Recommended Reading List
Indigenous Peoples & the Military
Download list
Please login or register to use this feature.

Indigenous Peoples & the Military

By 49thShelf
1 rating
rated!
rated!
A reading list by Timothy Winegard, whose latest book is The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator.
For King and Kanata

For King and Kanata

Canadian Indians and the First World War
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

The first comprehensive history of the Aboriginal First World War experience on the battlefield and the home front.When the call to arms was heard at the outbreak of the First World War, Canada’s First Nations pledged their men and money to the Crown to honour their long-standing tradition of forming military alliances with Europeans during times of war, and as a means of resisting cultural assimilation and attaining equality through shared service and sacrifice. Initially, the Canadian govern …

More Info
Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens
Why it's on the list ...
I have used this book extensively as a course text for my university-level First Nations Studies classes, with the disclaimer that, “I wish I would have written this book.” According to Miller, “If these pages succeed in persuading some people that the Native peoples have always been active, assertive contributors to the unfolding of Canadian history…indigenous peoples had in fact been active agents of commercial, diplomatic, and military relations with the European newcomers and their Euro-Canadian descendants…they will have achieved their primary objective.” Miller writes with unbiased clarity, and his work is accessible in all aspects to scholars, students, and the public alike. He traverses more than 400 years of “Indian-White Relations in Canada,” very methodically in less than 500 pages.
close this panel
His Majesty's Indian Allies

His Majesty's Indian Allies

British Indian Policy in the Defence of Canada 1774-1815
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Written with passion and flair, this book presents an unbiased account, favouring neither the First Nations nor the colonial interpretations. Allen exemplifies the importance of First Nations peoples in the defence of Canada, while emphasizing the fact that they were not spectators in the evolution of Native-newcomer relations, or to the development of the settler-state society. First Nations were active participants, and used various strategies, including military alliances, to protect their own interests and agendas, in an effort to shape and alter their social and political realities, and to promote their resistance to cultural assimilation.
close this panel
Loyal Till Death

Loyal Till Death

Indians and the North-West Rebellion
edition:Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
While the majority of the historical attention has focused on the Métis, Stonechild and Waiser detail the involvement of First Nations in the 1885 North-West Rebellion They provide a clear understanding as to the motivations for militant action, or conversely, for remaining peaceful and non-antagonistic. They refute the common belief of Métis-Indian collaboration in 1885, arguing instead that Indians acted independently of the Métis to promote their own interests. They also suggest that Indian actions during the rebellion were sporadic, if not accidental or Métis coerced, and unsupported by leaders such as Poundmaker and Big Bear. Portions of treaties were not honoured, and some Cree, led by Wandering Sprit and Fine Day, viewed confrontation as a means to secure treaty rights and promote their waning interests. It is these events, which Loyal till Death so richly recounts and reinterprets.
close this panel
Three Day Road
Why it's on the list ...
Set in both the wilds of northern Ontario and in the trenches of France and Belgium during the First World War, the 2005 Governor-General’s Award nominee (his sequel Through Black Spruce won the 2008 Giller Prize), has made First Nations military service effectively mainstream. His book has reached a diverse and broad audience across Canada. Loosely based on the famed Ojibwa sniper, Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, Boyden details the cultural and military experiences of an Ojibwa sniper team during the Great War, through flashbacks and a vivid dream-like narrative, told in part by the pair’s aging, traditional Ojibwa female guardian. Pegahmagabow, of the Parry Island Ojibwa, won the Military Medal three times (making him one of only thirty-eight Canadians to accomplish this feat) and tallied an unofficial 378 kills.
close this panel
Death So Noble

Death So Noble

Memory, Meaning, and the First World War
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Hardcover
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Moving away from the actual battlefields of Europe, Vance’s highly acclaimed Death So Noble instead focusses on the remembrance and legacy of the Great War, which took the life of over 68,000 Canadians. He examines the memory and meaning of the war on various segments and ethnicities of Canadian society, including a smattering on French-Canadians and First Nations: “English Canadians confidently expected…the war’s legacy would provide the impetus for both groups to become, not Native Canadians or French-Canadians, but Canadians pure and simple.” In other words, the war would serve as the ultimate impulsion for final reconciliation and assimilation into English Canadian society.
close this panel
Tecumseh's Bones

Tecumseh's Bones

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook
tagged :
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Since Tecumseh’s death at the Battle of the Thames (5 October 1913), mystery, rumor, and scandal have surrounded his final resting place. In Tecumseh’s Bones, St-Denis chronologically details the facts, and claims, surrounding the ability of numerous communities in south-western Ontario to boast that the esteemed Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, resides in their midst. The truth, however, remains a mystery
close this panel
The Mosquito

The Mosquito

A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator
edition:Hardcover

“Hugely impressive, a major work.”--NPR
A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate
 
Why was gin and tonic the cocktail of choice for British colonists in India and Africa? What does Starbucks have to thank for its global domination? What has protected the lives of popes for millennia? Why di …

More Info
Excerpt

We are at war with the mosquito.
    A swarming and consuming army of 110 trillion enemy mosquitoes patrols every inch of the globe save Antarctica, Iceland, the Seychelles, and a handful of French Polynesian micro-islands. The biting female warriors of this droning insect population are armed with at least fifteen lethal and debilitating biological weapons against our 7.7 billion humans deploying suspect and often self-detrimental defensive capabilities. In fact, our defense budget for per­sonal shields, sprays, and other deterrents to stymie her unrelenting raids has a rapidly rising annual revenue of $11 billion. And yet, her deadly offensive campaigns and crimes against humanity continue with reckless abandon. While our counterattacks are reducing the number of annual casualties she perpetrates, the mosquito remains the deadliest hunter of human beings on the planet. Last year she slaughtered only 830,000 people. We sensible and wise Homo sapiens occupied the runner-up #2 spot, slaying 580,000 of our own species.
    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has contributed nearly $4 billion to mosquito research since its creation in 2000, releases an annual report that identifies the animals most lethal to humans. The contest is not even close. The heavyweight champion, and our apex pred­ator in perpetuity, is the mosquito. Since 2000, the annual average num­ber of human deaths caused by the mosquito has hovered around 2 million. We come in a distant second at 475,000, followed by snakes (50,000), dogs and sand flies (25,000 each), the tsetse fly, and the assassin or kissing bug (10,000 each). The fierce killers of lore and Hollywood celebrity appear much further down our list. The crocodile is ranked #10 with 1,000 annual deaths. Next on the list are hippos with 500, and elephants and lions with 100 fatalities each. The much-slandered shark and wolf share the #15 position, killing an average of ten people per annum.
    The mosquito has killed more people than any other cause of death in human history. Statistical extrapolation situates mosquito-inflicted deaths approaching half of all humans that have ever lived. In plain num­bers, the mosquito has dispatched an estimated 52 billion people from a total of 108 billion throughout our relatively brief 200,000-year existence.
    Yet, the mosquito does not directly harm anyone. It is the toxic and highly evolved diseases she transmits that cause an endless barrage of desolation and death. Without her, however, these sinister pathogens could not be transferred or vectored to humans nor continue their cycli­cal contagion. In fact, without her, these diseases would not exist at all. You cannot have one without the other. The nefarious mosquito, roughly the size and weight of a grape seed, would be as innocuous as a generic ant or housefly and you would not be reading this book. After all, her dominion of death would be erased from the historical record and I would have no wild and remarkable tales to tell. Imagine for a moment a world without deadly mosquitoes or any mosquitoes for that matter? Our history and the world we know, or think we know, would be com­pletely unrecognizable. We might as well live on a foreign planet in a galaxy far, far away.
    As the pinnacle purveyor of our extermination, the mosquito has consistently been at the front lines of history as the grim reaper, the harvester of human populations, and the ultimate agent of historical change. She has played a greater role in shaping our story than any other animal with which we share our global village. Within these bloody and disease-plagued pages, you will embark on a chronological mosquito-tormented journey through our tangled communal history. Karl Marx recognized in 1852 that “men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.” It was the steadfast and insatiable mosquito that manipulated and determined our destiny. “It is perhaps a rude blow to the amour propre of our species,” writes acclaimed University of George­town history professor J. R. McNeill, “to think that lowly mosquitoes and mindless viruses can shape our international affairs. But they can.” We tend to forget that history is not the artifact of inevitability.
    A common theme throughout this story is the interplay between war, politics, travel, trade, and the changing patterns of human land use and natural climate. The mosquito does not exist in a vacuum, and her global ascendancy was created by corresponding historical events both natu­rally and socially induced. Our relatively short human journey from our first steps in and out of Africa to our global historical trails is the result of a coevolutionary marriage between society and nature. We as humans have played a large role in the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases through population migrations (involuntary or otherwise), densities, and pressures. Historically, our domestication of plants and animals (which are reservoirs of disease), advancements in agriculture, deforestation, climate change (natural and artificially encouraged), and global war, trade, and travel have all played a part in nurturing the ideal ecologies for the proliferation of mosquito-borne illnesses.
    Historians, journalists, and modern memories, however, find pesti­lence and disease rather dull, when compared to war, conquest, and na­tional supermen, most often legendary military leaders. The literary record has been tainted by attributing the fates of empires and nations, the outcome of pivotal wars, and the bending of historical events to in­dividual rulers, to specific generals, or to the larger concerns of human agencies such as politics, religion, and economics. The mosquito has been written off as a sidelined spectator, rather than an active agent within the ongoing processes of civilization. In doing so, she has been defamed by this slanderous exclusion of her enduring influence and im­pact in changing the course of history. Mosquitoes and her diseases that have accompanied traders, travelers, soldiers, and settlers around the world have been far more lethal than any man-made weapons or inven­tions. The mosquito has ambushed humankind with unmitigated fury since time immemorial and scratched her indelible mark on the modern world order.

close this panel
comments powered by Disqus

There are two ways to make a reading list

This way:

  1. Click the "Create a New List" button just above this panel.
  2. Add as many books as you wish using the built-in search on the list edit page.

Or that way:

  1. Go to any book page.
  2. In the right-hand column, click on "Add to List." A drop-down menu will appear.
  3. From the drop-down menu, either add your book to a list you have already created or create a new list.
  4. View and edit your lists anytime on your profile page.
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...