European colonial expansion pushes from the coasts, along the inland waterways. To the North, French settlements; to the East the Dutch and British; to the South the Spanish. The Great Lakes were an edge zone between territories claimed and controlled by the different empires. Long before “first contact”, the effects of European rivalry produced deep and structural changes here.
Nicolas Sanson D’Abbeville, Amerique Septentrionale (Paris, 1650)