For those of you who don't know, my name is Charlie Ballard and I'm a descendant of Chief Pontiac - Ottawa, one of our Great Native American chiefs from American history.
This blog is in response to a academic call for proposals on Chief Pontiac's War the French and the British.
My response is below:
Call for Proposal Announcement
Title: “The War Called Pontiac’s, 1763-2013”
Who: The McNeil Center for Early American Studies
Dates: April 4-6, 2013
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Deadline: April 16, 2012
The 250th anniversary of what has long been known as “Pontiac’s War”
offers scholars an opportunity to reexamine the conflict and its impact
on the history of North America. The ambiguous role of the Ottawa leader
Pontiac and widespread scope and the varying aims of other Native
participants in the conflicts of the mid-1760s defy easy categorization,
a problem well summed up by Francis Jennings’s phrase, “The War Called
‘Pontiac’s.’” Many contemporary British observers and combatants sought
some conceptual clarity by casting the blame on French-inspired
treachery. Many Native people located the treachery among the British.
In the mid-nineteenth-century, Francis Parkman constructed an epic tale
of a single charismatic Indian leader and the last gasp of a doomed
people. More recent work offers a much more complex interpretation of an
inter-Native movement grounded in Native spirituality and aiming to
regain status as well as land for its Native participants in the new
geopolitical world after the Seven Years War.
Accordingly, this conference encourages broad reexaminations. Possible
topics include—but are not limited to—discussions of any relevant
theater of war, the participation of particular Native groups or
individuals, colonial and imperial responses, immediate repercussions or
long-term effects, subsequent historiography and changing perceptions,
new attempts at synthesis, or fresh frameworks for understanding.
Proposals are welcome for papers of approximately thirty pages in
length, which will be pre-circulated to all conference participants.
Suggestions for complete panels will also be considered, but the
organizers reserve the right to accept, reject, or reassign individual
Please submit proposals of approximately 600 words, along with
curriculum vitae, to email@example.com no later than 16 April
2012. Accepted panelists will be notified by mid-May 2012; papers will
be due for pre-circulation no later than 1 February 2013. Some support
for participants’ travel and lodging will be available.
Here's my response:
Currently, there is a college academic debate coming up called the, "The War Called Pontiac’s, 1763-2013" , in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania., to
to, reexamine the conflict and its impact on the history of North America" .
Why? I guess, "many contemporary British observers and combatants sought some conceptual clarity by casting the blame on French-inspired treachery. Many Native people located the treachery among the British" .
It sounds like these academic scholars are having a hard time pinning which European nation caused treacherous relations with the Indigenous tribes on the North American continent.
Seeing as how I have a B.A. degree in American Indian Studies and researched my Great Grandfather Chief Pontiac for a history class in school, here's my opnion.
At some and point in time upon European contact with the North American Indigenous tribes, all of the European Nations who migrated to the America's ie French, British, and Spanish, in some way, shape or form had treacherous relations with the Europeans because of there poor diplomacy skills.
For example, if you read in Francis Parker's account, "The Chief Pontiac Conspiracy" , you'll note that Chief Pontiac wanted peace with the European tribes but because the European negotiator insighted insults with his diplomacy, he negotiations caused war and a lot of uneccesary deaths on both sides.
These aggressive European characteristics and approaches are a commom theme in dealing with the American Indian tribes during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
If you read other historical accounts of other tribes, all of our old chiefs wanted to live in peace or come to a truce with the Whites but their leaders kept insighting brutality, war mongering, fear, and genocide with America's first original inhabitants.
Have White people learned anything from their past mistakes on having good diplomatic relations with Native American tribes, yes, but at what cost.