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Basques and Iroquoians in the St. Lawrence Basin: recent documentary data

Author(s): Brad Loewen

Year: 2014

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In 1990, Charles Martijn proposed that Spanish Basques and St. Lawrence Iroquoians shared a ‘privileged trading partnership’ in the 16th century. This paper looks at two new fields of data that appear to support the Martijn hypothesis. The first considers the geopolitical struggle between France and Spain for control of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with reference to a crisis in Spanish Basque whaling in 1579 that may be related to the Iroquoian dispersal. The Basque crisis may have provided a strategic opening for Huron, Abenaki and Algonquin groups, all future French partners, to disperse the Iroquoian villages. The second field of evidence, brought forward by Gervais Carpin (1995), concerns a Native group named ‘Canadiens’ or ‘Canadaquois’ in southern Gaspesia after 1600. Christianised and linked to Basque fishing stations, this group shared its ethnonym with the 16th-century Iroquoians from Stadacona. Were these people refugees from the 16th-century Iroquoian dispersal, who had opted for permanent residency in their former summer habitat?

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Basques and Iroquoians in the St. Lawrence Basin: recent documentary data. Brad Loewen. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436901)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-36,05

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America