1610 – We have been notified via the moccasin telegraph that Etienne Brule 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 Etienne Brule.
We have responded to this notice and have arranged for a couple of receptions for the earliest European tourist to visit our region.
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 Brule’s arrival and raise the awareness of the local community to its rich history.
Etienne Brule 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.
Further reading: Etienne Brule, Immortal Scoundrel, by James Herbert Cranston 1949, is the key book available about Brule.