How Did The French Missionaries Use The Misconceptions Of Native Americans?

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A. Religious and spiritual misinterpretation occur frequently throughout the Jesuit documents. These misunderstandings are justified throughout these historical documents and provide a clear Native belief system to the subjective recordings of the Jesuits who detailed these connections. These documents accompanied the encroachment of New France in Northeast America, published annually in France beginning of 1632 and actively read by interested Europeans. The documents not only reflect on environment and cultural practices of Native Americans, yet also the subjective observations and biases of the missionaries who detailed their first interactions. Certain passages of history are more interesting than those which record the efforts of …show more content…

The first French missionaries arrived in 1625, and a steady stream followed in later years. Known to Native peoples as the Black Robes, the Jesuits concentrated their efforts on the dominant Huron, who probably numbered more than 30,000 at the time. Lesser attention was paid to the Iroquois. The Jesuits lived with the tribes in their villages and were willing to strive deep into the interior; some traveled as far as present-day Oregon. Despite such diligent efforts, the number of actual converts remained minimal. The missions were established as part of the colonial drive of France and Spain during the period, the "conquest of the souls" being an integral part of the constitution of Nouvelle-France and early New …show more content…

Monotheism entailed the understandings of natural or spiritual forces. Whereas Huron belief seems to have relied strongly on the interpretation of dreams. In many cases, while the Jesuit monks scoffed at this practice, there is evidence that these beliefs have held some truth. (47) In later years (1697), the Jesuits established a Huron community near the fall of the Saint Charles River in Quebec. While the Jesuit Relations most clearly reflects the subjective biases of the Jesuits who came to the Great Lakes region during the 17th century, when they are read analytically, one can hear distinct Amerindian voices echoing quietly behind the text. In 1634, the Jesuit missionary Father Julien Perrault described the unique culture of the Mi’kmaq. In his report he told how they live with the seasons, how they dressed and behaved, and what they looked like. Reflecting his Jesuit bias, he reported that “what they do lack is the knowledge of God and of the services that they ought to render to him.” (130) The credibility is generally credible and thorough with respect to events and Europe, but is far less thorough in regard to the disruptions from disease and other sources that the indigenous people themselves were facing. Slight downturn to fully account for the prejudicial and inaccurate reporting in the ‘relations’ yet is enriched by

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