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While reading your French Cultural history, it is important to remember that-
LIBERTY IS NEVER LOST IN A SINGLE EVENT.
The French in New France were given very little decision
The citizens of Quebec had none.
Some English historians would have us believe that the early French are chevaliers, adventurers, and swindlers; not nation builders. They claim the French didn't colonize the land; at best they garrisoned it.
These are the same people that have to admit that the English presence in the North West is dismal for the first 150 years, mostly being represented by the Orkney who genetically are 60% Norwegian Viking.
That the Hudson Bay Company was created by the French Coureurs de Bois.
That the Hudson Bay Company remained virtually a foreign based Trading Post from 1668 until the 1780's.
That they only moved inland because the Indians refused to travel to the Northern Bay.
The English only established their first real colony in 1812, at the Metis colony of Red River in the North West.
For these reasons, the English are not significantly included in my early European view of history. Their presence is relatively insignificant.
It is important to read words in the context of the period, the source and general intent of the original writer; as the meaning of words evolves over time. Michel Robert and others have brought this to my attention concerning the word sauvage (savage). Michel says:
The meaning of "savage" in the Anglo-Saxon culture and "sauvage" in the French culture
are totally different. While you are
generally right in your definition of "savage", it does not apply to "sauvage" which meaning is short and unambiguous : " son of
nature"; where nature means the sun, the earth, the water, the trees, etc.
Later, during the XVII century, it also became synonymous with "virgin, purity, untainted by bad faith, etc.
When one reads old documents and is aware of this major difference, one will realize how tremendously different were the various European cultures and ensuing actions at that time, particularly in the Americas.
You will notice that at one point in Cartier's journal, he laments the fact that the "sauvage" (one of the secondary leaders at Stadacone) is not that "sauvage" after all, and is capable of bad and covert intentions just like a European. Others suggest the most common definition of 'Les Sauvages' in early New France is 'wild people of the forests'. The Jesuits considered the word sauvage to mean pagan and a minion of Satan or as they considered them the 'Reign of Satan' in 1639.
The French and Europeans in general tenaciously hang on to their language as though it represents their culture. Like the other Europeans they attempted to impose their language upon the indigenous peoples. Language is a means of communicating and history suggests differing languages inhibits communication, and results in misunderstanding. It is estimated that 6,809 languages are known to have existed, 306 are now extinct and 438 languages have fewer than 50 speakers. It is noteworthy that 50% of the peoples of the earth only use 15% of the languages. Papua New Guinea has 832 languages and north America was the home for 200 languages.
The reasons for these French cultural pages are two fold:
A French historian made the remark that there were very few Metis in Quebec and I knew this was in error, so I set out to prove him wrong and to provide some insight into the Metis contribution to the creation of Quebec..
In the early days of the North West, if it appeared there was Indian heritage in a family, the polite Anglo-Saxon settlers would say "that is just a little bit of French".
In my quest, I soon discovered, that the record keepers and the Jesuit often hid the fact that Frenchmen married Les Sauvages. My Quest goes on!
HOWEVER as you walk through the portals of my work, don't take it as gospel, rather use it as a guide to do your own research.
Or as others say 'look again' then 'look again' as history is not static but evolving, as new evidence and understandings surface.
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