This article is about the Native American tribe. For other uses see: Huron (disambiguation)
The Wyandot (also called the Huron) are a tribe of Native Americans originally from an area near Ontario, Canada. The early French called the members of a four-tribe confederacy the 'Huron', a derogatory name derived from their word "hure" meaning rough or ruffian.
When the French encountered the Huron in the 17th century they divided them into various "nations." The Petun nation, the tribes who lived around Georgian Bay in southern-central Ontario, were further divided into Bear, Cord, Deer, and Rock nations. To the south, on southern Lake Huron and northern Lake Erie, were the Neutral nations, who were less well-known to the French.
Before the French arrived the Huron were already at war with the Iroquois. The war was extended to the French, who allied with the Huron because they were, at the time, more useful in the fur trade. The Iroquois also tended to be allies of the English. The introduction of European weapons increased the severity of the war, and by about 1650 the Iroquois had almost completely destroyed the Huron tribes. The Jesuit mission near modern Midland, Ontario was one focus of Iroquois attacks; it was destroyed in 1648 and many of the Jesuit missionaries were killed (see Canadian Martyrs).
In literature, they became known in James Fenimore Cooper's novel "Wyandotte", published in 1843. The Wyandot nation still exists in southern Ontario and Michigan today, though it never regained its population after the 17th century war with the Iroquois.