timothy winegard on indigenous peoples and world war one

17May13

Timothy C. Winegard, Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

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.



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