The British occupied New France after Governor Vaudrueil surrendered the colony on 9 September 1760. Major-General James Murray sent detachments of British troops to garrison the French forts to the west and south of the Great Lakes. He also established a military government in Quebec.
The Ottawa had been allies and trading partners of the French since the Iroquois destruction of the Huron in 1649. As long-time allies of the French, the Ottawa harboured a deep resentment for the British. In 1763, soon after the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 10 February, the war chief of the Ottawa, Pontiac, led an uprising against the British in Canada. Other First Nations supported his actions. Pontiac launched attacks on British garrisons in the frontier forts, and, by the summer of 1763, only Fort Detroit and Fort Pitt (Fort Duquesne) remained in British hands.
In Quebec, Governor Murray organized a large expedition to reclaim the forts in the west and launch an offensive against Pontiac's forces on 5 March 1764. It included a Canadian battalion of former militia and Troupes de la Marine units. Sieur de Rigaud commanded the Canadians. The expedition, commanded by Colonel John Bradstreet, advanced along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and regained Fort Niagara. There he negotiated an agreement with many of Pontiac's allies. Fort Detroit was reoccupied and the west secured. Pontiac would continue his war against the British for two more years. After sporadic fighting and several small clashes with the British, Pontiac finally agreed to peace terms in 1766. By the end of that year, Governor Murray reported to the British government that Canada had a force of 18,000 militia available for the defence of the colony.