The Treaty of Ghent and the War of 1812

The following information is a transcript of Isaac Murdoch’s account of the oral history passed on to him from the Elders at Serpent River.   It is taken from personal conversations on January 12, 2019 in Toronto and on July 10, 2019 over the phone between Toronto and somewhere north of Lake Winnipeg.  Murdoch is a descendent of Shingwauk who was a prominent war chief involved in this war.

The War of 1812 was a battle between independent Indigenous nations and the U.S. When Americans started putting up flags in Detroit and the north shores of Lake Huron to the east side of Lake Winnipeg, the Anishinaabe nations got together in a massive war. On July 16, Shingwauk assembled 800 warriors and went to Mackinaw.  In total, 30 000 Indigenous warriors from various tribes and 5000 British fought in this war against the U.S.  In addition, 5000 halfbreeds fought alongside the Anishinabek. After Britain’s declared victory, Britain and the U.S. made a backroom deal (The Treaty of Ghent) without inviting any Indigenous leaders. The War of 1812 was a staged battle.  Political puppet masters tried to get as many Indigenous people to fight to reduce their numbers.  Half the Anishinaabek warriors died in this war. 

Natives guarded and protected resources.  Mining companies in NYC, Chicago, Montreal, and Detroit pressured the government to make treaties with First Nations to get rid of them and split up the land.  The British helped facilitate the war with the U.S. because they could not afford more soldiers to kill the Natives.  It was like how the Iraq war was staged for resource extraction.