Captives in American Indian Wars  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Treatment applied to European captives taken in wars or raids in the present-day United States and Canada varied according to the culture of each tribe. Before the arrival of Europeans, Native American and First Nation peoples all across the US and Canada had developed customs for dealing with captives. Depending on the cultural region, captives could be killed, kept alive and assimilated into the tribe, or enslaved. When Native American and the First Nations peoples came into contact with European settlers, they applied longstanding customary traditions for dealing with Native captives to the European newcomers. American and Canadian histories, particularly in the colonial period, includes many examples of captives, and their associated treatment; the American Indian Wars and migrations of the 19th century also resulted in many captives being taken.

Captivity narratives were often written by European Americans and European Canadians who were ransomed or escaped from captivity.

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