The Lake Huron area of the Upper Great Lakes region, an area spreading across vast parts of the United States and Canada, has been inhabited by the Anishnaabeg for millennia. Since their first contact with Europeans around 1600, the Anishnaabeg have interacted with—and struggled against—changing and shifting European empires and the emerging nation-states that have replaced them. Through their cultural strength, diplomatic acumen, and a remarkable knack for adapting to change, the Anishnaabeg of the Lake Huron Borderlands have reemerged in the twenty-first century as a strong and vital people, fully in charge of their destiny.
Winner of the North American Indian Prose Award, this first comprehensive cross-border history of the Anishnaabeg provides an engaging account of four hundred years of their life in the Lake Huron area, showing how their history has been shaped and influenced by European contact and trade. Three Fires Unity examines how shifting European politics and, later, the imposition of the Canada–United States border running through their homeland continue to affect them today. In looking at the cultural, social, and political aspects of this borderland contact, Phil Bellfy sheds light on how the Anishnaabeg were able to survive and even thrive over the centuries in this intensely contested region.