M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Lesson 4: Native Diplomacy

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Pointe-à-Callière, musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec

The Great Peace of Montréal, 1701
The Great Peace was a very significant event, bringing together over a thousand people from various First Nations with the French in Montréal to sign a peace treaty.
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Learning Object Collection: The Great Peace of Montréal, 1701
Chronology of the Great Peace
Pointe-à-Callière, musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal.
© 2012, Pointe-à-Callière, musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: The Great Peace of Montréal, 1701
Learning Object: Timeline
Materials
- A computer
- An Internet connection, to consult the virtual exhibition The Great Peace of Montreal 1701, (http://198.50.156.175/)
- Sheets of paper and pencils
Work method
As a class and in teams

Note to teachers
There is a lot of fascinating material in this lesson, as you can see from the virtual exhibition. The detailed lesson plan here contains various suggestions you can use to adapt it to your class’ interests. To make it more attractive, this plan includes many illustrations provided by the Museum. They serve as a starting point for more theoretical lesson content.
Introduction
Diplomatic relations between the First Nations were highly codified and followed a strict protocol. To establish lasting political and economic ties with the First Nations, the Europeans – both the French and the British – had to adapt to and respect these rituals. Given the tensions between the different parties who would eventually sign the Great Peace, it was essential for each player to conform to these codes and keep his word, for the slightest misstep could mean that the talks led by Callière would be broken off.
Procedure
Remind your students of the lesson objectives:
1) to understand Native diplomatic rituals (protocol and the role of captives); and
2) to understand the key role played by certain individuals (in particular Callière and Kondiaronk).
Step 1
Ask the class whether they know what “diplomatic protocol” means and whether they can give you some examples.

Some possible answers are exchanges of gifts with a visiting head of state, the dress code for a dinner with the Canadian Prime Minister or the American President and codes of behaviour when dealing with royalty (bowing to the Queen of England and never touching her, for instance).
Step 2
Then explain that in the 17th century the First Nations also had diplomatic protocols that had to be followed during peace negotiations. Some of these protocols were highly complex and added to the time it took for negotiations, since the first few days were often devoted to ritual exchanges, when no one really talked about the matter at hand.

Tell the students that together you will be trying to figure out what Native diplomatic protocols there were at the time.
Step 3
Ask one student to read out loud the summary of Theme 5, “Negotiations and Talks,” presented in the virtual exhibition website.
Step 4
Ask the class what this short text can tell us about how negotiations were conducted.

Many different answers are possible, but they must include:
- All the nations in attendance had a chance to speak during the negotiations (“The Native ambassadors took turns holding audiences”).
- Some of the ambassadors’ speeches were very lengthy (“In his speech, which lasted over two hours, Kondiaronk spoke …”).
- During negotiations with Europeans, First Nations speakers mainly addressed the person representing the European power in question, in this case, Callière, Governor of New France.
- The negotiations did not always go smoothly (“The allies were furious and very disappointed! … Then came another catastrophe: just a few hours later, Kondiaronk died”).
Step 5
Using the illustrations in the virtual exhibition and in the learning collection, explain the main steps in diplomatic protocol to the students:
Step 5.1
Theme 1: the lead-up to the meeting: map showing Courtemanche’s travels; illustration:
Travels of Augustin Le Gardeur de Courtemanche through the Upcountry
Travels of Augustin Le Gardeur de Courtemanche through the Upcountry. This trip shows the magnitude of the Great Peace.
Travels of Augustin Le Gardeur de Courtemanche through the Upcountry. This trip shows the magnitude of the Great Peace which is the result of many diplomatics projets during severals years.

Catherine Trottier
Illustration



© 2012, Pointe-à-Callière, musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: The Great Peace of Montréal, 1701
Learning Object: Timeline
Step 5.2
Theme 2: exchanging gifts and wampum; illustration:
Commemorations of the Great Peace
Commemorations of the Great Peace of 1701
Commemorations of the Great Peace. This event occured in Montréal in 2001 at Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History.

René Fortin
Photo



© 2012, Pointe-à-Callière, musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: The Great Peace of Montréal, 1701
Learning Object: Native diplomacy
Step 5.3
Theme 3: the actual negotiations (the speeches) ; Some of the negotiations were conducted in public and others in private (often Natives who were to speak before Callière or other nations withdrew to their tents beforehand to discuss their diplomatic strategy. Once it had been decided upon, the speaker would officially present his nation’s position) ; illustrations:

- From the learning collection: http://www.museevirtuel-virtualmuseum.ca/edu/ViewLoitCollection.do?method=previewImage&lang=EN&id=24707

-From the virtual exhibition: http://198.50.156.175/eng/rendez_vous_a_montreal-gathering_in_montreal/signer_le_traite-treaty_is_signed/image_explorer-images_to_explore-eng.html
Step 5.4
Theme 4: the public negotiations, and other more secret ones (there were spies in New France); illustration from the virtual exhibition: http://198.50.156.175/sites/default/files/styles/agrandissement-enlargement/public/ic13.jpg
Step 5.5
Theme 5: the agreement: once all the players had agreed on something, it was sometimes written down – at least for the most important treaties. In the case of the Great Peace, we know that a text was drafted and signed by the parties in attendance. See the video in the "Seeking peace" section: http://198.50.156.175/eng/mission_pacification-seeking_peace/introducton-eng.html
Step 5.6
Theme 6: the agreement was celebrated with a feast and singing. In the virtual exhibition see the "festivities" section placed in the Images to Explore of the rubric Gathering in Montreal: http://198.50.156.175/eng/rendez_vous_a_montreal-gathering_in_montreal/signer_le_traite-treaty_is_signed/les_images_explorer-images_to_explore/festin-festivities-eng.html

NOTE 1: All the information you need to expand on these points is available in the interactive exhibition.

NOTE 2: Depending on how much time you have available, you may wish to look at all or only some of these themes.
Step 6
Tell the students that you are going to be looking in more detail at one or two specific points about the negotiations during the 1701 meeting: the importance of the main French negotiator, Governor Callière, and the question of captives, which was central to the peace negotiations.

NOTE 3: Depending on how much time you have available, you may wish to look at only one of these two points. You may also wish to skip this step if you spent a lot of time on Themes 5 and 6.
Step 7
To help the students understand Callière’s importance, ask them to read the “Onontio” capsule on the virtual exhibition website. Also see "Who is Onontio".

At the time of the Great Peace, Governor Louis-Hector de Callière, called “Onontio” by Natives, acted as a “father” to his First Nations “children,” and thus had some authority over them. It should be remembered, however, that children were dealt with differently in Native societies. Parental relationships were rather flexible, and children were given a lot of freedom. In very simple terms, it could be said that Native fathers were basically providers. Natives may have presented themselves as the children of Onontio, the Governor of New France, and not complained when they were described in that way, but this doesn’t mean that they considered themselves directly subject to the authority of the representative of the French colonial authorities.
Step 8
About War Captives: To expand on this point, you can use Theme 2, Act 1, “Warfare.” in the virtual exhibition. Show the students the illustrations in the section "images to explore", and ask them to describe what they see.

Their comments should allow you to explain the precarious demographic situation of many First Nations in the second half of the 17th century. Many nations were threatened because the epidemics brought here from Europe had killed off many of their members and because of the many conflicts between Native groups.

Accordingly, when war broke out, it often happened that warriors were killed, but women and children were adopted by the victors, to help rebuild communities. These prisoners were warmly welcomed and integrated into their host community. In some cases, they were exchanged at a later date, as was supposed to happen in Montréal in 1701.
Step 9
Wrap up the lesson by asking the students the question they will need to answer and giving them the tools they will be able to use to draft their answer.
Question
Thanks to his moving, memorable speech on August 1, 1701, Kondiaronk, the central diplomat in the Great Peace talks, was able to save the negotiations. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to attend the signing ceremony, because he died the next day. Using the records on epidemics and Kondiaronk’s death, summarize, in a few lines, the impact of diseases imported from Europe on the 1701 negotiations.

Learning Objectives

This lesson is intended for secondary three and four students. Its objective is to:
- familiarize the students with the Native protocol for negotiations
- explain to them the importance of Native captives
- tell them about the special role played by Louis-Hector de Callière
- tell them about the diplomatic tensions at the time of the Great Peace

Subject-specific competencies developed (SSC)
SSC 2: Interpret social phenomena using the historical method

Estimated time: 30 minutes