Algonquin (ălgŏngˈkwĭn, –kĭn) [key], small group of Native North Americans. The name of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (to which they belonged) is derived from their name (see Native American languages). They were among the first Native Americans with whom the French formed alliances, and their name was used to designate other tribes in the area. Despite French aid, they were dispersed in the 17th cent. by the Iroquois, and the remnants of the tribe found refuge chiefly near white settlements of the Ottawa River valley in W Quebec and E Ontario. There were close to 6,000 Algonquin in Canada in 1991. The name is also spelled Algonkin.