ATIRONTA (Darontal, Durantal), one of the principal chiefs of the Ahrendarrhonon (Rock) nation of the Hurons; fl. 1615. Three distinguished Huron Indians bore the name “Atironta” in the 17th century, following the Indian custom of resuscitating and perpetuating the name of one who had died.
Atironta (fl. 1615) resided at Cahiagué (near Hawkestone, Ontario), the capital town of the Ahrendarrhonons, which according to Champlain consisted of 200 long-houses.
According to Father Paul Le Jeune’s description of the resuscitation of his name by a later chief in 1642, Atironta had been the first to make contact with the French at Quebec. He may have been one of the party of Attignaouantans (Bears) and Iroquets who met Champlain on the St. Lawrence in 1609, 1610, and 1611, and established the historic alliance for war and trade between the Hurons and Algonkins and the French.
Atironta was one of a war-party of Hurons and Algonkins led by Champlain in 1615 from the Huron country (near Georgian Bay) in an attack on an Iroquois village situated south of Lake Ontario. On the return journey, during a 38-day side-expedition for hunting, Atironta shared with Champlain his “cabin, provisions and furniture.” Before this time, Champlain points out, he was “already on terms of some intimacy” with Atironta. After the return of the war-party to Cahiagué, the people of that village quarrelled with the Algonkins under Iroquet who were wintering near them. Councils were held at which Champlain mediated, and in which Atironta as a chief must have been involved, although no mention of his participation is made by Champlain.
In the summer of 1616 Champlain brought Atironta to Quebec, and there entertained him, referring to him as “my host.” Atironta admired the French way of life and expressed a desire that, to ensure a safe passage on the river, settlement should be made at the Lachine rapids, a place where French and Indians might live as brothers. This Champlain promised to do.
According to Sagard, a “great chief” Atironta ruled the Ahrendarrhonons in 1623–24.
Champlain, Works (Biggar), passim. JR (Thwaites), passim. Sagard, Long journey (Wrong and Langton). Desrosiers, Iroquoisie, 63–67.
© 1966–2023 University of Toronto/Université Laval
Cite This Article
Elsie McLeod Jury, “ATIRONTA (fl. 1615),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 5, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/atironta_1615_1E.html.
The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:
|Author of Article:||Elsie McLeod Jury|
|Title of Article:||ATIRONTA (fl. 1615)|
|Publication Name:||Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1|
|Publisher:||University of Toronto/Université Laval|
|Year of publication:||1966|
|Year of revision:||1979|
|Access Date:||June 5, 2023|