Prince Edward unveils War of 1812 monument in Saskatoon

Prince Edward marks Saskatoon stop with unveiling of monument dedicated to the War of 1812. Eric Beck / Global News

SASKATOON – His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, continued his tour of Saskatchewan Friday morning by making a stop in Saskatoon.

Hundreds of people gathered near the Farmers’ Market to get a glimpse of the prince who was there to unveil a new War of 1812 monument.

The “Spirit of Alliance” project was initiated by the White Cap Dakota First Nation and the City of Saskatoon.

White Cap Dakota Chief Darcy Bear said getting the monument to Saskatchewan was a four-year process.

It began with him visiting the Heritage Canada office in Ottawa to express the importance of a War of 1812 commemoration in the province.

“When we first went to Ottawa, Heritage Canada asked us ‘why do we want to do a commemorative event in western Canada, all the battles were in eastern Canada?’ We said we understand that. It’s the fact that the descendants have moved across this great nation”.

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Watch below: Whitecap Dakota First Nation contributes to War of 1812 monument

Once approved, a call went out worldwide for artists to start working on the piece. In the end, three local artists, Ian Grove, Adrian Stimson and Jean-Sebastien Gauthier, made the cut.

“The concept of the monument is the spirit of alliance which is about the gifts and alliance made between the crown and the first nation people in North America, said Grove.”

“Here we have a 100 year cycle back again with the crown and the aboriginal community.”

Watch below: Designing the War of 1812 monument

Prince Edwards expressed gratitude in being able to participate in the commemoration.

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“It’s a great pleasure to be here and represent the Queen and the crown and my ancestors who have been such a part of that relationship of Canada and the people of the first nations.”

After the ceremony, the Prince attended a heritage performance at the Farmers Market.

Prince Edward’s tour of Saskatchewan ended with a visit to Swift Current.

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