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The Algonquin were the actual band that retained the name of the general family name that extended throughout most of Eastern Canada and parts of the U.S.

The Algonquin lived in the Upper St Lawrence Valley and had migrated from the east about 1400. It is estimated that they numbered about 6,000 around 1600. Their name may have come from the Maliseet word Allegonka which can be translated as "dancers". They also lived along the banks of the Ottawa River and their main settlement was on an Island in the Ottawa River called Kitchesippi.   

With the uniting of the Iroquois into their great confederacy, they pushed Algonquin bands north to the St Lawrence valley and the Algonquin pushed the Iroquois out of the valley south into the Adirondack Mountains.

\they used the birch bark canoes and lived in the large longhouse which were also covered by birch bark and cultivated corn and tobacco.