Native people in North America first made contact with Europeans on lands near coasts and rivers: early Norse/Vikings, and Newfoundland & Labrador fishing banks. The contacts would have been when fishermen were looking for shelter or places to dry fish.

The second contact would have been European explorers and potential colonists who sheltered among the Natives and met some tribes toward the interior.

The next contact would have been missionaries attempting to “convert” Native people to a European religion.

The next contact would have been traders developing relationships with interior tribes in search of furs.

The last type of contact was with colonists from England, France, Portugal and Spain to the south.

Native American society was undergoing significant change at the time of the early contacts. The Iroquoian groups had increased their population due to the development of an agricultural ‘lifeway’ based on corn. Corn was an economic commodity that could be traded and to corn access to the corn and trade relations, tribes were developing alliances that would become the Iroquoian Confederacy, the Five Nations of the Long House (Haudenosaunee).