Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Hill, Susan Marie


Until recently, military historians failed to consider First Nations military participation beyond the settlement of a particular region, including the end War of 1812 in Ontario and Quebec, and the post-Northwest Rebellion era in the Western Provinces. Current historiography of Six Nations military between the end of the War of 1812 and the First World War has also neglected the evolution of First Nations militarism and the voice of First Nations peoples, with most military histories including First Nations participation as contributions to the larger non-First Nations narrative of Canada. By charting the military participation of one First Nation community, namely the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, it will be shown that a dynamic post-traditional military tradition continued to develop from the end of the War of 1812 to the First World War based on the treaty relationship they had developed with the British Crown, family genealogies, and their organized recruitment into state militaries. This study will also show that the Grand River Six Nations not only understood the traditional and post-traditional reasons they fought in various conflicts during the interwar period, but they did so as active agents with clear understandings that their participation was different than the non-Six Nations communities that surrounded them.