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The area was first settled by Europeans around 1669 when French Jesuits established a mission at the Kanesatake village. The Jesuits abandoned their post in 1717 after being attacked by Iroquois, and were replaced by an English fur trading post run by James Knight. In 1803, the settlement became a parish of the United Canadas known as "Chawenigan Falls". It was also known as Shawanaga or Chawanake until its incorporation in 1845. In 1893, it separated from Saint-Maurice County to form Shawinigan County (which included Saint-Tite). However, it reintegrated into municipal status on January 1, 2002 under Bill 160 which amalgamated all municipalities with fewer than 50000 people into existing ones; this law came into effect on January 1st 2006 for most communities but had already been applied to Quebec's urban areas since 2001.