Landscape of Nations Memorial

Statue of John Brant

Landscape of Nations Memorial

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Located in Queenston Heights Park, the Landscape of Nations Memorial is dedicated to the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Confederacy and Indigenous allies that participated in the War of 1812. The Landscape of Nations Memorial affirms the proper place of First Nations peoples at the core of Canadian history and signals their ongoing role in contemporary life and national affairs.

The memorial also recognizes the historic ceremony of peace and reconciliation held in Niagara on August 31 and September 1, 1815, that restored peace among the First Nations who fought on opposing sides during the war.

  • Year-Round
  • Self-guided Experience
    Self-guided Experience
  • Accessible

Indigenous Connections Along the Niagara Parkway

The land along the Niagara River has been recognized as a spiritual place with rich ties to Indigenous history and culture for many generations. Oral tradition and archaeological evidence indicate that Indigenous peoples have lived along the Niagara River, from Fort Erie north to the shores of Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake, for more than 13,000 years. Use our interactive map to discover these Indigenous connections along the Niagara Parkway.


Battle of Queenston Heights

The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle of the War of 1812. It was during this battle that Indigenous allies pinned down an overwhelming force of the American army, allowing the British to counterattack and regain the Heights. This significant battle was responsible for the death of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock along with his Canadian aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Colonel John MacDonell.

Indigenous allies turned the tide of this battle and many more during the War of 1812.

War of 1812

Loyalists and Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) came to Ontario in significant numbers during the 1780s, following the American Revolutionary War.

During the War of 1812, First Nation allies helped the heavily outnumbered defenders of Upper Canada stand against the overwhelming American forces. Their efforts helped secure victory at pivotal events throughout the War of 1812 and secured freedom for all Canadians. In turn, the Haudenosaunee were offered a safe haven in Ontario when they were displaced from their ancestral homelands.


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Honouring Indigenous Leaders

John Norton

Major John Norton (Teyoninhokarawen) was adopted into the Mohawk Nation by Joseph Brant. He led Six Nations fighters into battles at Queenston Heights, Stoney Creek and Chippawa. His journal chronicles his 1,000 mile journey from Upper Canada to the homelands of his Cherokee father, stories of Haudenosaunee culture and history, and Haudenosaunee involvement in the War of 1812.

John Brant (Ahyouwa’ehs) was the son of Joseph Brant.

Along with John Norton, he led warriors at the Battle of Queenston Heights along with other engagements. He was a strong advocate for building schools, appointed resident superintendent for the Six Nations of the Grand River and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for Haldimand. He was also appointed traditional chief, Tekarihoga by his mother.


The Turtle

The turtle symbol is the focal point as you walk into the memorial. In the Six Nations creation story, the earth was created on the back of a giant turtle when Skywoman fell from the sky. She fell with the help of geese and ducks that gently set her on the back of a turtle. Dirt was pulled from the ocean floor by the muskrat that was given to Skywoman to spread on the turtle’s back which is the ground we walk upon. Skywoman brought plants with her that are used as medicine and food within the Haudenosaunee culture.

Tree of Peace

An eastern white pine stands as a symbol of the Haudenosaunee constitution known as the Great Law of Peace. This symbol is represented on the Haudenosaunee ‘flag’ as the middle symbol out of the five symbols. Originally, it was a wampum belt that was modernized into a flag to symbolize the Haudenosaunee.

Memory Circle

Eight limestone walls, sourced from the Queenston Quarry, emanate from the circle like a sunburst. Inside the circle, sweetgrass is grown and is a sacred medicine among the Haudeonsaunee and other Indigenous Nations across North America.

The Longhouse

The Six Nations refer to themselves as Haudenosaunee, or “People of the Longhouse.” The longhouse is a traditional architectural structure and a symbol of the member nations living under one Great Law of Peace.

Two-Row Wampum Belt

This walkway commemorates the Two-Row Wampum Belt, the first treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans, representing their agreement to co-exist on parallel paths. Wampum are tubular white or purple beads made from the quahog shell that were mainly found on the eastern shore of North America. These beads were woven into belts that signified an agreement or alliance between two or more parties; Indigenous or non-Indigenous.