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Toronto dedicates street to warriors [afn assembly]
Toronto is commemorating the significant contributions of First Nations during the War of 1812 by dedicating Lower Jarvis Street as Warrior’s Way.
City Councillor Pam McConnell unveiled the new sign on Lower Jarvis after addressing a procession of Ontario First Nations, who walked five km to Fort York to remember those warriors who drove the invading Americans back across the border, securing Canada a future.
The British relied heavily on the 24 nations of Anishnawbe peoples who had come together under Tecumseh to wage war as British allies against the Americans, but their participation has gone largely unnoticed, McConnell said.
“As a member of the City’s Steering Committee on the commemoration of the War of 1812, one of my concerns was always ensuring that the First Nations received proper acknowledgement and gratitude,” said McConnell. “Without the First Nations fighting in the war, the outcome would have been very different.”
Lower Jarvis Street is located close to the original 10 blocks of the old Town of York. In 1813, during the Battle of York, Chief Musquackie led a band of sharpshooters that confronted the American invaders despite being greatly outnumbered.
“This dedication is an education tool that will endure for generations, and it is a way to begin expressing appreciation for the profound role and contribution made by First Nations people to our city, our province, and to Canada.”
The procession was organized by the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, which initiated the effort to commemorate Warrior’s Way.
“This nation exists in large part as a direct result of the participation of Aboriginal people in defending this land from American invasion,” said McConnell. “Seven generations later, Canadians have benefited from the development of this great nation with little understanding of the contributions given and costs incurred by First Nations peoples.”
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