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Amerindian Mission Churches

Or the priority of the Faith

Mission at Odanak

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Amerindian mission churches spread over the entire province of Québec. Some of them were naturally established near important towns like the Mission of Notre-Dame-de-la-Jeune-Lorette, in Wendake (a few kilometres from Québec). Most, however, appeared as soon as trading posts were established. The Amerindians willingly settled around these centres because they facilitated their seasonal trading. The Jesuits, the Recollects and a little later the Sulpicians and the Oblates generally received financial help from trading companies in order to establish their missions in remote areas.

The Abenakis were established in Sillery and on the banks of the river Chaudière until they were decimated by the Iroquois at the end of the 17th century. They then regrouped in Odanak thanks to Jean Crevier, the seigneur of Pierreville, who gave a part of his land so that a permanent mission could be set up on the banks of the river Saint-François. The first mission chapel was built of wood and erected in 1700. It was pillaged and destroyed in 1759 by troops led by Rogers. The following year it was reconstructed. Unfortunately it was destroyed again, this time due to a fire in 1815.

Church of Odanak
Photo: Germain Casavant

Church of Odanak
Photo: Germain Casavant

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Text translated by Rachel Tunnicliffe

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