Indigenous perspectives on the War of 1812

As War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations kick into high gear, the Social Justice and Equities Studies program at Brock University is looking to broaden the conversation about this seminal event and the role that indigenous people played in the conflict.

To facilitate this dialogue, they are hosting an event – Indigenous Perspectives on the War of 1812: Alternative Histories and Artistic Representations – this Friday, March 23, at the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) in downtown St. Catharines from 3 to 5 p.m.

“We were concerned with the ways in which 1812 is being remembered, particularly the unitary focus on General Brock and the militarization of that memorial,” says Margot Francis, one of the event organizers and associate professor in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology. “It can be remembered quite differently.”

The event will feature panel discussions by Alan Corbiere, independent historian and Executive Director of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation on Manitoulin Island, and Shelley Niro, a well-respected international artist and curator from Six Nations.

“The event will feature both historical and artistic perspectives,” says Francis.

As a historian, Corbiere will speak about the role of the Anishinaabe in the War of 1812 and the wider confederacy of indigenous peoples who were involved in the conflict. Niro will discuss the Four from Six exhibit of paintings and photographs by four artists from Six Nations that she curated and is currently on display at the NAC.

Carol Jacobs, Elder in residence with Aboriginal Student Services, will deliver the welcome address, and Renée Bedard, assistant professor, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education, will moderate the panel discussion. A reception will follow the panel from 5 to 6 p.m. at the NAC.

This presentation will take the place of the Social Justice and Equity Studies program’s Niagara Social Justice Forum for 2012. The event is free and everyone is welcome.

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