Native Americans and Non-Natives in the Lower Great Lakes, 1700-1850
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
Sales Date: 2012-09-01
A remarkable multifaceted history, Contested Territories examines a region that played an essential role in America's post-revolutionary expansion—the Lower Great Lakes region, once known as the Northwest Territory. As French, English, and finally American settlers moved westward and intersected with Native American communities, the ethnogeography of the region changed drastically, necessitating interactions that were not always peaceful. Using ethnohistorical methodologies, the seven essays presented here explore rapidly changing cultural dynamics in the region and reconstruct in engaging detail the political organization, economy, diplomacy, subsistence methods, religion, and kinship practices in play. With a focus on resistance, changing worldviews, and early forms of self-determination among Native Americans, Contested Territories demonstrates the continuous interplay between actor and agency during an important era in American history.
The Lower Great Lakes has long been recognized as a zone of international conflict and interethnic confluence, and has generated some of the best ethnohistory of the past generation. But this collection of essays by a younger generation of scholars demonstrates that the region is far from overworked; it still has many stories to yield when new questions are asked and new approaches pursued.
—Colin G. Calloway, Professor of History and Professor of Native American Studies, Dartmouth College
This fine collection of well-researched essays highlights the diversity and unpredictability of human experience in the lower Great Lakes during a long period of enormous instability and change. It is particularly notable for its emphasis on issues of gender, religion, and memory and its attention to local variations on larger themes.—Andrew R. L. Cayton, author of Frontier Indiana
This series of perceptive essays by younger scholars analyzes cultural change among tribal communities in the Old Northwest and offers interesting insights into the evolution of Native American identity, land use, religion, and political agency. There is lots of “food for thought” here. It should prove attractive as a text or reader for courses focusing on tribal people in this region.
—R. David Edmunds, Watson Professor of American History, University of Texas at Dallas