Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
William C. Noble
This study deals with the ethnic relations and history of the three groups of Canadian Delaware (Lenape), who came to southern Ontario, circa 1782 - 92. Their migrations are traced from the United States to Canada, and the underlying reasons and motivations behind these migrations are examined. The study carries through to the end of the 19th century. The group known as the "Grand River Delaware", migrated from the United States Niagara-area into Canada in 1783. An offshoot of this group continued westward around 1785, and is believed herein to have later become known as the "Muncey of the Thames", a band whose origin has been uncertain. The "Moravian Delaware" came to the Thames River, Upper Canada, in 1792. Often referred to in the literature as Christian Indians and under the "leadership" of the Moravian mission, this group by no means wholly encompassed Christianity. In the present work, it is shown, that native Delaware beliefs and customs lived on considerably longer than previously assumed, and that decision-making was not limited to the missionaries only. In fact, it is probable that the Native Moravian Delaware made the decision as to the specific location of Moraviantown. Canadian Delaware relations with other contact-agents such as government officials, traders and farmers are also examined, as are relations with other tribes, especially Chippewa and the Iroquois. The British and Canadian authorities attempted to divide the various native tribes and bands inhabiting Upper Canada, according to government needs and perceived ends. These ends and needs changed within relatively short time-periods depending on matters of defence and military-threat from united States. Finally, the post-l830 treaty period saw consolidation of some Delaware reserves in southwestern Ontario.
Kjellberg, Erik, "Seeking Shelter. Canadian Delaware Ethnohistory and Migration." (1985). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6837.
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