Île d'Orléans (French for Orleans Island) is located in the Saint Lawrence River about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of downtown Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The island was one of the first parts of the province to be colonized by the French, and a large percentage of French Canadians can trace ancestry to early residents of the island. The island has been described as the "microcosm of traditional Quebec and as the birthplace of francophones in North America."
The island is accessible from the mainland by ferry from Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse and Quebec City or by the Île d'Orléans Bridge from Beauport. Route 368 is the sole provincial route on the island, which crosses the bridge and circles the perimeter of the island. At the village of Sainte-Pétronille toward the western end of the island, a viewpoint oversees the impressive Chute Montmorency (Montmorency Falls), as well as a panorama of the St. Lawrence River and Quebec City.
Samuel de Champlain (c. 1567 or 1580 – December 25, 1635; French pronunciation: [samɥɛl də ʃɑ̃plɛ̃]), "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat and chronicler, who founded Quebec City on July 3, 1608.
Born into a family of master mariners, Champlain, while still a young man, began exploring North America in 1603 under the guidance of François Gravé Du Pont. From 1604-1607, Champlain participated in the exploration and settlement of Acadia, then, in 1608, established the French settlement that is now Quebec City. Champlain was the first European to explore and describe the Great Lakes, and published maps of his journeys and accounts of what he learned from the natives and the French living among the Natives. He formed relationships with local Montagnais and Innu and later with others further west (Ottawa River, Lake Nipissing, or Georgian Bay), with Algonquin and with Huron Wendat, and agreed to provide assistance in their wars against the Iroquois.
In 1620, Louis XIII ordered Champlain to cease exploration, return to Quebec, and devote himself to the administration of the country. In every way but formal title, Samuel de Champlain served as Governor of New France, a title that may have been formally unavailable to him due to his non-noble status. He established trading companies that sent goods, primarily fur, to France, and oversaw the growth of New France in the St. Lawrence River valley until his death in 1635.