But some years after a certain number of Iroquois, who had been converted to Christianity, manifested a desire to settle themselves in the vicinity of Ville-Marie (Montréal).

In the year 1676, the members of Saint Sulpice founded an establishment in their favour at the mountain and this was the first mission. At the same time, Sister Marguerite Bourgeois sent two of her companions to commence a mission for the children of the mountain of which Huron Sister Marie-Thérèse Gannensagouas, who was baptized at fourteen years old and confided to the care of Sister Bourgeois’s care, and at seventeen years old Sister Marie-Thérèse Gannensagouas pronounced her vows. She died at the Mission of the Mountain on Sunday November 25, 1685 at twenty-eight years old and was buried in the little sanctuary, where she had first lisped the names of Jesus and Mary.

In 1680, the government of France sent a thousand livres for encouragement to Sister Bourgeois to open a school, however we asked another five to six hundred livres to dress these children in the French fashion. King Louis XIV granted another annuity of two thousand livres and one thousand livres of which was destined to purchase yarn and thread, so that these children, might learn to spin, to knit, besides various kinds of needle work. It was an arduous task to lead these young girls of the forest. Sister Marguerite Bourgeois opened the first school at the Mission of the Mountain and tells us where the Natives came of their own accord to be instructed. The school of the Mission of the Mountain opened in favour of young Native girls; but anterior to this in Québec that Mother, Marie de l’Incarnation, had gathered around her the children of the various Native tribes around Québec and we can trace her devotedness as far back as 1636. Father François de Belmont has taken charge of the little boys and the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame see to the girls. In 1685, the school of the mission of the Mountain had some forty girls.

These children were taught the principles of our Holy Faith, reading and writing in the French language, taught the hymns of the church and pray both in their mother tongue and in the French language; and so perfectly have they been gained to our Faith that they are not only able to put its observances into practice, but at the same time follow most scrupulously the slightest rule of the congregation. Some have expressed a willingness to consecrate themselves irrevocably to God.

The population of this village at the mountain is of Huron and Iroquois, who are not only converted, but are really remarkable for their fervour. Whenever you visit their little chapel, you see some of their number engaged in prayer; after an insignificant fault, they punish themselves by remaining outside, or kneeling at the door of the chapel in a spirit of humility and penance. They apply themselves wonderfully to the preservation of their innocence sand when they have made known their wants to God, with that charming simplicity which characterizes them, they return to their domestic labours and during this time in their lodges and in the fields around, repeat sweet echoes from their hymns and canticles.

Father de Belmont of Saint Sulpice constructed at his own expense a little chapel, which bore the name of “Our Lady of the Snows,” and around this modest sanctuary, a little Native village arose, as if by magic. The bark wigwams peeping through the trees, the picturesque costumes of joyous youth presented no uncouth appearance. Here the Sisters dwelt and exercised their functions in their little bark lodges and here on the mountain side, at sunset, the deep chorus of the “Ave Maris Stella,” or some other hymn to the Virgin are heard.

In 1691, the Mohawk Iroquois attacked the Mission of the Mountain and captured thirty-five women and children. In 1694, Father de Belmont began to build a fort and was completed in 1698, with four towers. Then, the west tower was the school of which continued within and the east tower became the residence of the Sisters of La Montagne. The two towers are still seen at the front of the “Grand Séminaire de Montréal” at 2065 ouest, rue Sherbrooke (and rue du Fort). The Mission was abandon in 1704, of which some settled in a land belonging to the Sulpicien order and is presently known as Kanesatake.

Estat présent de l’église et de la colonie française dans la Nouvelle-France par M. l’évêque de Québec, Jean-Baptise de Saint-Vallier, 1688

The Pearl of Troyes or Reminiscences of the early days of Ville-Marie, Revealed to us in the heroic life of Sister Marguerite Bourgeoys foundress and first superior of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, 1653