Major Papers


In 1884 to 1885, a British military endeavour was launched to relieve General Charles Gordon at Khartoum, Sudan, who was besieged by Islamic insurgents. The Nile Expedition, as it came to be known, included approximately four hundred Canadian civilians employed to transport troops and supplies down the Nile River. Through the participation of eighty Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) men, the Nile Expedition became a site where Indigenousness was performed and negotiated, and would influence relations between the Mohawks and white settler society. This was done through the development of Mohawk nationalism, which strived for a distinct Mohawk identity, culture and political autonomy. The perspective of two Mohawks, Louis Jackson and James Deer, demonstrate their Indigenous Mohawk identity and through the representation of their experiences in written first-hand accounts. The two would also use the Nile Expedition after their return to Canada in their careers to advocate for change in white settler society.

Primary Advisor

Shauna Huffaker

Program Reader

Miriam Wright

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year


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History Commons