Micmac Chief’s Observations of the French (1691)

Micmac Chief’s Observations of the French...

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Unformatted text preview: Micmac Chief’s Observations of the French (1691) Reported by Chrestien Le Clercq, in New Relation of Gaspesia, with the Customs and Religion of the Gaspesian Indians (1691), translated and edited by William F. Ganong (Toronto, 1910), pp. 103–106. Chrestien Le Clercq was a French priest who traveled among the indigenous peoples near present-day Quebec. A primary purpose of interaction with native peoples was to convert them to Christianity and teach them the “civilized” ways of Europe. The excerpt below is the response of a Micmac (one of the Gaspesian Indians of the title) chief to European arguments of cultural superiority. This type of exchange allows us to glimpse Native American views concerning the Europeans. I am greatly astonished that the French have so little cleverness, as they seem to exhibit in the matter of which thou hast just told me on their behalf, in the effort to persuade us to convert our poles, our barks, and our wigwams into those houses of stone and of wood which are tall and lofty, according to their account, as these...
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