La Colle was an influential Anishinaabe ogimaa (leader) and mayosewinini (war chief) who led the Monsoni (moose) doodem (clan) in the Rainy Lake region during the 1730s and 1740s. A biographical study of La Colle not only restores an individual Indigenous voice to the tapestry of Native North America but also provides insight into a conflict between the Anishinaabeg, Nêhiyawak (Crees), Nakoda (Assiniboines), and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Dakota, Yankton, Yanktonai, and Lakota) that took place in the borderlands between Lake Superior and the Upper Missouri Valley. Ultimately, the conflict saw the beginning of a considerable reorientation of Indigenous geopolitics west of Lake Superior, which were, in part, driven by the actions of a cunning political and military leader—La Colle. By uniting Anishinaabeg, Nêhiyawak, and Nakoda into a coalition powerful enough to challenge the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, La Colle made one of the most significant bids for power in eighteenth-century North America, one that eventually reconfigured the political, demographic, and environmental landscapes of the Northwest.

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