Flags of Indigenous Nations will live permanently in Confederation Park

The City of Kingston has announced that four flags will be permanently added to Confederation Park this summer.

According to a release from the City, dated Monday, Jun. 25, 2024, the four flags, representing the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and Métis nations, will honour the Indigenous peoples who have called this land home since time immemorial

“Installing these flags is a step on our journey of reconciliation and a demonstration of our commitment as a City towards building a new relationship for the future,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “Our Council approved this step because we know flags are powerful symbols and we wanted to honour those symbols, acknowledge Indigenous history and present, culture and contributions.”

The permanent installation of these flags was approved by Kingston City Council in June 2022. At that time the City stated that new flagpoles would be installed in the latter half of 2023.

In this week’s release, the city said that construction to install the flagpoles begins Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2024, and is expected to wrap up by Thursday, Jul. 4, 2024. Later this summer, a flag raising ceremony will be held to raise the flags for the first time. Kingstonist will provide details on the ceremony if/when they become available.

The City offered the following information for the public to learn more about these nation’s flags:

Anishinaabeg Flag

Image via the City of Kingston.

The Anishinaabe First Nations flag features a thunderbird (Animikii) at the center. According to traditional stories, this powerful, spiritual animal is said to create the sound of thunder just by flapping its wings. The bird is also a protector with the ability to bring rain that nurtures and cleanses the earth.

Haudenosaunee Flag

Image via the City of Kingston.

Also known as the Six Nations Confederacy flag, the Haudenosaunee flag symbolizes the Hiawatha wampum belt, and represents each of the original Five Nations (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk nations). The square on the right represents the Mohawk, followed by one representing the Oneida. At the center is the Great Tree of Peace, which represents the Onondaga. To the immediate left of the tree is a square representing the Cayuga, followed by one for the Seneca. Each symbol is connected, representing the union of the nations.

Huron-Wendat Flag

Image via the City of Kingston.

The symbols in the Huron Wendat flag represent elements of the Nation’s culture, territory and history. This includes a beaver and other animals to represent the Huron-Wendat clan and other clans in the Nation’s confederation. The flag also features a canoe and snowshoes to represent the Nation’s traditional modes of travel and relationship to life-giving water; braided sweetgrass to represent the interconnected relationship of nature; and bustards (large territorial birds) to represent the story of the creation of the world, held with deep importance by the Huron-Wendat.

Métis Flag

Image via the City of Kingston.

Also known as the Métis Infinity Flag, this flag features a white infinity symbol at the center and dates to 1815. The infinity symbol represents the joining of two cultures and the existence of a people forever. 

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