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BEGOURAT (Bechourat), a chief of the Montagnais Indians; fl. 1603.

Begourat led a successful war-party against the Iroquois in the summer of 1603. Champlain described the events that transpired before the departure of this party in June. The Indians assembled in a “public square” at Tadoussac, dressed in the richest of fur garments, beads, and coloured cord, bearing bows and arrows, clubs, and round shields, with Begourat, their war-chief, at their head. They first marched single-file, sporting and play-acting, and then danced. After they had finished, the women disrobed and commenced to dance, finally taking to their canoes for a playful mock battle. When the women returned to their lodges, the warriors set off.

At the end of June, Champlain passed the party encamped in oak-bark lodges behind timber palisades thrown up at the mouth of the River of the Iroquois (Richelieu). Their canoes lay side by side on the bank ready for flight in the event of a surprise attack by the enemy.

In early August, Champlain met the same party on their return to Tadoussac after a successful encounter of 10 of their number with three canoes of Iroquois on Lake Champlain. They bore with them the heads of the defeated Iroquois. Only one Montagnais was wounded.

When the French departed from Tadoussac on 16 August, Begourat gave his son to François Gravé Du Pont to take to France on the recommendation of Anadabijou who had heard the satisfactory reports of the two Indians who had previously accompanied Gravé to France. An Iroquois woman captive whom they had intended to eat was also taken to France on this voyage.

Elsie McLeod Jury

Champlain, Works (Biggar), passim.

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Cite This Article

Elsie McLeod Jury, “BEGOURAT,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed November 28, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/begourat_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:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/begourat_1E.html
Author of Article:   Elsie McLeod Jury
Title of Article:   BEGOURAT
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1966
Year of revision:   1979
Access Date:   November 28, 2023