from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A Native American people inhabiting an extensive area in Quebec and Labrador.
- n. A member of this people.
- n. The Algonquian language of the Montagnais and Naskapi.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. An Algonquian language spoken by approximately 11,000 people in Eastern Canada.
The Canadien were probably a southern branch of the people who were called Montagnais by Champlain.
“I studied their customs very particularly,” he wrote.76 He knew that the Montagnais were a hunting and gathering people—and thought that they were the most skillful hunters he had ever met.
Champlain believed that part of the problem of the Montagnais was their extreme vulnerability to famine.
Among the Indians, the Montagnais are the only ones who talk in this fashion.
Algonquin tribes, generally known as Montagnais or Mountaineers, living in rude camps covered with bark or brush, eking a precarious existence from the rivers and woods, and at times on the verge of starvation, when they did not hesitate at cannibalism.
Indians as "Montagnais" to the Labrador natives it is doubtful whether you would be understood.
This was an area harshly fractured between Champlain's trading partners of the Algonquin, Huron, Montagnais, Abanaki and Ojibwa versus their hated enemies of the Iroquois League - Mohawks, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca.
Saying that Etruscans are autochthonous to Italy is like mistaking those of European descent here in Canada as Aboriginals and then assuming that English is a Native language like Haida and Montagnais.
It has been purported to be derived from an Algonquian word (possibly from the Abnaki language: askimo) meaning 'raw meat eater', although other scholars refute this etymology and offer another alternative involving the Montagnais term aiachkimeou /a:jasʧime:w/ or its Cree counterpart askimew both meaning 'snowshoe-netter' (even though snowshoes were hardly a distinguishing feature of the Inuit in contrast to any other aboriginal peoples of Canada).
Finally, another alternative etymology is suggested in Hirschfelder/Beamer, Native Americans Today: Resources and Activities for Educators, Grades 4-8 2000, p.3: "Some linguists argue that the word originated with the Montagnais and actually means 'snowshoe netter.'"
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