Members of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities will mark a milestone this November when they gather in Queenston for National Indigenous Veterans Day.
It will be the fifth year that Niagara Parks hosts the Valour & Victory gathering, a public ceremony held at the Landscape of Nations Memorial in Queenston Heights Park.
This year’s ceremony takes place on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m. in advance of Indigenous Veterans Day, which is on Nov. 8.
The event will also mark the seventh anniversary of the unveilling of the memorial in 2016.
The number seven is symbolic in Haudenosaunee culture: it’s reflected in the Landscape of Nations memorial, with seven steel arches symbolizing a longhouse, and seven earthen mounds representing nature and signifying the number of Indigenous nations involved in the Battle of Queenston Heights and the War of 1812.
Speakers at the ceremony will include Niagara Parks chair April Jeffs, as well as Tim Johnson, senior adviser for heritage and legacy at Niagara Parks.
Johnson co-chaired a working group responsible for the memorial’s creation, alongside Dr. Richard Merritt.
Paul Williams, a historian and lawyer from Six Nations, will deliver a historical address at the gathering. He spoke at the original ground-breaking ceremony for the memorial in 2015.
The ceremony will also include an honour song by Phil Davis from the Niagara Regional Native Centre, a wreath laying and a ceremonial fire.