Present-day view of the village of Kahnawake.
Around 1667, Christian convert members of the Ganiengehaga (Mohawk) Nation, or “People of the Flint”, settled near Montréal at the Jesuit mission of Sault Saint-Louis, or Kentake, not far from the parish of La Prairie de la Magdelaine.
“People of the Flint”
The “People of the Flint” originally inhabited the area south of Lake Ontario (now upstate New York). They belonged to the Five, and later Six, Nations confederacy that the French called “Iroquois.” As the mission population village of Kahnawake grew, the Jesuits relocated further west. In less than 40 years the village moved three times (1676, 1690, 1696) before settling at its present-day location Caughnawaga (now Kahnawake), in 1716..
Caughnawaga becomes Kahnawake
In the 1980s, at the request of the villagers, the spelling “Caughnawaga” was replaced by “Kahnawake,” which is closer to the pronunciation of the Mohawk word meaning “place of the rapids.”