Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




James Axtell


This study focusses on the Kahnawake Iroquois Indians, a collection of individuals who emigrated from the Iroquois homeland to a Jesuit mission community, or reserve, outside of Montreal, starting in 1667.;Their history and development as a people is traced from the beginnings in 1667 up to the end of the French power in Canada, at the end of the Seven Years' War in 1760. Through the topics of diplomacy, warfare, and trade, these Kahnawake Indians are examined and it is determined that they were important players in the power politics and military balance between the English, the French, and the Iroquois proper from the 1680s to 1760.;They became a pivotal group within the French military machine in northeastern North America, but forced the French to meet them on their own terms, refusing to become subject to French authority. They initiated and sustained an illegal but highly important trade in furs and European blankets, defying the mercantilist rules of both the French and the English imperial authorities in New France and New York.;Culturally, the Kahnawake people developed a distinct identity, successfully blending elements of both traditional Iroquois and European Catholic culture. Born in an era of struggle, they thrived and maintained their distinct identity and culture in the face of imperial powers and the designs of their Iroquois relatives.



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