The Woodland Cultural Centre, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, is elated and honoured to announce the arrival and exhibition of the 200 year old wool cloth British flag believed to be given to Tecumseh during the War of 1812. This artifact will be featured in the upcoming exhibition entitled War Clubs & Wampum Belts: Haudenosaunee Experiences of the War of 1812, and will run from October 29 – December 24, 2012, with an opening reception taking place October 29 at 7:00pm.
Tecumseh, of Shawnee decent, was a distinguished warrior and orator who founded an alliance with Sir General Isaac Brock. Initially, Tecumseh fought to protect First Nations’ territory, and with the assistance of his respected friend and British ally Brock, Tecumseh led a war against the Americans on the Detroit frontier. With their ability to mobilize a large band of Native nations to fight against the Americans, they quickly became a feared enemy. Shortly after the siege of Detroit, Brock bestowed Tecumseh with the title of Brigadier General and bestowed him with a wool British flag. Due to the fragile state of the flag, this will be the first exhibition of this important cultural and historical artifact. Through a partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the flag will be on loan through the duration of the exhibit.
Curated by Rick Hill, a Tuscarora of the Six Nations of the Grand River, this exhibit seeks to draw attention to the relatively unknown and significant contributions Native warriors played in the War of 1812. These contributions caused great strife within the Six Nations Confederacy, and caused the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council to became separated by the actions of our allies. The war not only brought death, but also caused families to bring up arms against one another, which went against the governing principles of the Great Law of Peace.
The Woodland Cultural Centre will be hosting a special opening for the exhibit, Monday October 29 at 7:00pm. There will be a brief introduction by the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, and special introduction by Rick Hill, curator of the exhibit and Coordinator of the Indigenous Knowledge Centre. Woodland is pleased to be able to showcase and utilize his expertise in bringing this exhibit to life. In addition to the exhibit, the Woodland Cultural Centre will be developing and providing educational kits as a teacher resource to incorporate the War of 1812 into their classrooms.