In 1615, the Récollets arrived in Canada, five years after the Jesuits. They had come from France on one of Samuel de Champlain's many voyages and journeyed into Huronia to begin the conversion of the Hurons to Christianity. Although not as well-known as the Jesuits, there were 2 Récollets whose achievements were of import to Canadian history.
Gabriel Sagard made only one voyage to Huronia, arriving in 1623 and leaving the following year in 1624. The accounts of his journey did little to help future explorations, but, when published, his Le Grand Voyage du Pays des Hurons (The Great Voyage into Huron Country) became indespensible to explorers and other missionaries, and, in fact, to anyone dealing directly with the Hurons. Included in the accounts were the first phrasebook for the Huron language.
In 1678, Louis Hennipen travelled with Cavelier de la Salle, the 'Mad Explorer', into the Mississippi basin. He became the first person to describe and to draw Niagara Falls. Although la Salle would explore and map the Mississippi River from its headwaters to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico, which he claimed and named Louisiana, Hennipen would travel only as far as present-day Peoria, Illinois. Hennipen took his leave from la Salle and journeyed up the Mississippi to present-day Minneapolis and then on to Montreal by way of Skunk Bay. His accounts, published in 1683 as Description de la Louisiane was filled with many inaccuracies and untruths, but it caused enormous excitement in France and encouraged future voyages, explorations and settlement. ('Louisiana' was the name given by de la Salle to all the land drained by the Mississippi River and its tributaries.)
The Black Robes
* The Récollets *
The Jesuits - Bones of Contention