Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
September 2004

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Saint Regis (Akwasasne)



[This text was originally published in 1907 by the Bureau of American Ethnology as part of its Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. It was later reproduced, in 1913, by the Geographic Board of Canada. The work done by the American Bureau was monumental, well informed and incorporated the most advanced scholarship available at the time. In many respects, the information is still useful today, although prudence should be exercised and the reader should consult some of the contemporary texts on the history and the anthropology of the North American Indians suggested in the bibliographic introduction to this section. The articles were not completely devoid of the paternalism and the prejudices prevalent at the time. While some of the terminology used would not pass the test of our "politically correct" era, most terms have been left unchanged by the editor. If a change in the original text has been effected it will be found between brackets [.] The original work contained long bibliographies that have not been reproduced for this web edition. For the full citation, see the end of the text.]



Return to the Index page of Indians of Canada and Quebec

Saint Regis . A settlement of Catholic Iroquois, situated on the S. bank of the St. Lawrence, at the boundary between the United States and Canada [straddling Ontario and Quebec ], with a reservation extend­ing several miles along the river on both sides of the line. They call the place Akwesasne, 'where the partridge drums,' referring to sounds made by a cascade at that point. The village was established about 1755, during the French and Indian war, by a party of Catholic Iroquois from Caughnawaga , Quebec , and it became the seat of the Jesuit mission of Saint François-Regis. The village rapidly increased in population, and in 1806, received a considerable part of those who had been driven from Oswegatchie. When the boundary between the two countries was surveyed the village was found to be thereon, and, since then, a portion of the reservation has been under control of the United States , while the rest is under the Canadian government. The St. Regis Indians numbered 2,850 in 1909, having 1,501 [in 1911, there were 1515 in Saint-Regis reserve, Quebec ] in Que­bec and 1,349 in New York. They have sometimes been known as "Praying Indians," and formed a part of the "Seven Nations of Canada."


Source: James WHITE, ed., Handbook of Indians of Canada , Published as an Appendix to the Tenth Report of the Geographic Board of Canada , Ottawa , 1913, 632p., p. 405. Consult the Encyclopedia of North American Indians under Akwesasne.





© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College