The Jesuit Relations For: History 140 By: Patrick Spohr
Introduction <ul><li>The Jesuits, unlike other colonists, spent years living with the native tribes, learned their language, and got to know the people. While many native customs chafed the French concepts of culture and civilization, the Jesuits were capable of describing the Indians in a realistic light. </li></ul>
Introduction <ul><li>The French relations with Indians had much to do with their colonization strategy. A small number of settlers and a reliance on the fur trade with native tribes meant the French couldn't rely on force like their English and Spanish counterparts. </li></ul>
Journal of a Winter Hunt <ul><li>The Montagnais, like many Native groups, were structured based on gender. Women struck the tents and carried excess goods while men hunted. Their nomadic lifestyle required grueling travel and a minimal amount of personal possessions. The fortunes of the hunt meant that the tribal people had to endure periods of hunger when no game could be found. </li></ul>
Journal of a Winter Hunt <ul><li>The Jesuits gleaned a certain amount of appreciation for the Native tribes by living amongst them. The compassion indigenous peoples showed their guests meant that the Jesuits portrayed the tribes in a fairly positive light, instead of wholly demonizing them. The difficulty of the winters also meant that the Jesuits were indebted to native knowledge. </li></ul>
What the Hurons Think About Their Origin <ul><li>The Huron religion was based around nature, like many native religions, though it did share some similarities with the Judeo-Christian religion. The concept of a “Heaven” and a pseudo Adam and Eve tale gave their religion something of a common ground, though the Jesuits were dismayed with the more animalistic elements. </li></ul>
What the Hurons Think About Their Origin <ul><li>While there were some similarities, it was the differences between their religions that made it difficult for the Jesuits to convert many natives. A strong belief in magic meant Jesuit priests were often considered shamans whose powers could bring misfortune upon the tribe. With their strength in numbers, the Hurons and Neutral tribes were able to cast out or kill priests they felt were harming native well-being. </li></ul>
Treaty of Peace Between the French, Iroquois, and Other Nations <ul><li>French-Indian treaties meant that the French needed to abandon their European style of negotiations and conform to a form more in line with Native ideals. To the Algonquin, and other tribes, negotiations were a more personal affair, with passionate debate and the giving of gifts. The French also needed to treat their Native counterparts as respected equals. </li></ul>
Treaty of Peace Between the French, Iroquois, and Other Nations <ul><li>Conflicts with the Five Nation Iroquois existed, but the French settlements lacked the same amount of strife with the native tribes that the English and Spanish experienced. French willingness, or need, to adopt Native customs of reconciliation. </li></ul>
How Father Isaac Jogues Was Taken by the Iroquois, and What He Suffered on His First Entrance into Their Country <ul><li>Iroquois tribes, along with many other Native groups, preferred to take prisoners instead of wiping out entire villages. While women and children would be incorporated into the villages of their captors, male prisoners would be tortured instead. This applied to Jesuit prisoners as well, which led to stories of native atrocities spreading in Europe. </li></ul>
How Father Isaac Jogues Was Taken by the Iroquois, and What He Suffered on His First Entrance into Their Country <ul><li>The culture of imprisonment and torture along with warfare by some native tribes had the unintended consequence of fulfilling Jesuit dreams of martyrdom. Martyrs in the New World became celebrated figures back home in Europe. The Jesuit desire for martyrdom also impressed some tribes, who took their captive's stoic response to the torture as a sign of strength. </li></ul>
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