Quoted from We Were Not the Savages

One of the historical fallacies of the colonization of the Americas is that European prisoners held by the Amerindian Nations were anxious to return to their own communities. This was not always the case. For many, their so-called imprisonment by these people was their first real taste of freedom within a just and caring society! A good number, when given the opportunity, flatly refused to return to their former lives of oppression and economic slavery and chose instead to stay with their captors.

The French in fact were concerned about the tendency of their people to cohabit with Amerindians. They feared reverse assimilation as a real possibility because many of their compatriots found the Native lifestyle superior to their own. Jaenen comments:

"The French...had introduced a multiplicity of elements which would continue to modify and influence the direction Native societies would take in the future. In this process, French colonial society was itself profoundly affected not only by the American environment but also by its contacts with Native cultures. The possibility that many French might become assimilated, rather than the Native people being "reduced to civility" was discussed in the closing years of the French regime. One officer remarked:"

"There are not wanting here, those who defend this strange attachment of some of their countrymen to this savage life, on principles independent of the reasons of state, for encouraging its subjects to spread and gain footing among the savage nations, by resorting to their country, of which they, at the same time, gain a knowledge useful to future enterprises, by a willing conformity to their actions, and by intermarriage with them. They pretend that even this savage life itself is not without its peculiar sweets and pleasures, that it (is) the most adapted, and the most natural to man. Liberty, they say, is nowhere more perfectly enjoyed, than where no subordination is known, but what is recommended by natural reason, the veneration of old age, or the respect of personal merit.

"That such a possibility was not necessarily equated with dangerous degeneration and American barbarism, but defensible adaptation to a new environment and new circumstances, indicated that whatever officials policies and objections might be, whatever the thrust of church pronouncements and missionary endeavours, there were pragmatic considerations which operated at a more popular social level in New France."