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AUOINDAON, chief of the Attignaouantan (Bear) nation, the largest of the Huron groups, resident at Quieunonascaran (near the present-day Penetanguishene, Ontario), where the Recollet mission of Saint-Joseph was situated; fl. 1623.

It was necessary to have Auoidaon’s permission to travel to Quebec. Similarly, his brother Onorotandi was, within the limits of the Huron country, master of roads and rivers that led to the upper Saguenay.

Auoindaon had a great affection for the French priests and served them “as a sort of Father Syndic in the country.” He once offered to spend the night with Sagard, who was alone, because the chief feared that the priest might be harmed by the Iroquois who had invaded the Huron country and also by the evil spirits. Sagard spoke of him as “this good old man, full of kindness and goodwill.”

In October 1623, Sagard accompanied Auoindaon on the annual fishing expedition into Georgian Bay, which continued for longer than a month. They lived in wigwam-type lodges on islands. Nets were set at night and brought in at daybreak. Hemp cord with wood and bone barbs were also used. Some fish were gutted and dried on racks; some were smoked on poles, before being packed in casks; and some of the largest were boiled for oil. When fishing was good there was a perpetual round of merry feasts.

The various rituals of fishing were observed. The bones of fish were not thrown on the fire lest the spirits warn the other fish against being caught; and the nets also, they believed, could see, hear, eat, and impart information to the fish. While everyone in the lodge lay flat on his back, a fish-preacher eloquently addressed the fish in order to attract them to the nets, and tobacco was thrown on the fire, with incantations, to ensure success.

In 1634, on his return to the Hurons, Brébeuf, with two other priests and one layman, lodged with one Aouandoie, possibly a descendant or a namesake of Auoindaon. He was one of the richest of the Hurons, formerly of Toanché; then at Ihonatiria – two villages near Quieunonascaran in the Penetanguishene peninsula. Toanché had twice been burned but Aouandoie’s cabin alone escaped. Some residents, in jealousy, attempted to set fire to his cabin but Aouandoie, a generous man, prepared a feast and offered to the less fortunate one of his two bins of corn, each of which held 120 bushels.

Elsie McLeod Jury

JR (Thwaites), passim. Sagard, Long journey (Wrong and Langton), passim.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Elsie McLeod Jury, “AUOINDAON,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 2, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/auoindaon_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/auoindaon_1E.html
Author of Article:   Elsie McLeod Jury
Title of Article:   AUOINDAON
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 2, 2023