Windsor·ASK CBC WINDSOR

Who came first to Windsor, the French or English?

Antisa Al Kourd is from Algeria and she's been here in Windsor for just a few months. Al Kourd wanted to know who were the first people in the Windsor region — were they French or English?

Who were the first people in the Windsor region — were they French or English?

This sunset shot of the Windsor skyline is the winner of CBC Windsor's banner photo contest. (Steve Biro)

Ask CBC Windsor: It's a new series, brought to you by Windsor Morning and it's looking at all the things there are to know about the city.

We're taking questions from Windsorites — whether you've been here for a few weeks, a few years or for decades. 

Antisa Al Kourd is from Algeria and she's been here in Windsor for just a few months. Al Kourd wanted to know who were the first people in the Windsor region — were they French or English?

We asked University of Windsor assistant professor and historian Guillaume Teasdale for the answer.

Antisa Al Kourd is from Algeria and she's been here in Windsor for just a few months. Al Kourd wanted to know who were the first people in the Windsor region — were they French or English? 0:41

ANTISA: I'm wondering about occupation of English and French ... who was here first?

GUILLAUME: The first people were Indigenous peoples. They used this area as a hunting ground. The French people came and settled in this area in 1701 for the first time. 

One thing that a lot of people don't realize is that at that time all the Great Lakes were claimed by the French empire. Detroit was just another place, west of the St.Lawrence valley, the French managed. 

It was only in the 1730s when French families started to build and settle farms along the Detroit river. They came on the Canadian side of the river in 1749. By the 1760s you had French settlements on both side of the river.

In 1760, the British defeated the French and the French lost basically everything they had claimed in North America. In 1763, they signed the Treaty of Paris and in this area, British troops were sent to take over the forts the French had established. 

Do you have questions about Windsor? Are you looking for answers about YQG? Drop us a line via email and we might put your question to a Windsor expert. 

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