Kondiaronk (c. 1649-1701) (Gaspar Soiaga, Souojas, Sastaretsi) known as “Le Rat” was Chief of the Hurons at Michilimackinac. As a result of an Iroquois attack and dispersal of the Hurons in 1649 the Hurons settled in Michilimackinac. The Michilimackinac area is near Lake Huron and Lake Michigan (area between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas). Noted as a brilliant orator and a formidable strategist, he led the pro-French Petun and Huron refugees of Michilimackinac against their traditional Iroquois enemies. Kondiaronk realized the only way to establish security was to maintain a war between their enemies, the Iroquois, and the French in an attempt to keep the Iroquois occupied and the Hurons safe from annihilation. The Rat succeeded in killing the peace however, once he had secured the preservation of his people he favored a vast peace settlement. This effort concluded in what is known as The Great Peace of Montreal (1701) between France, the Iroquois, and the other Indian tribes of the Upper Great Lakes. This ended the Beaver Wars and helped open up the interior of North America to deeper French exploration and commerce.
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