chief: An English term used for leaders of Scottish clans that was applied to Indigenous leaders such as ogimaak, sagamores, and sachems whose titles and responsibilities and the hereditary, elected, or appointed route to such leadership varied by nation. Historically, colonial negotiators seldom understood the scope and limitations of these roles. The use of this term has masked the historical complexity of Indigenous leadership, but has become more pan-Indian in contemporary contexts under the Indian Act, which sought to create a common type of leader across all federally recognized bands with similar responsibilities.

Dish with One Spoon: The Dish with One Spoon was a diplomatic metaphor whose use pre-dates the arrival of Europeans in North America. It was used when two nations who had contested one another’s use of a resource area agreed to make peace and share the resources jointly.

Great Peace of Montreal: Agreement reached in 1701 between the Haudenosaunee, the Niswi-mishkodewin and other western Great Lakes Indigenous nations totalling about 39 in all, and the French to end half a century of conflict known as the Haudenosaunee (Mourning) Wars.

guerrilla warfare: Warfare characterized by small, stealthy forces using “hit-and-run” or ambush tactics in small-scale, limited actions which were very effective against European-style colonial military forces trained for large open-field military confrontations.

Haudenosaunee War: (1609–1701) Conflict between Haudenosaunee Confederacy and French that lasted almost a century and was interspersed with attempts at peace but sharply accelerated after 1649. Known as the Iroquois War or Beaver Wars in some Canadian historiography but is increasingly known more accurately as the Mourning Wars as it involved the Haudenosaunee taking massive numbers of captives to replace community members who had died from disease as well as warfare.

Kiala: (Quiala, fl. 1733–4) Mesquakie chief who sought to unify the First Nations of the eastern seaboard to oppose the French. The Mesquakie were based in the area to the west of Lake Michigan.

League of Six Nations: Expansion of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy by the addition of the Skaururen, who fled north from the Carolinas and sought refuge among the Five Nations in 1722.

longhouses: Communal dwellings of some First Nations, such as the Haudenosaunee. Each longhouse is home to a matrilineal family and is the property of the oldest woman in the family. Her sisters and daughters and their families each have their own fire along the length of the long house. Men lived as commonly in the longhouse of their mother or sister as that of their spouse, and also could stay in the council house at the centre of the community.

Mascarene’s Treaty: (1725) Treaty No. 239, signed between English and Wabanaki after Indigenous military defeat at Norridgewock and later ratified by other First Nations, which stated that First Nations people must behave as British subjects; named after chief negotiator, Paul Mascarene, administrator of Nova Scotia at the time of the treaty.

Megumaage: Mi’kmaw name for their land, in the present-day Maritime provinces.

Mesquakie Wars: (1710–38) Called the Fox Wars by some Euro-Canadian historians, the resistance by the Mesquakie and other Indigenous nations to French forays inland to the Upper Great Lakes. The war chief Kiala rose to prominence during this time as a proponent of Indigenous coalitions. The conflict showed both the lengths that the French were willing to go to maintain their access to the Fox-Wisconsin River waterway connecting Green Bay on Lake Michigan to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River connection the province of Louisiana to the province of New France. The French also took war captives and kept or sold them as slaves, both prolonging the conflict for financial incentives and weakening the strength of their alliance by demonstrating they could be as bad as the British.

Mi’kmaw War: (1749–53) Mi’kmaw resistance to English settlement of Acadia (Megumaage). It was primarily fought at sea.

Mourning Wars: Conflicts between Indigenous nations in the Great Lakes and eastern North America based in the spiritual belief that those killed in war needed to be replaced through the death or capture and adoption of an enemy. This practice was intensified after 1649 when the Haudenosaunee Confederacy expanded the practice to also replace those who had died from disease, believing that illnesses, such as smallpox, had been sent by their enemies. At times they adopted entire Wendat towns who chose adoption as preferable to conflict. The frequency and intensity of these conflicts began to subside after the Peace of Montreal in part perhaps because the increasing frequency of warfare between the British and the French–Indigenous alliance in the eighteenth century offered plenty of opportunities to replace the dead.

Nanfan Treaty: (1701) After signing the Peace of Montreal with the French and their allies, the Haudenosaunee sold the lands south of the Great Lakes that they had just agreed to share with French allied tribes through the Dish with One Spoon allegory to the English in the Nanfan Treaty.

ogimaa: (plural: ogimaak) Anishinaabe word for leader. In many First Nations there are two ogimaak, one hereditary and the other elected. In others both are elected. In others leaders are only such for the duration of the time that a task is needed, such as leading a war party.

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