When we talk about Indigenous people throughout colonial American history (especially within the school curriculum in the United States), we often remove their agency and act like they didn’t really do much of anything other than simply exist. It creates a huge belief that they spent a lot of their lives being tricked by white Europeans before the Revolution and white Americans after.

Their involvement was largely much more than that, which I’d like to hope is obvious? But it’s apparently not because so many people remove the nuance from Indigenous Americans in their own history. It forces all tribes and nations to seem as if they were of one mind and were in perfect unison on every single aspect of anything that involved them, which they most certainly were not; it neglects to show the complex relationships between different tribes and nations, as well as within each nation. It’s also written largely in a way that makes it sound like Indigenous peoples were “easy to dupe” because the white colonists were “brilliant hucksters.” That also erases a lot of those complex relationships between Indigenous tribes and nations.

Yes, white Americans did often make tricky deals with Indigenous peoples, though it is probably more accurate to say that we would be culturally insensitive jerks and manipulate Indigenous customs to our ‘advantage’ (to the extent you can consider that murdering people, stealing from them, and kicking them off their land as an “advantage,” which I… don’t). But that isn’t the only historical narrative we should know.

Anyway, we do this a lot with the French and Indian War, as it’s known in the United States. The rest of the English-speaking world seems to refer to it as the Seven Years’ War (but for Europeans, the war was “officially” declared in …

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