Cartier, Jacques (1491–1557), a French explorer, the discoverer of the St. Lawrence River. In 1534 he sailed from his native St. Malo on his first voyage to the New World to look for a northwest passage to Asia. He reached Newfoundland and discovered the Strait of Belle Isle. At Cape Gaspé, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Cartier took possession of the mainland for King Francis I. On his second voyage (1535), Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River to the Indian village of Hochelaga at the foot of a great hill which he named Montréal (Mount Royal). His third voyage (1541) was made to prepare the way for Roberval, first viceroy of French Canada.
In prehistoric times Ohio was the home of Indians known as Mound Builders. When the French first settled in Canada in the early 17th century, the Erie Indians were living south of Lake Erie, but in mid-century they were conquered and dispersed by the Iroquois.
Prehistoric humans entered what is now Montana more than 10,000 years ago. The early inhabitants hunted the area's abundant big game.