before the foundation
The Mohawk of the St-Lawrence inhabited Tiohtiá: ke (Island of Montreal) long before the arrival of European colonizers on the continent. Their presence on the island dates back to the 1000s and late 1500s of our era. The oldest traces of habitation on the island of Montreal date back to around 5,000 years before today. The artifacts found at the Saint-Éloi site in Old Montreal or at the Nivard site in Verdun reflect the presence of indigenous peoples and their way of life for a long time.
Historically, "Hochelaga" is the name of an Indigenous village that bordered Mount Royal, and that the French explorer Jacques Cartier visited on Sunday, October 3rd, 1535. This village was presumably occupied by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. Today, a commemorative plaque for the village of Hochelaga is erected near the main entrance to McGill University, on Sherbrooke Street, in Montreal.