The main objective of the religious communities established in New France was the conversion of the "savages." The clergy, for the most part Jesuits, proceeded by establishing missions, either in the territories of the different nations or in the French settlements. The first such mission was created by the Jesuits at Sillery, near Québec, in 1637. By 1694, the La Montagne Mission, established in the Montréal region by the Sulpicians, was home to about 220 "domiciled Indians" and resembled a small European estate. This type of mission was considered the most effective for assimilating Aboriginal people into the French way of life. The case of the "venerable" Catherine Tegahkoutta (Kateri Tekakwitha) was unusual, in that she was a member of the Iroquois nation, a people particularly hard to convert. The results of evangelism were disappointing given the amount of effort expended, but the presence of the missionaries did help maintain political and economic relations between the French and the Aboriginal population.

The Missions
Catherine Tegahkoutta, iroquoise morte en odeur de sainteté dans le Canada (1656-1680) [Catherine Tegahkoutta, an Iroquois woman who died in the odour of sanctity in Canada (1656-1680)], no date
CA ANC Peter Winkworth Collection R9266-2852