2012 - 1015 marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and commemorative events are planned throughout North America. A significant event in the development of America, The War of 1812, was also the crucible in which Canadian nationhood began to take shape, along with shifting relationships of both to Great Britain. Further, the period was crucially important in the unfolding of the settler's relationship to First Nations/Native American peoples. The conclusion of the War of 1812 forged a long-lasting peace between three world allies: Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Yet, many North Americans are unaware of the importance of the War of 1812 in history.
Paths to Peace is unique on multiple levels: highlighting an oft-neglected period of history, integrating art of all kinds as interpretive tools and levers for international student engagement, creating opportunities for community development and relationship, and for its emphasis not only upon the historical events themselves, but its exploration and interpretation of the War's crucial outcome of 200 years of peace and diplomacy from multiple national perspectives through the prism of the cultural arts.
The Program at a Glance
Scavenger Hunt / Icebreaker
Students meet at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial and get to know one another. Student groups will work together to gather information at each point in the hunt, focusing on the Visitor Center.
Each student will experience three sessions related to the history of the War of 1812 and its outcomes. Our US and CA perspectives will be delivered by interpreters from Perry's Victory, OH and Fort Malden, ON respectively. Indigenous peoples will be represented by Keith Jamieson of Six Nations and faculty member at Wilfred-Laurier University, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON.
Session 1, Context:What were the life and times of the period? What did the world look like? What did local/regional life look like?
Session 2, The War: What were the circumstances of the conflict? Who were some of the major personalities, and their motivations? What brought us to war? What interests were being expressed?
Session 3, The Outcomes: What changes were wrought by the conflict? What were the intended/unintended consequences? How did those outcomes affect life in the years following the War?
Perry's Victory Interpretive Sessions
Perry's Victory rangers will be engaging students in various activities that give them a sense of daily life and times during the early 19th century. Four stations will be set up on the monument grounds through which classrooms of students cycle in 15-minute sessions.
Each classroom will engage two artist workshops during the day. Currently four artists from Ontario and three from Ohio, in disciplines as varied as dance, drumming, theater, Native culture, puppetry, and storytelling, are participating in the symposium. Our goal is to introduce the art form in a "hands-on" way and to give students and teachers a sense of the possibilities for the arts in the classroom.
The closing ceremony is an opportunity to engage all of the students in a culminating activity that reinforces the spirit of the program. National flags, anthems and readings, and a chance to celebrate the initiation of a great project !