Windsor

Tecumseh-Brock statue unveiled in Sandwich Towne

The roundabout in Sandwich Towne is finally complete.

Historic tribute to War of 1812 allies was more than 7 years in the making

The bronze statue depicting War of 1812 allies, Chief Tecumseh and General Brock, sits in the centre of the roundabout in Sandwich Towne. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

After about seven years, Windsor's west-end finally has its historic tribute to Chief Tecumseh and General Isaac Brock— sitting prominently atop the roundabout that serves as a gateway into Sandwich Towne. 

The bronze statue was unveiled Friday to a large crowd of residents, politicians, dignitaries, and children from General Brock Public School.

Local sculptor Mark Williams spent two-and-a-half years on the piece, which depicts the leaders on the morning they went into battle. 

"After seven years of waiting for it, it's great,"said Williams. 

Local sculptor Mark Williams stands in front of the bronze statue of Chief Tecumseh and General Isaac Brock, which took him nearly three years to complete. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

General Brock and Chief Tecumseh forged a special alliance in the War of 1812, or more specifically the Battle of Fort Detroit, which started when British and Indigenous fighters crossed the river from what is now Windsor's west-end neighbourhood of Sandwich Towne. 

Williams said he paid special attention to the relationship the two men had. 

"The night before the battle they met in Amherstburg at Fort Malden and General Brock presented Chief Tecumseh with a holster of guns that's on the horse's neck you can see," he said. "Chef Tecumseh in return gave General Brock the sash that he is wearing." 

That statue depicts Chief Tecumseh with hair covering half of his face, which also has significance for Williams. 

"[Indigenous people] never wanted their souls taken, so you couldn't take a picture — of course they didn't have cameras — but you couldn't sketch or anything like that. I've hidden Tecumseh's face, protecting that inner soul," said Williams. 

Member of Walpole Island First Nation, Russell Nahdee, said the sculpture will help people learn more about the history of Indigenous peoples who were first here in Canada. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

The late John Muir spearheaded the project back in 2012 on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and his son attended the ceremony Friday to see his dad's dream finally come to be. 

Muir was a former principal at General Brock Elementary and envisioned the statue and roundabout being in front of the school, however there wasn't enough space there for the project.

The monument was supposed to be completed last September, but was delayed after Indigenous artifacts were found nearby, prompting archeologists to dig the area. 

"Some of the artifacts they found recently go back 2,600 years," said Russell Nahdee, coordinator of the Aboriginal Education Centre at the University of Windsor and member of Walpole Island First Nation.

"I think what it means to me is our story now has a chance to get out there. It really is part of our found histories and the history of our community,"

now