History scholar will sign his books, deliver seminar at Ziibiwing Center

Ralph Naveaux, a history scholar and author, has devoted much of his life to researching and sharing the history of the War of 1812.

At the Ziibiwing Center, 6650 E. Broadway St., on Saturday, Naveaux will share his knowledge about the war, notably events that happened on the Raisin River Battlefield — the largest battlefield in Michigan.

He will also sign copies of his book, "Invaded On All Sides."

The War of 1812 is considered by Native Americans to be a turning point in their history.

"Pontiac and Tecumseh said that they would lose everything if they don't unite," Anita Heard, Ziibiwing Center research coordinator, said about the Native Americans in the War of 1812 and impending treaties. "Right after this, we lost roughly a third of the state of Michigan.

"That's why Anishinabe people are so vested in this war," Heard said. "It was our last chance to save our lifestyle. We were fighting for our own cause."

Heard said she expects that Naveaux will give context for the War of 1812, including the factors that motivated the war and the impact of the war.

Heard said the ending of the war exposed the United States government's interest in acquiring more land.

"(Pontiac and Techumseh) were warning of the treaty era," Herd said, "And it came."

A shuffling of territory after the war's end in 1815 eventually led to the Saginaw Treaty of 1819. Six million Michigan acres, including the Mount Pleasant area, became U.S. territory.

"I'm anxious to hear about it," said Ziibiwing Center graphic designer Esther Helms. "I am interested in Native American history."

The Anishinabe named the Michigan region Turtle Island centuries ago. It is that by which they identify with, not necessarily hometowns and regions.

"I consider all of Michigan, basically, my home," Helms said.


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