canadian girls. With geographic and membership expansion from the 18th to the 20th century, the Ursulines established themselves as a major force in girls’ education, especially in Quebec. The Ursulines opened the first monastery in New France and the first school for girls in North America (see Ursuline Monastery).

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Paul Mascarene

Paul Mascarene, born Jean-Paul, military officer, colonial administrator (b in Languedoc, France 1684/85; d at Boston, Mass 22 Jan 1760). A Huguenot émigré, Mascarene served throughout New England and Atlantic Canada 1710-40 as a military engineer and fluent negotiator with the Acadians and Indians.

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Pierre-Esprit Radisson

After the governor of New France punished them for this expedition, the partners went to Boston to arrange a voyage to Hudson Bay. In 1665 they sailed to England, where their plan of bypassing the St Lawrence R to reach the interior fur-producing region found backers.

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François Bigot

After the British capture of Louisbourg in 1745, Bigot was sent back to Canada in 1748, against his personal wishes, to assume chief responsibility for the civil government of New France. Soon merchants began to complain that only Bigot's friends were receiving contracts to supply the government.

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Black Fur Traders in Canada

The role of Black people within the history of the fur trade is rarely considered. Black people were rarely in a position to write their own stories, so often those stories went untold. This owes to a complex set of factors including racism and limited access to literacy. Black people are also not the focus of many historical documents. However, historians have identified several Black fur traders working in different roles, and even an entire family of Black fur traders who left their mark on history.

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Saint Kateri (Kateri Tekakwitha)

Kateri Tekakwitha or Tekaouïta (baptised Catherine), known as the Lily of the Mohawks, first North American Aboriginal person elevated to sainthood (born in 1656 at Ossernenon in Iroquois country, now Auriesville, NY; died 17 April 1680 at the St. Francis Xavier Mission at Sault St. Louis, New France, now Kahnawake).

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Louis-Joseph Gaultier de La Vérendrye

Louis-Joseph Gaultier de La Vérendrye, explorer, cartographer, fur trader, military officer (born 9 November 1717 at Île aux Vaches, Quebec (New France); died at sea off the coast of Cape Breton 15 November 1761). Known by his title Chevalier, the youngest son of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye led the first European exploration across the Missouri River into the Great Plains. He served New France in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War.