Located at Queenston Heights, the memorial isdedicated to the tribesof the Six Nations, whofought with the Britishthere, in the War of 1812.
John Norton(Teyoninhokarawen)16 December 1770 - October1831John Norton was the son of a Cherokee father and Scottish mother. After receiving an education in Dunfermline Scotland, Norton enlisted in the British 65th Foot Regiment in 1784. He arrived in Lower Canada with the regiment in 1785, and was sent to Fort Niagara. Norton was retained by the Indian Department at Niagara as an interpreter, during which time he met Joseph Brant. Impressed by Norton's skill as an interpreter and negotiator, Brant convinced Norton to join the Grand River Mohawk tribe. While there Norton was approached by the British and Foreign Bible Society to translate the Gospel of St. John into the Mohawk language; when published in 1806, it was the first translation of the gospel in a First Nations' language. With the outbreak of the War of 1812, Norton was given the rank of captain in the British army. He recruited Grand River Mohawk and others and led them at the Battle of Queenston Heights, 13 October 1812. After the death of Sir Isaac Brock early in the battle, Norton led the Mohawk in the attack on the American troops. The action proved decisive, for it gave General Sheaffe time to prepare a successful counter attack and crush the American force. The following year, Norton and his warriors covered the retreat of the British forces to Burlington Heights after the Americans had taken Fort Niagara. The American advance was halted at the Battle of Stoney Creek on 6 June 1813, where Norton's Mohawk provided scouts prior to a successful night attack by Brigadier John Vincent and the 49th Regiment. Days later, the British completed the rout of the Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams on24 June 1813, with the aid of Grand River and Kahnawake Mohawk warriors. After the war, Norton and his wife, a Lenape (Delaware) woman called Karighwaycagh, travelled to England where Norton received the brevet rank of major in the British army. They returned to Grand River in 1816. In 1823, Norton was found guilty of manslaughter after a duel involving his wife's suspected infidelity and after that he essentially disappeared from the historic record. The last known correspondence from him was in 1826. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Norton died in northern Mexico sometime in October 1831.
John Brant (Ahyonwaeghs) September 27, 1794 – August 27, 1832 In the War of 1812, John Brant and John Norton led native warriors to stop an American attack at the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812. Brant was born near the town that bears his name , Brantford Ontario, the son of Joseph Brant Thayendanegea) and Catharine Croghan Brant (Adonwentishon). His father Joseph was a Mohawk chief who became famous during the American Revolutionary War. His mother Catharine was from an important Mohawk lineage: while her father was the Irish trader George Croghan, her mother was the sister of Johannes Tekarihoga, one of the hereditary Mohawk civil leaders or (sachems). Because the Mohawks were a matrilinealsociety, the title “Tekarihoga” did not pass from father to son. Instead, the women in the family selected the next Tekarihoga from their male relatives. As Clan Mother, Catharine Brant would name Johannes Tekarihoga's successor. At a young age, her son John became an obvious candidate for the next Tekarihoga.The family moved near Burlington Bay in 1802. John Brant studied at Ancaster and Niagara on the Lake. He helped his uncle try to get a formal deed for grant of land along the Grand River called the Haldimand Proclamation. In 1821, he went to England with Robert Johnson Kerr after Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland informed them that they had no title to the northern part of the grant. Despite their efforts, the government of the colony managed to retain control over the sale of native lands in the area. Brant encouraged the building of schools for his people. In 1828, he was appointed resident superintendent for the Six Nations of the Grand River. In 1830, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for Haldimand. He was the first Indian to sit in Upper Canada's parliament as a lawmaker. But a year later, his right to hold the seat was questioned as he did not own the amount of property required under the law at the time to sit in the Assembly, and he was thrown out of office. In about 1830 his mother Catharine named him as the next Tekarihoga, succeeding his recently deceased uncle HenryTekarihoga. Brant held the office for only a short time; he died in 1832 near Brantford, a victim of a Cholera pandemic.
Six Nations Turtle LegendLong before the world was created there was an island, floating in the sky, upon which the Sky People lived. They lived quietly and happily. No one ever died or was born or experienced sadness. However one day one of the Sky Women realized she was going to give birth to twins. She told her husband, who flew into a rage. In the center of the island there was a tree which gave light to the entire island since the sun hadn't been created yet. He tore up this tree, creating a huge hole in the middle of the island. Curiously, the woman peered into the hole. Far below she could see the waters that covered the earth. At that moment her husband pushed her. She fell through the hole, tumbling towards the waters below. Water animals already existed on the earth, so far below the floating island two birds saw the Sky Woman fall. Just before she reached the waters they caught her on their backs and brought her to the other animals. Determined to help the woman they dove into the water to get mud from the bottom of the seas. One after another the animals tried and failed. Finally, Little Toad tried and when he reappeared his mouth was full of mud. The animals took it and spread it on the back of Big Turtle. The mud began to grow and grow and grow until it became the size of North America. Then the woman stepped onto the land. She sprinkled dust into the air and created stars. Then she created the moon and sun. The Sky Woman gave birth to twin sons. She named one Sapling. He grew to be kind and gentle. She named the other Flint and his heart was as cold as his name. They grew quickly and began filling the earth with their creations. Sapling created what is good. He made animals that are useful to humans. He made rivers that went two ways and into these he put fish without bones. He made plants that people could eat easily. If he was able to do all the work himself there would be no suffering. Flint destroyed much of Sapling's work and created all that is bad. He made the rivers flow only in one direction. He put bones in fish and thorns on berry bushes. He created winter, but Sapling gave it life so that it could move to give way to Spring. He created monsters which his brother drove beneath the Earth. Eventually Sapling and Flint decided to fight till one conquered the other. Neither was able to win at first, but finally Flint was beaten. Because he was a god Flint could not die, so he was forced to live on Big Turtle's back. Occasionally his anger is felt in the form of a volcano. The Iroquois people hold a great respect for all animals. This is mirrored in their creation myth by the role the animals play. Without the animals' help the Sky Woman may have sunk to the bottom of the sea and earth may not have been created.
The Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy comprised the: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora tribes. They were known as the Haudenosaunee or People of the Longhouses.Their dwellings or longhouses were 160 ft. in length and around 20 ft. wide. The walls were made of up to 1000 sharpened and fire hardened saplings driven close together into the ground. Strips of bark were woven horizontally through the lines of poles to form weatherproof walls. Poles were set in the ground and braced by horizontal poles along the walls. The roof is made by bending a series of poles, resulting in an arc-shaped roof. This was covered with leaves and grasses. The frame is covered by bark that is sewn in place and layered as shingles, and reinforced by light swag.Doors were constructed at both ends and were covered with an animal hide to preserve interior warmth. Longhouses featured fireplaces in the center for warmth. Holes were made above the hearth to let out smoke. Five to six ventilation openings, known as smoke pipes were positioned at intervals along the roofing of the longhouse to let out smoke. Palisades that stood about 15 ft. high were built around groups of these the dwellings. The palisades were meant to protect and keep the longhouses of the village safe.A typical longhouse and housed around twenty families. The Haudenosaunee had a matrilineal kinship system and property and inheritance passed through the maternal line. The children were born into the mother's clan.
THE SIX NATIONS
Memory Circle: At this gathering place visitors are asked to remember the contributions of Six Nations and Native Allies who participated in the War of 1812 and to commemorate the historic ceremony of peace and reconciliation held at Niagara on August 31 and September 1, 1815. Eight limestone walls sourced from the Queenston Quarry emanate from the circle like a sunburst.
FOUR MOHAWK KINGS
National Portrait Gallery
THE TWO ROW WAMPUM
The Two Row Wampum Treaty is an agreement, that was made in 1613 between the Haudenosaunee peoples and representatives of the Dutch government in upstate New York. The agreement was recorded by the Haudenosaunee in a wampum belt, known as the Two Row Wampum. This wampum records the meaning of the agreement, which declared peaceful coexistence between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch settlers in the area. The agreement is considered by the Haudenosaunee to be the basis of all their subsequent treaties with European and North American governments. These treaties include the Covenant Chain treaty, made with Great Britain in 1677 and the Treaty of Canandaigua with the United States in 1794.The pattern of the belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads against a background of white beads. The purple beads signify the courses of two vessels, a Haudenosaunee canoe and a European ship, travelling down the river of life together, parallel but never touching. The three white stripes denote peace and friendship.The treaty is considered by Haudenosaunee people to still be in effect. At the League of Nations in 1923, the Netherlands government was asked by the Haudenosaunee to support them in a dispute with Canada over membership that orginization. The Dutch government supported them at that time.
Treaty of Canandaigua by Robert Griffing
The legend of the Iroquois Tree of Peace began with, Dekanawidah, the peace-giver. It was he who had the primary role in creating the Five Nations Confederacy, which consisted of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, collectively known as the Haudenosaunee Nation, or Iroquois. The Great Peace associated with Dekanaweidah, and the Haudenosaunee Nation is in three parts:The Good Word, which is righteousness in action, bringing justice for all.Health, which is a sound mind in a sound body, bringing peace on Earth.Power, which is the establishment of civil authority, bringing with it the increase in spiritual power in keeping with will of the Master of Life. At the creation of the Five Nations they were given a symbol by Dekanaweidah to symbolize the newly accepted peace that unified them. The symbol chosen was the great white pine. The tree had four symbolic roots; the Great White Roots of Peace, spreading north, east, south, and west. Atop the tree was placed a symbolic eagle, to scream out a warning at the approach of danger.The tree was planted in the land of the Onondagas, and if any other nation wished to join the confederacy, they would have to follow the White Roots of Peace to its source and take shelter beneath the tree. Painting byRobert GriffingThe Tree of Peace began with the creation of the Iroquois confederacy, but its place within the Haudenosaunee culture continues to this day. Weapons would be buried under a tree to seal a peace agreement. A tree might even be uprooted to create a cavity for the weapons. The replanted tree on top would then become a tree of peaceThe tree’s characteristic bundles of five needles became the symbol of the Five Nations joined together as one. According to Haudenosaunee tradition, the Great Law of Peace ended the history of continuous conflict between the separate tribes and united them into the Iroquois Confederacy. They became the most powerful force in North America until the rapid expansion of European colonization in the 18th century.