To celebrate the International Council of Peace & Reconciliation’s 200th Anniversary, Queenston Heights Park offered a groundbreaking ceremony for the “Landscape of Nations” memorial on Tuesday, September 1.
The memorial is to be a “unique public artwork and educational initiative” that “will be a lasting reminder of the significant contributions and sacrifices made by the Six Nations and the Native Allies throughout the War of 1812 and leading up to the Council of Peace and Reconciliation,” and to be opened to the public in June of 2016.
Along with a standing Quiver Dance and Opening Address performed by Cam Hill, Jamie Jacobs and Eddie Thomas; a bundle of seven arrows were tied to symbolically represent seven generations, while the groundbreaking ceremony was performed by planting an Eastern White Pine Tree.
Master of Ceremonies Tim Johnson said he is “very pleased with the development of this project.”
“The project itself, from its inception has been an effort, a dual or joint effort if you will, between native peoples and Canadian citizens, and that was part of the reconciliation theme with this project that we stuck through in every single stage,” said Johnson. “There are seven arrows in that bundle to represent the seven generations, a part of the Haudenosaunee philosophy, that the actions that you take today should consider the outcomes for seven generations that follows,” said Johnson.
Ava Hill, accompanied by Councillors Wray Maracle and Carl Hill, said on behalf of Six Nations, “we are so proud to be here.”
“This memorial will also enhance the reconciliation that was called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission who delivered their recommendation shortly after the announcement of the project a couple months ago,” said Hill. “I also want to stress again, the importance of this memorial to the Six Nations people. It will prove to be most valuable in ensuring everyone who visits it will be made aware of the contributions of the Six Nations people. And the sacrifices that were made in the War of 1812, and it is because of their efforts that we are able to stand here today and break the ground for this memorial, and I am sure it will have a lasting impact on anyone who visits it,” said Hill.