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Commissioned by Francis I., King of France, Cartier command an expedition to  explore the Western Continent.  On April 20, 1534 he sailed for twenty days, before arriving at Newfoundland. Entering the Strait of Belle Isle, touching the coast of Labrador, he took possession  of the country in the name of his king. He erected a cross, which hung the arms of  France.  Explored the Bay of Chaleurs, landed in Gaspe Bay, held friendly discourse with  the natives, and induced a chief to allow two of his sons to go with him to France,  promising to return them the next year.  Also planted a cross with the French arms upon it.  Sailed northeast across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, entered the branch of the St.  Lawrence River north of Anticosti Island.  Unconscious of having discovered a magnificent river, he turned and sailed for  France to avoid the autumn storms, arriving at St. Malo on Sept. 5, 1534.­war/explorers/jacques­cartier.htm

He gave Canada its name, after he mistook the Mohawk word for village (kana:ta') as the name of the whole land. Canada -- a Mistake! We owe the name of our country to a misunderstanding. When Jacques Cartier heard the Iroquoian word "kanata", which means town or village, he thought it was the name used for the country. The name began appearing on European maps. According to Cartier, the Mi'kmaq loved to trade. His accounts say the Native people "showed a marvellously great pleasure in possessing and obtaining these iron wares and other commodities, dancing and going through many ceremonies… Video of the first meeting and adoption of Canada as the country’s name:

This nineteenth­century illustration depicts French explorer Jacques Cartier at his first meeting with  the Indians at Hochelaga (now Montreal) in 1535.  For an interactive link; Retrieved from:

Excerpt from his Writings:  The next day part of the saide wilde men with nine of their boates came to the point and  entrance of the Creeke, where we with our ships were at road. We being advertised of their  comming, went to the point where they were with our boates: but so soone as they saw us,  they began to flee, making signes that they came to trafique with us, shewing us such  skinnes as they cloth themselves withall, which are of small value. We likewise made  signes unto them, that we wished them no evill: and in signe thereof two of our men  ventured to go on land to them, and carry them knives with other Iron wares, and a red hat  to give unto their Captaine. Which when they saw, they also came on land, and brought  some of their skinnes, and so began to deale with us, seeming to be very glad to have our  iron ware and other things, stil dancing with many other ceremonies, as with their hands to  cast Sea water on their heads. They gave us whatsoever they had, not keeping any thing, so  that they were constrained to go back againe naked, and made signes that the next day they  would come againe, and bring more skinnes with them.   How that we having sent two of our men on land with wares, there came about 300. wilde  men with great gladnesse. Of the qualitie of the countrey, what it bringeth forth, and of the  Bay called Baie du Chaleur, or The Bay of heat.



Oh Canada in Aboriginal language Google Images



Google Images

Indian Hudson's Bay Company Trade Goods: Living History School­b­H67J2iM

For an interactive experience:

Early 1800’s足michillimackinac.php

Before watching the video listen to audio  and think about how it makes you feel;  what images does the narrative bring  forth?

Having listened to the audio, watch the video; does it change the  way you feel, and are the visuals what you imagined?



Mi'kmaq interactive alphabet.swf

Mi'kmaq talking poster image.swf

Canada’s First Nation Help Desk. Retrieved from (2010). Lizotte, M. An Indian Encampment, A Point in History. Retrieved from (2011). Early Settlement Archaeology. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from Eddins, N., O. (n.d.). Traders and Indian Trappers of Beaver Pelts. The Fur Trapper. Retrieved from (2009). Emily Carr, Radio Minute. The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved from (2009). Emily Carr, Radio Minute. The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved from (2009). Historical Exploration Toolkit. Inuit Contact and Colonization. Inuit Heritage Trust. Retrieved from Indian Hudson's Bay Company Trade Goods. Living History School. Retrieved from Jacques Cartier: First Contact with the Indians (1534) Retrieved from (2010). "Jacques Cartier - His First Interview with the Indians at Hochelaga". KnowLa Encyclopeadia of Louisiana. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved from

(2009). Jacque Cartier, Radio Minute. The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved from (2008). Jacque Cartier. Son of the South. Retrieved from Mi’kmaq Talking Posters. (n.d.) Smith/Francis Orthography. Eastern Woodland Publishing, Truro, N.S. Retrieved from Mi’kmaq Talking Posters. (n.d.) Mi’kmaq Talking Poster; Food of the Tribe. Smith/Francis Orthography. Eastern Woodland Publishing, Truro, N.S. Retrieved from Mitch. (2011). The surrounded Villasur expedition is attacked by the Pawnee and their French allies. Image c. 1720. American Military and Naval History. Retrieved from (2008). Natives Trading With the French Early 17 Century. Historical Narratives of Early Canada. The National Post Retrieved from (2004). O’Canada in the Aboriginal Language. Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk. Retrieved from Pethokoukis, S., Keska, J., & Lewis, C. (n.d.). The Fabulous French Explorers. Retrieved from (2009). Sir George Simpson Receiving a Deputation of Indians in York Factory. Inuit Contact and Colonization. Inuit Heritage Trust. Retrieved from (2004). Stars; Soundtrack in the Aboriginal Language. Atlantic (2008). Spiritual Flute: The Beauty of Nature. Sound Track .Retrieved from v=W_19VdTakY4&feature=related

Social Studies  

Early Explorers and First Nations People Grade 6

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