First Nations Peace Monument

Client: Friends of Laura Secord

Location: DeCew House Heritage Park, Thorold, Ontario

Area: 17 sq. m.

In 1813, Laura Secord met members of the Mohawk Nation at this location (DeCew House) after a nearly 32 km long walk from the American side of the border, to warn Canada of an invasion. The Mohawks welcomed her and protected her as they went and met the British leaders to warn them of an American invasion.

Today, this memorial marks the end of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail. Visitors to the trail and the monument will be able to use their mobile phones to access the interpretours digital interpretive platform, providing an interactive user experience.

The proposed design is a circular shaped stone monument. The circle is a powerful symbol of welcoming, inclusion and protection. The protective forms around the circle are abstract symbols of Mohawk long houses that open to the East and West, with a hearth and fire in the center. The fire is a sphere, like the sun. The spherical surface is translucent and the shapes represent hot coals in the fire. The sphere will glow with programmable LED lights so that the light emits rays in the six directions. The light is a dynamic sculpture. People will come within the circle and relate and connect with the space.

The monument also provides seating within.There are two symbolic stone elements embedded on the walls of the monument. On the South wall, there will be the Hiawatha Wampum Belt which expresses the Great Law of Peace. On the North wall the William Claus Wampum Belt symbolizes the agreement between the Mohawk and the British.

More information regarding the First Nations Memorial can be found at The Friends of Laura Secord website: