Various dignitaries, including Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey, Thorold mayor Ted Luciani, Joseph Brant decscendant, and others were on hand to help Friends of Laura Secord chair Caroline McCormick to perform a ceremonial sod-turning (the actual sod has already been more than turned) for the accessible walkway to the new memorial to the Indigenous people being built at DeCew House Heritage Park.
The trail is sponsored by the Rick Hansen Foundation Access4All Canada 150 Signature Project, which in turn is sponsored by the Government of Canada.
The purpose of this new trail, located to the east side of the parking lot at the DeCew House is to “provide those in wheelchair/scooters easier movement into and exiting the monument structure as well as the opportunity to experience other peaceful and scenic attributes of the site.”
The Friends of Laura Secord, who spearheaded this project, wished to make this monument to Indigenous contributions to our nation, as well as their culture, accessible to all. Designed by renowned Siksika Blackfoot architect and First Nations activist and architect, Douglas Cardinal, it is made to represent a campfire and the associated symbolism. The Friends group have had a connection due, in part to the tale of Laura Secord, who was found lost in the woods and brought her to DeCew House to meet with Lieutenant Fitzgibbon.
Also connected to the broader narrative was the Thorold War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, educating people that it was Indigenous warriors who fought the entire Battle of Beaverdams and saved what is now Canada, who hosted the Haudenosaunee reconciliation in 2013. This committee also supervised the design and construction of elements of DeCew House Heritage Park.