This pioneering comparative history of the participation of indigenous peoples of the British Empire in the First World War is based upon archival research in four continents. It provides the first comprehensive examination and comparison of how indigenous peoples of Canada, Australia, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa experienced the Great War. The participation of indigenes was an extension of their ongoing effort to shape and alter their social and political realities, their resistance to cultural assimilation or segregation and their desire to attain equality through service and sacrifice. While the dominions discouraged indigenous participation at the outbreak of war, by late 1915 the imperial government demanded their inclusion to meet the pragmatic need for military manpower. Indigenous peoples responded with patriotism and enthusiasm both on the battlefield and the home front and shared equally in the horrors and burdens of the First World War.
Timothy C. Winegard is Assistant Professor of History at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. His publications include Oka: A Convergence of Cultures and the Canadian Forces (2008) and For King and Kanata: Canadian Indians and the First World War (2012). He served for nine years as an officer in the Canadian Forces including a two-year attachment to the British Army.
Introduction; 1. Colonization and the settler state; 2. Racial constructs and martial theories; 3. Precedents of military pragmatism; 4. Dominion Defence Acts; 5. 1914: subjugated spectators; 6. 1915-16: King and country call; 7. 1917-18: all the King's men; 8. Indigenous soldiers; 9. The home front; 10. Peace with prejudice; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.