Huronia 1610 – We have been notified via the moccasin telegraph that Étienne Brûlé will be arriving with Chief Iroquet and his people within the next week and a half. Iroquet has set off from his Algonquin homeland in the lower Ottawa valley for the fall hunt and plans to follow through to winter with the Rock Nation of the Wendat somewhere near the Narrows at the current city of Orillia. Iroquet will be accompanied by Champlain’s young servant Étienne Brûlé.
We have responded to this notice and have arranged for a couple of receptions for the earliest European tourist to visit our region.
The first event will be held at the foot of the Champlain monument in Orillia shortly after 1:00 PM on Saturday October 16th.
see below for a tentative list of the program for Orillia
The second event will be hosted by the Huronia Museum in the Huron/Wendat Native village longhouse in Midland shortly after 1:00 PM Sunday October 17th.
As the museum will be open during this event those wishing to attend will be required to pay the normal admission fee.
Come and help celebrate the 400th anniversary of Étienne Brûlé’s arrival and raise the awareness of the local community to its rich history.
Étienne Brûlé came to New France as a teenager in the employ of Samuel de Champlain. He volunteered to go and live with the natives to learn their language and customs. He lived among the Hurons for most of the rest of his life. He is the first European to visit Huronia and is believed to be the first European to see all of the Great Lakes. Sadly he left no written record of his travels and experiences. Our view of him is only through the writings of Champlain, Sagard, and Brebeuf. The picture portrayed of him in the Jesuit Relations is not especially flattering and has sadly coloured much of the subsequent history of this early explorer.
The Brûlé events are sponsored by the Ontario Archaeological Society’s Huronia Chapter and the Huronia Museum.
Further reading: Étienne Brûlé, Immortal Scoundrel, by James Herbert Cranston 1949, is the key book available about Brule.
Orillia Program Draft
Étienne Brûlé reception – Orillia – Couchiching Park Champlain monument – Saturday October 16th 1PM
(background – drum and 17th century flute music (Marg & Laura Bolton from Orillia Folk Society) MC – John Raynor
1:00 PM – flag ceremony and greetings to Brûlé (various flags presented & tied to common pole)
- Rama – welcome to their traditional territory (Rama Chief or designate)
- Wendat – welcome to their ancient homeland (statement from Grand Chief of Wendake, flag presented by Adrian)
- The Crown – welcome to Brûlé as intrepid explorer of Canadian frontier.(Bruce Stanton MP)
- The Province – welcome Brule as Ontario’s first foreign visitor. (Garfield Dunlop MPP)
- City of Orillia – welcome Brûlé as Orillia’s first tourist. (Mayor or designate)
- Metis Nation – welcome Brûlé with statement re birth of a new Nation (Marg Raynor or designate from MNO.) – followed by a Voyager song by Marg.
- Brûlé (Quebec flag) as a gift to his hosts.
1:30 PM – feature – Brule scripted interview – Hugh Barnett
2:00 PM – song – “Earth Beneath Our Feet” – as segue into archaeology. (Brûlé interviewed by Packet & Times as this goes on.2:15 PM – Importance of archaeology as the forensic science of history – Orillia’s obligation to identify, set aside and protect these sites as icons of it’s ancient past and rich history. Intro of Champlain project and 2015 anniversary (John Raynor)
2:25 PM – Thank you for attendance & invite to inquire further (Huronia Chapter pamphlet) – wish Brûlé well on his 12 leagues or 48 km trip to Midland. – flags would be retired at this time.