Sovereign Allies/Living Cultures: First Nations of the Great Lakes | Level 1

  • Vest with floral beadwork
    Vest with floral beadwork
  • Portrait of John Brant. Unknown artist. After original probably by Charles Bird King. 19th century, oil on canvas.
    Portrait of John Brant. Unknown artist. After original probably by Charles Bird King. 19th century, oil on canvas.

Stories of the War of 1812 and its aftermath from a First Nations perspective

Closed September 5, 2013
Daphne Cockwell Gallery Canada First Peoples, Level 1

Sovereign Allies/Living Cultures explores the participation of First Nations warriors in the War of 1812 and, in the War’s aftermath, the fate of their communities and cultures.

The exhibition’s Sovereign Allies section focuses on the First Nations who allied themselves with the British Crown in their efforts to prevent American expansion into their territories. The British, for their part, needed and valued the warriors’ forest warfare skills.

The Living Cultures section explores the ways in which First Nations cultures have remained vital despite centuries of contact with European cultures.

Curated in collaboration with First Nations advisors, the exhibition features nearly 100 objects and original art works exclusively drawn from the ROM’s collections. It is complemented by videos which cover topics ranging from conservation of a British Red Ensign to First Nations elders and historians reflecting on the War of 1812 and the importance of traditional beliefs and cultural practices today.

Authored by: Noman Siddiqui


Comment by Lead Concierge

Hello Chris, This exhibit has an indefinite run. There is no plan at this time to close it.

Comment by Lead Concierge

Hi Keira,

This exhibit is available for your class to see.  It would be part of a self guided visit. If you book a lesson, especially one related to the First Nations topic our teachers can touch on this subject.   To book a lesson, check date availability and find detailed information regarding various lessons, please visit

Comment by david snake

I have what is claimed to be Chief Snake's war leggings from the war of 1812. They are of the red trade cloth w/ blue strip running down the sides and the tiniest white beads. It's no wonder the aged who worked the beads now have glasses. Q: for insurance purposes what would something likes this go for?

Comment by Lead Concierge

Hello, the ROM does not provide estimates for insurance purposes.  We suggest you contact an appraiser in your home town.