ANADABIJOU, Montagnais chief; fl. 1611.
It was probably Anadabijou’s reputation as a “grand Sagamo” that led Champlain and François Gravé Du Pont to seek out his cabin “à la poincte de Sainct Matthieu” three days after their arrival at Tadoussac 24 May 1603. With some 80 or 100 of his people, Anadabijou was celebrating a recent victory by an army of 1,000 Montagnais, Algonkins, and Etchemins warriors over the Iroquois at the mouth of the Iroquois (Richelieu) River. This was an important event, for these tribes were now moving towards the defensive in their relations with their ancient enemies, the Iroquois, who were returning to the St. Lawrence valley after their expulsion c. 1570–1603.
Expressions of friendship were voiced by both French and Indian. One of the two Indians whom Gravé had previously taken to France spoke of his experiences there and of the good reception granted him by the king of France, giving assurance that the king wished to people their country and would help in vanquishing their enemies.
Anadabijou shared the ceremonial pipe with Champlain and Gravé, and expressed his appreciation of these sentiments. He pointed out “the advantage and profit they [the Indians] might receive from His said Majesty.” This is the first recorded meeting where an alliance is suggested between the French and the Algonkins, the Montagnais, and the Etchemins against their common enemy the Iroquois, a policy which was pursued by the French, resulting in a century of French-Iroquois conflict.
The victory feast continued with eight or ten kettles filled with moose, bear, seal, beaver, and quantities of wild fowl. On the following day Anadabijou moved his people by canoe to Tadoussac where, about two weeks later, the feast was resumed with their allies, the Algonkins and Etchemins.
Champlain, on one occasion held discourse with Anadabijou on the subject of religion, discussing the nature of God, the origin of man, and prayer.
Later the same summer, on Anadabijou’s recommendation, Gravé was given the son of Begourat to take to France, with admonitions from Anadabijou to use him well and to let him see what the two above-mentioned Indians had seen.
On 12 July 1611, a party of Algonkins arriving at the Lachine Rapids offered to a son of Anadabijou a present to comfort him for the recent death of his father. In later years Anadabijou’s son, Miristou, stated that his father had “maintained peace among the other nations and the French.”