Chief Shingwaukonse

Essay by mrdolf November 2006

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Chief Shingwaukonse and his legacy

In review of Janet Chute's book, "The Legacy of Shingwaukonse: A century of Native Leadership", it is understandable that conflict occurred between Aboriginal people and Europeans during the exploration of resources and establishments of settlements within the Aboriginal Traditional territory. Within North America, Europeans have had a major influence on the way of life, governance and culture on the Aboriginal people. It was essential for the new settlers to establish an alliance with the Aboriginal people and to build relationships in to survive. Many were exposed to disease and illness which remedies were attained by practices of the Aboriginal People who offered their traditional medicines and showed the colonists how to survive off the land through the harvesting of traditional foods, plants and wildlife. The development of this peaceful relationship was soon impeded by the external influences including the war, free market society, Eurocentric views of Aboriginal People and their connection to the land.

For Aboriginal people there is a philosophical approach to the land which Western Ideologies do not readily accept as rational, but provide a holistic approach in understanding the importance of Aboriginal peoples' connection to the land. The new settlers seen a paradise of abundant vast lands filled with natural resources and minerals. The crown saw and took advantage of the market society, in order to build stronger economy in Europe and a venue to establish authority over these resources. It is no surprise that until 1814 the colonies depended on the Aboriginal people, first in the fur trade then the war. With the various wars occurring in North America, Britain and France grew increasingly dependent on their Indian alliances. For example, the war of 1812 is known as a major battle that involved Aboriginal Tribal Alliances with Britain...