The Huron Indians

The Huron Indians

Huron Location

Ouendake (called Huronia by the French) was the original homeland of the Huron occupying a fairly compact area of central Ontario between the southern end of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. After the dispersal of the Huron by the Iroquois in 1650, one group relocated to Lorette (just north of Quebec) where it has remained ever since. The remaining Huron (merged with Tionontati, Erie, and Neutrals) spent the next 50 years wandering as refugees through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and upper Michigan. By 1701 they had moved to the Ohio Valley between present-day Detroit and Cleveland where they were known as the Wyandot. They remained there until they were removed to Kansas during the 1840s. Only one group of Wyandot managed to remain in the Great Lakes, when a small band of the Canadian Wyandot in southwest Ontario was given a reserve near Amherstburg. For the Wyandot relocated to Kansas, problems began with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) which opened their lands to white settlement. The majority opted for citizenship and allotment and are currently have state recognition as the Wyandot of Kansas. Most still live in the vicinity of Kansas City, Kansas. The more traditional Wyandot left Kansas for northeast Oklahoma after the Civil War to became the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma.


If combined with populations of the Neutrals, Tionontati, and Wenro, the Huron in 1535 probably numbered somewhere between 30,000 and 45,000. French estimates of the four core tribes of the Huron Confederacy in 1615 varied from 20,000 to 30,000 and 16 to 25 villages. After European contact, the Huron population loss was dramatic. By 1640 epidemic and war had reduced them to less than 10,000. After their dispersal in 1649 by the Iroquois, only 300 Huron were able to relocate safely at Lorette near Quebec. Another 1,000, mixed with Tionontati and Neutrals, escaped to the western Great Lakes to become the Wyandot. The number of Huron adopted into the Iroquois League is uncertain but must have been considerable. In 1736 the population at Lorette had remained near its original 300, while the Wyandot, relocated to the west end of Lake Erie, had increased to near 1,500. By 1908 the Lorette population had risen slowly to 466 but afterwards increased dramatically. In 1994 the Quebec government listed it at 2,650. There were about 100 Wyandot at the Anderdon Reserve (southern Ontario) in 1829, but they have since been absorbed by other native peoples. The United States currently has more than 4,000 Wyandot organized in two main groups: the Wyandot Nation of Kansas; and the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma. Only the Oklahoma Wyandot are federally recognized as a tribe. The Kansas Wyandot, organized in 1959 from the "absentee" or "citizen" Wyandot, are recognized by Kansas and have applied for federal status.


Americans usually do not realize that Huron and Wyandot are the same people. Originally, more than a dozen of the Iroquoian-speaking tribes in southern Ontario referred to themselves collectively as Wendat meaning "island people " or "dwellers on a peninsula." Rendered variously as: Guyandot, Guyandotte, Ouendat, Wyandot, and Wyandotte. The French, however, called the members of a four-tribe confederacy the Huron, a derogatory name derived from their word "hure" meaning rough or ruffian. This has persisted as their usual name in Canada. When they were living in Ohio after 1701, French and Canadians continued to use Huron, but the English and Americans referred to them as Wyandot. Currently, most groups prefer Wyandot rather than Huron. Also called: Aragaritka (Iroquois), Hatindia Sointen (Lorette Huron), Marian (Christian Huron), Oenronroron (Iroquois), Telamatenon (Delaware "coming out of a mountain or cave"), and Thastchetci' (Onondaga).




Arendahronon (rock people); Attignawantan (Attignaouentan, Attignousntan) (bear people); Attigneenongnahac (Attiguenongha) (cord people); and Tahontaenrat (Scanonaerat, Scahentoarrhonon) (deer people). After the inclusion of Wenro (1639) and Algonkin (1644) refugees, the Ataronchronon were considered a fifth member tribe.

Ontario Villages-Missions (before 1649): Andiata, Angoutenc, Anonatea, Arendaonatia, Arente, Arontaen, Cahiague (St. Jean Baptiste), Carhagouha, Carmaron, Contarea, Ekiodatsaan, Endarahy, Iahenhouton, Ihonatiria (Immaculate Conception 1), Karenhassa, Oeniro, Onentisati, Ossossane (Immaculate Conception 2), Oukhahitoua, Ste. Agnes, Ste. Anne, St. Antoine, Ste. Barbe, Ste. Catherine, Ste. Cecile, St. Charles (2), St. Denys, St. Etienne, St. Francois Xavier, Ste. Genevieve, St. Joachim, St. Louis, St. Martin, Ste. Marie (2), Ste. Terese, Scanonaerat (St. Michel), Teanaustayae (St. Joseph), Teandewiata (Tonache or Teadeouita), Teanhatenaron (St. Ignace), Tondakhra, and Touaguainchain (Ste. Madeleine) After the dispersal in 1649, the Huron who were not killed or captured divided into two groups. One settled near Quebec. The other moved to the western Great Lakes before settling permanently in Ohio.

Upper Michigan Villages-Missions (after 1649): Taenhatentaron (St. Ignace), and Tiedonderoga Quebec Villages (after 1649): Ancienne Lorette, Jeune Lorette, and Wendake Michigan Villages (after 1701): Brownstown (Sindathon's Village), and Maguagua (Monguagon). Ohio Villages (after 1701): Anioton, Conchake, Cranetown (2), Half King's Town, Junqueindundeh, Junundat, Lower Sandusky (2), Solomonstown, Snipes, Sunyendeand, Upper Sandusky (3), Tarhetown, Wingenundtown, and Zanes. Wisconsin Villages (1658-70): Chequamegon and Lake Pepin.