Heading towards the permanent galleries of the Canadian War Museum, one passes by a series of large scale photographs and images, such as here.
The galleries are organized chronologically, starting with the First Nations and the pre-Contact era. Artifacts and displays include this model, depicting an Iroquois village under attack.
Contact with Europeans would bring a different kind of warfare into the New World. New France saw conflicts with one tribe or another, until the post-Contact wars came to an end and the French would establish alliances.
Such an alliance is seen here, with a French-Canadian militiaman working in tandem with an Ojibwa warrior against their common enemy, the Iroquois.
As France and Britain had been jockeying for power for centuries around the world, so too did that conflict come into North America. The Seven Years War is also referred to as the French and Indian War in some parts of North America, and found the two sides, their colonial counterparts, and various First Nations people in conflict. Here we have a mortar shell and hand grenades recovered from the siege of Louisbourg.
The French and Indian War met its climax on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City. Over a thirty minute period, the direction of North America changed forever with a French defeat. New France came to an end, and Britain rose victorious out of it. This model shows the terrain at the Plains of Abraham and the battle lines of opposing sides.
Just a few years later the American Revolution would have a huge impact on Canada. It included the Continental Army attempting an invasion, but also included Loyalists who would come into Canada following the war. Profiles here include Richard Pierpoint, an African who ended up in slavery, escaped, joined Butler's Rangers, and later settled in Upper Canada.
Another profile here is that of Joseph Brant, the Mohawk chief who was a formidable ally to the British during the Revolution. He and his people would come to southern Ontario after the war.
The War of 1812 gets coverage here as well.One of the prize artifacts is the jacket of General Isaac Brock, the British general who fell in battle at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Look closely just at the collar line on the chest and you can see a hole. That hole was put in the uniform jacket by the bullet that killed Brock.
Who won the War of 1812? That depends on who you ask. But the goal to remove the British from North America did not happen. Canada would develop on its own instead of being absorbed into its neighbour. That to me feels like victory.