Dakota Nation honoured for War of 1812 contributions

July 28th 2012

Prince Albert - www.paherald.sk.ca

Published on July 27, 2012
Tyler Clarke 
Herald photo by Tyler ClarkeWahpeton Dakota Nation Chief, Dr. Leo Omani, is seen donning both a blanket given to him and the 1812 King George III British Pre-Confederation Treaty Medal. To his sides are Morley Harrison and Deb Honch from the Prince Albert Historical Society.

Marking the War of 1812’s bicentennial the Dakota Nation’s contributions to the war were recognized during a ceremony at the Wahpeton Dakota Nation on Friday.

Kicking off the community’s weekend powwow, Chief Leo Omani of the Wahpeton Dakota Nation was handed the 1812 King George III British Pre-Confederation Treaty Medal.

Handing over the medal from the Prince Albert Historical Society’s collection was society member Morley Harrison.

“In the War of 1812, Colonel Robert Dickson, a British officer, called upon Chief Flying Thunder and his extended family of the Dakota Nation for continued support for the British Crown — a support that was based on peace, friendship — friendship based on an alliance and trade,” Harrison said.

Chief Omani’s initial response was interrupted by microphone feedback.

“I just got a feeling that our ancestor just came in — they want to be part of this celebration!” he said with enthusiasm.

“I reaffirm our alliance to the British Crown, based on peace, friendship and trade.”

The medal was initially given to Chief Flying Thunder after the War of 1812 for saving the life of a British government officer when the officer was shot and wounded by a Yankee officer.

With the medal taken care of by the Wahpeton Dakota Nation in the years that followed, it subsequently fell into the hands of the Prince Albert Historical Society, which has had it on display at the Prince Albert Historical Museum.

In the War of 1812, Colonel Robert Dickson, a British officer, called upon Chief Flying Thunder and his extended family of the Dakota Nation for continued support for the British Crown — a support that was based on peace, friendship — friendship based on an alliance and trade. – Prince Albert Historical Society member Morley Harrison

“Many wars have been fought since the War of 1812, and our veterans have made an impact,” the event’s emcee Howard Walker said. “They did not have to fight the Queen’s wars, but they did.”

The Dakota Nation’s contributions to the War of 1812 will not be forgotten, Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback said, citing history as an important means of planning our future.

“History shows us what can happen when we work together, and what we can accomplish,” he said.

Canada would not exist as we know it if not for the Dakota Nation standing up alongside others that joined the British Crown to fight the Americans, FSIN Vice-Chief Morley Watson said.

“Because of their help we are able to join today and each and every day to enjoy life and each other’s company as we know it, so I want to thank the Dakota people for what their ancestors did for each and every one of us.”

Read Monday’s edition of the Daily Herald for more on the Wahpeton Dakota Nation’s powwow, which will continue to take place throughout the weekend.

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