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Anishnaabeg in the War of 1812: More than Tecumseh and his Indians

Alan Corbiere

It is well known that the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe, Odawa, Potowatomi, Mississauga, Algonquin, and Nipissing) fought during the War of 1812, the majority siding with the British, although some sided with the Americans. It is also well known that Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was a dynamic and charismatic leader who worked to form a confederacy of Nations to resist American expansionism. The War of 1812 is synonymous with the names Tecumseh, General Brock and Laura Secord. If any other “Indians” are mentioned, it is likely Tecumseh’s brother the Prophet (another Shawnee), Roundhead (A Wyandot), or John Norton (a Scotchman with Cherokee blood and adopted by Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant). Many would be hard pressed to name ten Anishinaabe warriors who fought in 1812. We know that our ancestors fought during this war, and that some died in battle. The majority of the Canadian population, as well as our own people, however, likely cannot name many Anishinaabe chiefs or warriors who fought, which is a shame because the sheer numbers of Anishinaabeg that participated should warrant more attention.