There were about 100 000 Iroquoian people in Iroquoia around 1500. This was before the Europeans arrived in North America. We cannot know exactly how many people lived there at the time because the Iroquoians did not conduct censuses*. It was a society without writing; instead, it had an oral tradition.

Divided into several nations

The Iroquoians are indigenous people who share similar languages, but who do not form a single, united group. Instead, they are divided into several nations. The best known are the Hurons and the Iroquois (especially the Mohawks) because they still exist today. In 1500, there were about 30 Iroquoian nations in total. Each had its own territory and was divided into one or more villages. The table lists some of these nations.

Full screen view of timeline (French):

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social


See also:

Oral tradition: the word is king


Important concepts and big ideas:

Language family – Famille de langues
Census – Recensement
Nation – Nation

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