DOL: #3, Independent Canadian Inquiry

Historical significance:

The inquiry question that I posed for study was, “How did Ochasteguin kick start Canadian economy?”. Before I delve into the fruits of my research, Ochasteguin was the chief of the Arendaenronnon nation of the Wendat Confederacy, the lesser of the two indigenous peoples who were controlling the trade along the St. Lawrence river.

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As a leader of this trade route, Ochasteguin had access to the best trading opportunities in all of North America due to the plentiful amount of beavers that could be brought from farther inland. Ochasteguin and a few of his peoples met with the people of New France, and granted them control of the route in exchange for aid against the other, more dominant group, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. New France agreed to the offer, and marched into battle with Samuel du Champlain, their leader, armed with a musket like weapon called the Arquebus. The alliance, machinery, and fear factor proved to be too much for the opposing trade force, and it was thus dominated by the Wendat and New France alliance. This went hand-in-hand with the trend of beaver pelt hats in Europe which strengthened their profits greatly, and allowed the two groups to build their civilizations up with greater efficiency and dominance. As this event occurred many years ago, I have been unable to find any primary sources recounting this event, but secondary sources include a quick history of the Wendat peoples, the Canada: The Story of Us video, and a book by the name of Religion, Gender and Kinship in Colonial New France.

Cause and Consequence:

The reason for the economical success of the two peoples was due to the natives willingness to trade and work with the newcomers. They realized that the french colonists had much greater firepower, as well as armor. Seizing this opportunity, the Wendat propose access to the trade route in return for aiding them in their attempt to claim the southern section of the St. Lawrence. New France needed to show France that they could turn a profit, so Samuel agreed, thus winning both sides a great economical advantage over other, and for du Champlain, the very thing he needed to maintain his settlement in what is now Quebec. An unintended consequence of this interaction, was the extinction of the Wendat people which was caused by diseases such as tuberculosis which was brought over from Europe. these diseases are said to have wiped out 90-99% of the indigenous population as their immune systems were not capable of dealing with the infections.

Ethical Judgement:

The event may very well have seemed just and correct back then, but now it would seem as though the French gained a much larger amount of the profit. Back in their time, the events and trades were mostly dominated by the indigenous, as was this one, but the trade seems unfair from today’s viewpoint. The Wendat agreed to allow control of the route over to the New France colony in exchange for what they wanted, which was to control both sides of the trade route.

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This worked out for both sides to begin with, as they both followed through on their promises, thus improving the French economy as well as the Wendat.  An unintended consequence of this interaction was the spread of diseases which led the Wendat to be weakened, and defeated by the Iroquois in 1648-50.

Socials Studies Inquiry Process:

Due to Ochasteguin and the Wendat people’s deal with New France, the Canadian economical system gained an important piece in creating the economy that we have today by establishing and sharing a controlled trade route along the St. Lawrence river. Even after New France fell at the hands of the English, the route had gained the area economic stability that influenced the success of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Without his effort to control the trade route, Canadian economy could have very well been unstable and not worth it for the French to continue to fund the colonists, which could remove the french culture of Canada entirely.

6 thoughts on “DOL: #3, Independent Canadian Inquiry”

  1. Hi Owen,
    For my independent investigation I consulted your DOL for information about the Wendat Confederacy. One star for your work is the map you included because it helps me know where everything is taking place. My second star for your work is your summary of how the Wendat Confederacy dominated the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The summary showed the historical significance of Ochasteguin. A connection between your research and my own is the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. In my investigation, I’m going to look more into how Jacques Cartier helped the Haudenosaunee Confederacy gain trading power.
    Your work was really helpful to my investigation!

  2. Hi! My inquiry question also touches on how the aboriginal people were affected by the fur-trade, so reading your investigation as an example helped me out a lot with writing mine. I really like how your post is very organized, detailed, and concise at the same time. It’s quite easy to comprehend it and the visuals also aid in the ease of that job. When I was researching, though, I found that the success and economic stability of the HBC and Canada (not yet Canada) fluctuated significantly over the years. Also, it was very hard to write my investigation without exempting too much bias. What are some of the ways that we can keep these types of articles clear, not wishy-washy, and historically accurate at the same time?

  3. Stars:
    – The background knowledge given at the beginning was easy to understand and introduced me to the situation nicely.
    – I like the way you showed the wants and fears of each side (Indigenous and European) and how that played a role in the events.

    This was interesting to read, and a connection I see between your research and mine is how the fur trade introduced unknown diseases to the environment. That directly related to my question and I was able to get a better understanding!

  4. Nice blog post!

    I really liked the way you structured you blog post, and the way that each part flows into the next really nicely.
    I also noticed that the images really made the writing much more interesting and clear to look at.

    I like that you went much more in-depth into a topic that I addressed in my blog post, being the deal between the First Nations people and the colonial settlers. That really helped me get a start on where to look for my blog post.

  5. A really well written and in-depth DOL! As said five words before, the amount of background information you cover really stands out, as you looked into multiple factors that caused events instead of just finding one and moving on to the next event. It definitely made the reading way more engaging. Additionally, your ability to take a different historical perspective allowed you to make an accurate and ethical judgement appropriate to the values of that time. It’s very easy for us to impose our own values and assume that the agreement between the Wendat and the French was unfair, but with a fresh perspective, it was easy to understand the viewpoints of both parties.

    I can relate to the consequences for the First Nations mentioned under the cause and consequence section of your DOL. In my post, I talked about the various consequences from the interaction between the First Nations and the Hudson Bay Company, such as the various diseases the European workers brought to the FIrst Nations communities. The First Nations didn’t have antibodies to resist the diseases, so the populations plummeted, and social structure changed, as elders and younger people were more susceptible to the disease. Without younger people to restore the population and elders to keep the community together, First Nations communities fell apart and many cultural customs were lost.

  6. Star: Opening paragraphs and background information help ease me into a clear and well-structured inquiry.
    Star: Overall clear and concise findings put together in a easy to understand structure.
    Connection: This has a big connection to my inquiry since it is about how the income from fur trade contributed to the development of Canada. Ochasteguin was one of the main characters of the fur trade and this was useful info for me.

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