While some people prefer to study the history of their ancestors and their culture working backwards in time, we feel that if you study the history of New France starting with the 17th century you will have a greater understanding of not only our shared history but of the historical events that greatly influenced our evolving culture. The lives lived by our ancestors was also influenced by where they lived at a particular period of time as well as their occupations. In other words, if you focus too much on the stories about French-Canadian culture or Native culture learned from your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents withour reading about their history, you may make assumptions about their culture that are not supported by historical records.
Kent, Timothy J. Ft. Pontchartrain at Detroit: A Guide to the Daily Lives of Fur Trade and Military Personnel, Settlers, and Missionaries at French Posts, Volumes I and II (Ossineke, Michigan: Silver Fox Enterprises, 2001). FCHSM member Timothy Kent’s two volumes about the early history of Detroit provide unparalleled detail about what life was like in the French Posts. The two-volume set includes the following chapters: Introduction; Historical Overview; Canoe Transportation; Provisions, Cooking, and Eating; Hunting and Warfare, Trapping and Fishing; Buildings, Hardware, and Furnishings; Furnishings of the Church, Vestments, and Activities of the Priest; Woodworking, Metalworking, and Masonryworking; Farming and Gardening; Clothing; Sewing, Laundry, and Cleaning; Grooming and Medical Treatments; Recreation; Trade and Commerce. The appendices contain translations of 32 documents related to life and trade at Detroit. Finally, Kent has illustrated the book with drawings, maps, and photographs.
3 October 2014 presentation at the Detroit Historical Museum to celebrate French-Canadian Heritage Day in Michigan:
French-Canadian Culture in the Great Lakes and Michigan, by Diane Wolford Sheppard
Suzanne Boivin Sommerville's Posts in honor of French-Canadian Heritage Week 29 September - 5 October 2014:
The Legend of the Blue Fairy, translated by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Websites with mini articles about cultural topics in New France:
Maison St-Gabriel: http://www.maisonsaint-gabriel.qc.ca/en/musee/chroniques.php
Virtual Museum of New France: http://www.historymuseum.ca/virtual-museum-of-new-france/daily-life/
French-Canadian Culture: See the Artists Page and download the PDFs for the artists who portrayed French-Canadian Culture.
French-Canadian occupations: See the Artists Page and download the PDF depicting Marc Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté’s sculptures
18th Century French Culture – Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert’s Encyclopedia – A Collaborative Translation Project: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/index.html.
Although it will probably be several years before the articles have been translated into English, you can browse the illustrations. All of the illustrations have been uploaded even through the article may not have been translated.
Wikipedia’s Article about the Encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3%A9die
Cornelius Krieghoff - Moccsin Seller Crossing the St. Lawrence at Quebec - Courtesy of Artefacts Canada: http://www.rcip-chin.gc.ca/artefacts/index-eng.jsp
French Canadians Adopted the Use of Snowshoes and Moccasins Early in the 17th century – See the Articles above on Cultural Métissage
An Interpreter Gardening at Colonial Michilimackinac,
Courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks (http://www.mackinacparks.com/parks-and-attractions/colonial-michilimackinac/)
Loraine DiCerbo - Interior of the Church of Ste. Anne at Colonial Michilimackinac
Clarence Gagnon - Heating the Bread Oven - Courtesy of the Athenaeum: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=50086
Loraine DiCerbo - Fur Trader at Colonial Michilimackinac
Frances Anne Beechey Hopkins – 1870 – Encampment of Voyageurs – Available from Library and Archives Canada (LAC), (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch_adv ) Mikan #2838094
During the French Regime (through 1760), the largest canoes were manned by eight-man crews and were introduced in 1730.