From Huronia to Wendakes
Adversity, Migration, and Resilience, 1650–1900
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
From the first contact with Europeans to the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, the Wendat peoples have been an intrinsic part of North American history. Although the story of these peoples—also known as Wyandot or Wyandotte—has been woven into the narratives of European-Native encounters, colonialism, and conquest, the Wendats’ later experiences remain largely missing from history. From Huronia to Wendakes seeks to fill this gap, countering the common impression that these peoples disappeared after 1650, when they were driven from their homeland Wendake Ehen, also known as Huronia, in modern-day southern Ontario.
This collection of essays brings together lesser-known historical accounts of the Wendats from their mid-seventeenth-century dispersal through their establishment of new homelands, called Wendakes, in Quebec, Michigan, Ontario, Kansas, and Oklahoma. What emerges from these varied perspectives is a complex picture that encapsulates both the cultural resilience and the diversity of these peoples. Together, the essays reveal that while the Wendats, like all people, are ever-changing, their nations have developed adaptive strategies to maintain their predispersal culture in the face of such pressures as Christianity and colonial economies.
Just as the Wendats have linked multiple Wendakes through migrations forced and voluntary, the various perspectives of these emerging scholars are knitted together by the shared purpose of filling in Wendat history beyond the seventeenth century. This approach, along with the authors’ collaboration with modern Wendat communities, has resulted in a rich and coherent narrative that in turn enriches our understanding of North American history.
“The tremendous distance over which the Wendat, Wyandot, and Wyandotte peoples were forced to settle from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, along with the tribes’ interactions with British, French, and American colonial forces, has left tremendous gaps in the written history of today’s Wendat Confederacy. This collection of essays addresses those daunting gaps and is a necessary read for those who want to advance the discussion of Wendat history.”—John Steckley, author of The Eighteenth-Century Wyandot: A Clan-Based Study
“From Huronia to Wendakes makes an important scholarly intervention in the study of Wendat people and histories and, by extension, provides an exciting framework for partnerships between scholars and Native communities. The contributors to this volume deliver a powerful example for similar scholarly work in the future.”—James Buss, author of Winning the West with Words: Language and Conquest in the Lower Great Lakes