Western Confederacy


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The Western Confederacy, which had its roots in pan-tribal movements dating to the 1740s, was a loose confederacy of North American Natives in the Great Lakes region following the American Revolutionary War. These native american tribes came together to resist the expansion of the United States into the Northwest Territory after Great Britain ceded the region to the United States after the war.

Aso known as the Western Indian Confederacy, many of these native peoples had fought in the war as British allies. Great Britain made no mention of their allies in the Treaty of Paris (1783).

According to Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief who was one of the early architects of the confederacy, the British had “sold the Indians to Congress.” The confederacy first came together in 1786 at a conference at the Wyandot town of Upper Sandusky, with the intention of forming a common front in dealing with the Americans.

Members of many different American Indian tribes were involved in the Western Confederacy. The confederacy was sometimes known as the “Miami Confederacy” because U.S. officials overestimated the influence and numerical strength of the Miami tribe within the confederation.

Because most tribes were not centralized political units at the time, involvement in the confederacy was usually on a village rather than a tribal basis. The Western Confederacy consisted of members of the following tribes and confederacies:

  • Council of Three Fires
  • Iroquois Confederacy
  • Seven Nations of Canada
  • Wabash Confederacy (Wea, Piankashaw, and others)
  • Illini Confederacy
  • Wyandot
  • Mississaugas
  • Menominee
  • Shawnee
  • Lenape
  • Miami
  • Kickapoo
  • Kaskaskia
  • Chickamauga/Lower Cherokee
  • Upper Muscogee