The Indigenous History Best Article Prize
Nathan Ince, “As Long as that Fire Burned:” Indigenous Warriors and Political Order in Upper Canada, 1837-42,” Canadian Historical Review 103, 3 (September 2022): 384-407.
In “As Long as that Fire Burned:” Indigenous Warriors and Political Order in Upper Canada, 1837-42,” Nathan Ince explores First Nations’ (Haudenosaunee/Chippewa/Nishnaabeg) understandings of their role in the crisis of rebellion in Upper Canada between 1837 and 1842. Rooted in archival research in Department of Indian Affairs records at the Library and Archives Canada, Ince demonstrates that in taking up arms Indigenous warriors, and the nations to which they belonged, enacted their own vision of a desired political order. They supported an Indigenous-Imperial relationship anchored in generations of diplomatic practices, preserved in “numerous treaties, belts, speeches, and petitions,” (384), and upheld by a commitment to support the alliance “as long as the Fire burned.” (388) Ince’s writing makes a complex and intricate history easily accessible to readers, contributing to recent scholarship in Indigenous governance and diplomacy, and making an important intervention in our understanding of Indigenous and imperial histories of the mid-19th century. Ince’s unique interpretation outlines the significant role that First Nations played in the rebellion period and how crucial these upheavals are for our understanding of the political position of First Nations in the years leading to the formation of Canada.