In 2015, the 400th anniversary of the French presence in Ontario is being celebrated. Celebrations are taking place across the province, especially in regions where the French presence has been particularly significant, such as Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Ottawa, and Windsor.
Today a major portion of the population of Windsor and Essex County are descendants of French people from the St. Lawrence valley and France who settled along the Detroit River during the 18th century. Many of these people, especially the francophone community, are already looking forward to the celebrations of 2015.
The year 2015 also marks the 250th anniversary of the end of the Indian movement often called Pontiac’s War. Born and raised in the Odawa village that, up until the 1760s, was located on the south shore of the Detroit River, Pontiac attempted to capture Fort Detroit at the beginning of the British regime in the Great Lakes. The theme of the 2015 meeting will therefore also focus on Pontiac’s War.
The presenters at the 2015 meeting will be historians, genealogists or researchers from other fields whose research projects focus on French colonial Detroit and/or the Indian presence in the Detroit River region during the 18th century, or more broadly on French North America.
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Guillaume Teasdale, PhD