Re: British Indian Department
- Turbans, I think.
Oh, gad, you mean THOSE Indians...
THE Thin Red Line
Actually, true in both cases, at least for here in the south. Creeks, Choctaws, or folks from Bombay.
Okahumpkee, Native Warrior on the southern theater of operations
Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
Check outnew cars at Yahoo! Autos.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I was offered a Captain's commission on November, 26, 2004 to which I
accepted. I have been unable to attend several events due to
obligations to my Nation. As many of you know Six Nations is locked
in a land dispute regarding the Haldimand Tract with the Federal and
Provincial governments. Having the responsibility of sitting on one
of the negotiating teams has demanded much of my time. Other members
of the British Native Allies have attended many events although I
have been absent. Nevertheless my lack of presence as a British
Indian Department Captain is really of no consequence.
That being said the following is a contracted description of the
British Indian Department.
In 1790 the British implemented the Constitutional Act which divided
Canada into the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. Each became
separate political entities under the auspices of the Governor
General. In Upper Canada the Lieutenant Governor and in Lower Canada
the Representative of the Governor General would report directly to
the Governor General. Below them were the Executive and Legislative
bodies of both provinces.
Prior to 1796 the responsibility for Indian Affairs belonged to the
office of the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Indian
Affairs. The resident Indian Agents served under the Deputy
Superintendent. This structure was employed in Lower Canada until
1800 when responsibility was transferred to the Governor General. In
Upper Canada in 1796 responsibility was transferred to the Lieutenant-
During the War of 1812 Sir George Prevost was the Governor General
The Lieutenant-Governors were Sir Isaac Brock (1811-1812), Sir Roger
Hale Sheaffe (1812-1813), Francis de Rottenburg (1813) and Sir Gordon
Drummond (1813-1814). It should be noted that all of the Lieutenant-
Governors were administrators and commanders of the forces in Upper
Canada during the war.
The responsibilities of the Indian Department during the war were
administration, recruitment, providing of interpreters and the
supplying of provisions. Authoritative and administrative duties
belonged to the Governor General and the Lieutenant-Governor.
Recruitment, interpretive and supply duties belonged to men employed
in the Indian Department having intimate knowledge of the various
Each responsibility maintained its own ordinances. Administrative
duties dealt with Treaties and other issues occasionally arising
between British Subjects or the military and Native Allies.
Recruiters recruited the alliance of Indigenous Nations to provide
warriors for the Kings cause. Interpreters were required to
communicate between the British and their various Native allies. The
supplying of provisions to Native allies was an integral part of
keeping them on the battlefield. Warriors were provided with the
necessary accouterments for battle while their villages received the
sustenance required while the men were on the field instead of
War Chiefs were customarily employed by the Indian Department and
given the rank of a Lieutenant or Captain. This logic was employed to
assure Native allies of segregation from the structured British
military regime. British military commanders could merely suggest but
never execute orders to their Native allies and vice versa. The fact
is that Native allies fought unfettered as an independent entity
under the leadership of their own War Chiefs. A case in point is the
Military's resolve of the rivalry between William Claus and John
The British Indian Department in reality was an institution
established to manage issues regarding the relationship between
European and Indigenous peoples. While some B.I.D. officers and
interpreters fought along side Native allies the Department never
fought as a "cohesive military fighting unit" or commanded their
allies. In fact, they were obligated to obey the commands of the War
Chiefs if they chose to fight along side them. They were first and
foremost administrators which developed into the modern Department of
Indian Affairs that exists today.