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Archived - Harper Government commemorates Shawnee leader Tecumseh for his role in the War of 1812
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Chatham-Kent, Ontario, February 22, 2013 – Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent—Essex, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that the Government of Canada building located at 120 Wellington Street West in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, will be named the Tecumseh Building in recognition of his contribution during the War of 1812.
“I am delighted that this building is being named in honour of Shawnee leader Tecumseh to commemorate the crucial role he played during the War of 1812,” Minister Ambrose stated. “It took the combined efforts of English- and French-speaking militias as well as First Nation allies, together with British military forces, to succeed in defeating the American invasion.”
The building was constructed in 1958 based on a design by Joseph W. Storey, an internationally renowned architect from Chatham, Ontario. It is currently used by Canada Post, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Grain Commission, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, among others.
During the naming ceremony, MP Van Kesteren unveiled a commemorative plaque that will adorn the building. “Tecumseh fought courageously in several important battles of the war”, said MP Van Kesteren. “His alliance and friendship with Major-General Isaac Brock led to the capture of Detroit and saved Canada from invasion in the early days of the War of 1812.”
This event is part of several commemoration activities taking place to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The anniversary is an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our country’s traditions and history. The end of the war laid the foundation for Confederation and Canada’s ultimate emergence as an independent nation in North America.
Shawnee war chief Tecumseh
Shawnee leader Tecumseh’s great contribution to the War of 1812 helped shape Canada and our country’s rich history. The outbreak of the War of 1812 drove Tecumseh to collaborate with the British to resist the American invasion of British North America. He was an important ally and co-leader with Upper Canadian military commander Major-General Sir Isaac Brock in the Battle of Detroit, where Brock’s troops were joined by 800 First Nations warriors. The American surrender was partly due to Brock and Tecumseh’s skillful use of the warriors’ fearsome reputation to intimidate the Americans. In the spring of 1813, Tecumseh went on to lead more than 1,200 warriors alongside 900 British soldiers under Major-General Henry Procter in taking Fort Meigs near Perrysburg, Ohio.
Ongoing fighting, however, eroded the resolve of British troops and many First Nations allies. In this weakened state, the allies met the Americans at what would be Tecumseh’s final battle at Moraviantown (also known as the Battle of the Thames) on October 5, 1813. When the British troops retreated in the face of more than 3,000 American soldiers, only 500 warriors were left to fight. Tecumseh was one of many who fell that day.
Tecumseh’s heroic efforts paved the way for the Canada we know today—an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy, its own parliamentary system and a strong respect for diversity.
For more information on Tecumseh and the War of 1812, visit 1812.gc.ca.
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