Following the French and Indian War, the British took over forts in the Great Lakes Region, including Fort Michilimackinac. The British started settling in Native American land and treated them as their inferiors. As a result, Chief Pontiac of Ottawa formed a united coalition of the nearby American Indian tribes to attack the Forts nearest their settlements. Participating tribes in the Pontiac Rebellion included the Ottawa, Shawnee, Seneca, Ojibwas, Potawatomis, Huron, Wyandot, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Delaware, Seneca-Cayuga, Piankashaw, and Miami.
After Fort Detroit, Fort Michilimackinac became the fifth target of Pontiac’s Rebellion. On June 2 1763, the native Indian tribes persuaded the British garrison and settlers to watch a game between the Ojibwe and Sauk. The game was a disguise for Pontiac’s army to smuggle weapons into the Fort unsuspected. About 300 Native Americans worked their way into the fort under this ruse. There were only about fifty British soldiers, which were vastly outnumbered by the attacking forces. This attack was very successful, resulting in many British colonist fatalities.
The British should have seen this attack coming. After all, they received warnings from French Canadians about an uprising, and the market could not keep up with the demand for weapons like tomahawks.
However, this victory was short-lived. Despite Pontiac’s coordinated attacks and successive wins, they were not successful and did not force out the settlers from Native American lands. Eventually, Fort Michilimackinac was returned to the British by American Indians in 1764.