Introduction: Although Jacques Cartier was the first explorer documented to have explored the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in 1534, and "discovered" the St. Lawrence River in 1535, continous occupation of New France did not occur until the 17th century.
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.
17th Century History:
French-Canadian Exploration, Missionary Work, and Fur Trading in Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes, and Mississippi Valley During the 17th Century - a multi part series by Diane Wolford Sheppard:
French Missions and Forts:
Lawrence R. Batchelor, circa 1931 painting - First Ursuline Nuns with Indian Pupils at Quebec - Available from Library and Archives Canada (LAC), (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch_adv )Mikan #2895625 - C-010520
You can read Marie l'Incarnation's biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online at: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/guyart_marie_1E.html
Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Cote - Jacques Cartier Meets the Indians at Stadaconé in 1535 - Courtesy of Artefacts Canada: http://www.rcip-chin.gc.ca/artefacts/index-eng.jsp
You can read Jacques Cartier's biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online at: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cartier_jacques_1491_1557_1E.html
Henri Beau, 1903 painting – Arrival of Champlain in Québec – Courtesy of Artefacts Canada: http://www.rcip-chin.gc.ca/artefacts/index-eng.jsp
You can read Champlain's biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online at: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/champlain_samuel_de_1E.html
Allouez’ and Marquette’s Map, Lac Supérieur et autres lieux ou sont les missions des Pères de la Compagnie de Jésus comprises sous le nom d’Outaouacs. Courtesy of BAnQ, (http://www.banq.qc.ca/accueil/) Collections> Collection numérique> Cartes et plans. The map is attributed to Claude Dablon
You can read Claude Allouez, S.J.'s biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/allouez_claude_1E.html
Photograph of Wilhelm Lamprecht’s 1869 oil painting of Jacques Marquette, S.J., preaching to the Native Americans
The original painting hangs in the Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University
You can read Marquette's biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/marquette_jacques_1E.html