During the 1630s and 1640s, the Jesuits pursued their mission in Huronia, in the Great Lakes region. The Huron were the favoured trading partners of the French, and their principal fur suppliers. The two groups also had a military alliance against the Iroquois, the hereditary enemies of the Huron. In an effort to take over this flourishing trade association, the Iroquois wiped out Huron villages and Jesuit missions during the 1640s. A number of Jesuit missionaries were tortured and killed during these bloody conflicts, and later declared martyrs and canonized by the Church in the 20th century.

The Martyrs
Novae Franciae Accurata Delineatio, map by the Jesuit François-Joseph Bressani showing the Huron missions and the missionaries martyred at the hands of the Iroquois, 1657
CA ANC NMC-6338 et NMC-194824