1600s in Canada

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Events from the 17th century in Canada.


  • c. 1600: By now, perhaps 250,000,000 First Nations and Inuit (Eskimo) inhabit what is now Canada.
  • 1627: King Louis XIII grants a fur-trading monopoly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to a group of French merchants.
  • 1640: Françoise Marie Jacqueline, youthful daughter of a physician from Nogent, France, sets sail for what would become Saint John, New Brunswick, to wed Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, Governor of Acadia, and to assume many roles, including wife, confidant, soldier and businesswoman. In spite of the ongoing and escalating conflict between LaTour and his well-connected rival Governor, Charles de Menou, Sieur d'Aulnay, she would elevate LaTour's status amongst the power brokers of the day in France and in the growing English colonies to the south. In 1645, she would successfully defend Fort LaTour against a vicious attack by d'Aulnay, only to be betrayed, ultimately losing her life. Buried in the vicinity of the Fort, in what is now downtown Saint John, her bones have never been found. Remains of the Fort still exist, protected as a national heritage site, hidden beneath layers of ancient soil.
  • 1603-15 - Samuel de Champlain's (c. 1567-1635) voyages in the Northeast lead to contacts with many Algonquian and Iroquoian tribes. He explores the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River for France.
  • 1603: A fur trade monopoly charter is granted by France to the sieur de Monts to all the land lying between 40th-46th degrees north latitude. He establishes trade settlements in Acadia (later Nova Scotia) and at Quebec City on the St. Lawrence.
  • 1604-06: Mattieu da Costa travels with the Champlain expedition to Port Royal. He serves as an interpreter between the French and the Micmac Indians of the area.
  • 1605-07: The Europeans are welcomed by Mi'kmaq Grand Chief Membertou, who converts to Catholicism, makes a wampum-belt treaty with the Vatican.
  • 1605: Samuel de Champlain and the sieur de Poutrincourt found Port Royal, Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia (later to be named Annapolis Royal by the British), the first permanent French settlement in North America.
  • 1607: English colonists found Jamestown, Virginia under John Smith, leading to extensive contact with the tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy.
  • 1608: Champlain allies himself with the Algonquians and with the Hurons, who are amenable to missionary activities and acts as the principal suppliers of furs. This alliance, however, antagonizes the Iroquoian Confederacy, traditional rivals of the Huron and suppliers of furs to the Dutch in New Amsterdam.
  • July 3, 1608: Quebec City is established as a fur post by Champlain and French colonists, creating in effect the first permanent European settlement.
  • 1609: The settlement of Quebec owes much to Samuel de Champlain, an explorer hired by the sieur de Monts, who became the foremost champion of French colonization.
  • 1609: Champlain supports the Algonquins against the Iroquois at Lake Champlain. He fires on the Iroquois, setting a pattern of Indian relationships.

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