West Virginia University Historical Review


Settled squarely in the heartlands of many Indigenous Americans’ ancestral territories, the disputed area between the United States and Mexico fought over during the Mexican-American War is often solely conceptualized as the latter definition. The Indigenous peoples of these lands themselves are often just as ignored in the historical narrative of this period as are their ties to the lands. The research presented in this article aims to bring to light this often understudied part of the Mexican-American War, being Indigenous involvement in the war itself and the lasting effects that it had upon Indigenous groups. This article focuses on Apache, Comanche, and Navajo perspectives leading up to, during, and following the war. By centering these groups in the narrative, it is clear they were not sidelined or forgotten during the conflict, but rather were active players in the overall struggle for power in the region, engaging in both warfare and diplomacy. As such, equal attention should be given to these Indigenous participants in the war in further studies of the conflict.

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