In Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America, the historian Michael A McDonnell reveals the vital role played by the Indigenous Peoples of the Great Lakes in the history of North America. Though less well known than the Iroquois or Sioux, the Anishinaabeg, who lived across Lakes Michigan and Huron, were equally influential. Masters of Empire charts the story of one Nation, the Odawa, who settled at the straits between those two lakes, a hub for trade and diplomacy throughout the vast country west of Montreal known as the pays d’en haut. Highlighting the long-standing rivalries and relationships among the First Nations of North America, McDonnell shows how Europeans often played only a minor role in this history, and reminds us that it was Indigenous Nations who possessed intricate and far-reaching networks of commerce and kinship. As empire encroached upon their domain, the Anishinaabeg were often the ones doing the exploiting. By dictating terms at trading posts and frontier forts, they played a crucial part in the making of early America.