The inﬂuence of Aboriginal culture on European colonists in Canadian history has been overshadowed by European inﬂuence and dominance. The French, in particular, were
inﬂuenced by First Nations culture and technology, to the extent that French men began emulating First Nations traits, creating a distinct French subculture called les Canadiens. These French men began measuring themselves against their First Nation counterparts
and competed with them in activities such as canoeing, snowshoeing and tobogganing, but also in team sports such as lacrosse. By taking up these behaviours First Nations, and later
Canadien expressions of play provided a counter-discourse to sport as a breeding ground for proper bourgeois gentlemen which came to fruition in Victorian Canada between 1850
and 1880. Thus it is my intention to explore how this emergent sport identity came to serve as an expression not only of Canadian sport identity but of Canadian nationalism.