The second edition of Gabriel Sagard's history of the Recollect missions in eastern Canada, the Histoire du Canada (1636), included an unprecedented series of harmonized settings of four previously transcribed indigenous Mi'kmaq and Tupinamba melodies. A reading of the Histoire du Canada's content, structure, and production context demonstrates that the settings supported the apostolic aims of the text, which were rooted in the didactic ethos and methods of the French Counter-Reformation. Specifically, the Histoire du Canada developed the transcribed indigenous chants into devotional exercises by ascribing moral significance to the transformation of the melodies into polyphony. With the harmonized settings Sagard gestured toward the Native Americans' potential for conversion and civilization by the Recollect missionaries in a manner that was edifying for Catholic readers in France and the young colony.
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