From Ohio History Central
Pontiac was born circa 1720. His father was an Ottawa Indian, and his mother was a Chippewa. His family raised Pontiac as an Ottawa, although he had numerous friends among his mother's people. Little is known of his early years. He probably traded with the French merchants that moved into modern-day Michigan and Ohio in the late 1600s and 1700s. By 1755, he had become an important leader of the Ottawas.
Pontiac subscribed to the religious beliefs of Neolin, a prophet among the Delaware Indians during the 1760s. Neolin encouraged his fellow Indians to forsake all English goods and customs. He felt that the natives' dependence on these items had infuriated their gods. The reason why the Native Americans in the Ohio Country currently suffered at the hands of the English was because they had forgotten the true ways of their people. European ways would condemn the Indians to the natives' equivalent of eternal suffering. Indians had to separate from white ways and not become dependent on them. Although Neolin urged the natives to reject all European customs, missionaries from the Moravian Church heavily influenced his views of the Great Spirit.