Wendake, Quebec Canada

Discover Wendake, Quebec: A Rich Tapestry of History and Culture

Wendake, Quebec, is a unique destination in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is home to two urban reserves, Wendake 7 and Wendake 7A, of the Huron-Wendat Nation. These reserves are enclaves entirely surrounded by the La Haute-Saint-Charles borough of Quebec City, within the former city of Loretteville. Wendake was formerly known as Village-des-Hurons ("Huron Village"), and also as (Jeune)-Lorette ("New Lorette").

The Origins of Wendake, Quebec

The history of Wendake, Quebec, is deeply intertwined with the history of the Wendat (Huron) people. Archeologists have discovered large 16th-century Wendat villages in the northern Lake Ontario region, which is believed to be the area where the Wendat coalesced as a distinct group. Later, they migrated south and settled in their historical territory of Wendake in the Georgian Bay region. The Wendat were part of the Wyandot Confederation, a group of loosely associated tribes who spoke a mutually intelligible Iroquoian language.

The Historical Journey of Wendake, Quebec

Until the mid-17th century, the Wendake ancestors occupied a vast territory that straddled parts of what is now the United States, southeastern Ontario, and Quebec. They hunted and trapped mainly in the Laurentian Mountains, between the central section of the Saint-Maurice and the Saguenay rivers. However, between 1634 and 1650, the Wyandot Confederation was dismembered, and its families were dispersed. The Huron population, which totalled approximately 20,000 to 30,000 people in 1634, was reduced to a few hundred individuals by 1650 due to disease epidemics and wars.

The survivors of this tragic period divided into two groups in Canada: the Great-Lake Wyandot and the Huron-Wendat. The latter were the ancestors of the Huron-Wendat of Wendake. This marked the beginning of a period of exile for the remaining Wendat, during which they occupied as many as six different sites in Quebec. They finally settled for good in the village of Lorette in 1697.

Wendake, Quebec Today

As of the 2016 Canadian census, the population of the two reserves in Wendake, Quebec, was 2,135 people. The Huron-Wendat Nation has a total of 4,314 registered members, most of whom live off reserve. Wendake 7 occupies an area of 133.4 ha (1.334 km2; 0.515 sq mi) and Wendake 7A 244.6 ha (2.446 km2; 0.944 sq mi) for a total of 378 ha (3.78 km2; 1.46 sq mi).

As of 2021, the Grand Chief is Rémy Vincent. Previous chiefs include Konrad Sioui, who succeeded Max Gros-Louis in 2008. The Huron had called their historic homeland Wendake; it was the territory south of Georgian Bay in present-day Simcoe and Grey County counties. The region was informally known as "Huronia" or the Georgian Triangle.

The Legacy of Wendake, Quebec

The legacy of Wendake, Quebec, extends beyond its borders. Other remnants of the Wendat and Petun peoples formed the Wyandot and migrated south, to present-day Michigan. Later they were forced west of the Mississippi River to Indian Territory in Kansas and Oklahoma. In the United States, there is one federally recognized Wyandot tribe: the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma. The self-identified Wyandot Nation of Kansas and Wyandot Nation of Anderdon in Michigan are not federally recognized. In August 1999, these nations joined the contemporary Wendat Confederacy, pledging to provide mutual aid to each other in a spirit of peace, kinship, and unity.