Don Thurston Blog

Samuel de Champlain Meets Chief Tessouat

Chief:  Welcome Sam, to our Longhouse. We hope you will find your surroundings comfortable and suitable for our conversations.

Sam: Chief, we are most pleased to have this chance to meet with you and your associates today. Thank you for such great hospitality. We much admire this magnificent structure.

Chief: Let’s eat first.  We have a savory stew made with beans, squash, pumpkin and venison. Side dishes include corn bread and artichokes garnished with sunflower seeds. Our chef has prepared a tasty beverage of mint tea and honey.

Sam: We are honored and will enjoy this fine meal with you.

Chief: Sam, your advance party told us that you are from away. Your journey has been long and hazardous including crossing a large body of water using a boat aided by the wind.

Sam: Correct. As well our river journey has been most wonderful and exciting. Your fine canoes are a new experience, navigated by your skillful colleagues.

Chief: And your adventures so far?

Sam: The most notable is the establishment of a settlement on the north shore of a giant river. We are naming the hamlet Kebec. In addition we have traveled far and wide, meeting with many people from many different bands. Giant forests, waterways and animals of many descriptions are all wonders to our eyes. This is truly a bountiful and beautiful world, so unlike our home countries.

Chief: Our expectation is that you are here for purposes other than just to look around. Please fill us in.

Sam: Our home countries are not attractive in many ways. Other than a sense of adventure we are searching for new territory. We want to establish permanent communities for our fellow citizens so they can have a new beginning and forge a new life.

Chief: Settlement instead of exploitation is a new concept to us. Others have come before for you to harvest our trees, fish, whales, furs and other products so abundant throughout this vast land.  Their main objective is to send our resources home, leaving little in return.

Sam: Our objective is to build communities and partnerships. We want to trade rather than just supplying our homeland.  As I have said our longer term wishes are to settle into this vast area and become true partners.

Chief: A partnership implies mutual gains and equality for all stakeholders. We have a vast and bountiful world here that you covet. What can we expect in return that balances our partnership such that everyone benefits equally?

Sam: We bring many modern tools to ease your work load. And firearms, providing protection from those that wish to conquer you. We bring alternatives to your spirituality which will be beneficial to your long term wellbeing.   We can share all the attributes of our modern civilization thereby greatly enhancing your quality of life. We offer vast markets for your abundant resources.  Trade will be beneficial to all parties as we exchange our best products for yours.

Chief: All of these are very enticing and worthy of further conversations and negotiations. We will get back to you after due deliberations.  Thank you for undertaking this journey.

SCRIBE’S NOTE

All parties were pleased that Champlain’s intentions were worthy of consideration and sincere. As a result, subsequent conversations resulted in equitable contracts for all parties. Included were the requirement for regular progress reports for distribution to all stakeholders. Updates on a timely basis were to include issues of improving health, economic growth, sustainability, environmental impact, life styles, education, technology, dispute settlement, and governing principles.

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