When Samuel de Champlain in 1603 sailed up the St. Lawrence River and agreed to support the Algonquian Indians at Tadoussac against the aggression of the Iroquois, he could not foresee that the petty strife between those two apparently insignificantly hordes of 'savages' would one day decide the fate of New France and of the vast territory that stretched for an unknown distance to the west. At the time no other choice lay open to him. The migratory Algonquians and their allies, the Hurons, controlled most of the territory which he hoped to explore, possessed the best means - birch-bark canoes and snow-shoes - of travelling through that territory, and supplied the furs from which he hoped to finance his explorations. Of the Iroquois to the southwest he knew little except that they practised agriculture, built permanent or semi-permanent villages, and were far less rich in the furs which at the time seemed to be the most important of the country's natural resources. Had Champlain, like his predecessor Cartier, encountered first Iroquois on the St Lawrence river and discovered their military strength and genius for political organization, France might to-day be the dominant power in North America. But fate decreed that the hostility of a few thousand Indians should check the expansion of the new colony and determine the course of history.
Diamond Jenness, The Indians of Canada (1932)