June 21, 2021
Installation of a new living public artwork, “Manidoo Ogitigan” (“Spirit Garden/Jardin spirituel”) by artist Terence Radford, in Lake Ontario Park is now complete. The artwork speaks to the treaty rights and historical occupation of Alderville First Nation’s territory in Katarokwi/Kingston and has been developed over three years through engagement with the Alderville community. The City of Kingston and Alderville First Nation have been working on this project together since 2013.
The artwork incorporates the history of important Wampum Belts, the symbolism of the medicine wheel, with reference to the Alderville Methodist Church and includes over 430 select native plant species chosen with guidance from the Alderville Black Oak Savanna. As a living public artwork, “Manidoo Ogitigan” (“Spirit Garden/Jardin spirituel”) creates an intimate gathering space for reflection, ceremony, and teaching in Katarokwi/Kingston along the shore of Lake Ontario.
“The design of the artwork reflects on the journey of the Mississauga Nation and explores how shared experiences have influenced the contemporary cultural identity of Alderville First Nation, and how the fragmentation of traditions, beliefs and language are reimagined and revived by the current generation,” says Terence Radford, artist.
“On behalf of Alderville First Nation, I want to extend my gratitude to all those that played a part over the past eight years in bringing this public art installation to fruition including former Alderville First Nation Chief James Marsden, to City of Kington Council and staff, to the jury members including our own Rick Beaver and John Mattson, to Terence Radford whose final artwork we are unveiling, fittingly on National Indigenous Peoples Day,” says Dave Mowat, Chief of Alderville First Nation. “As a commemoration to our long history associated with Katarokwi/Kingston this installation aims to tell a story of the Mississauga Nation (Mishi Saagiig) that has not been well understood in the Kingston area. With our removal from the Kingston/Bay area to the Alderville Reserve in 1837 this created the lost chapter of our people’s existence at Kingston. With this beautiful installation however, we believe our story will be rekindled and better understood by the citizens of the city.”
“The development of this remarkable artwork by Terence Radford in collaboration with Alderville First Nation is an exciting and welcome addition to the local landscape. It demonstrates how powerful public art can be given this new work will function as a shared space that acknowledges the Alderville First Nation and aims to make the broader community more aware of the diverse histories and narratives of Indigenous Peoples in this area,” says Colin Wiginton, Director, Arts & Culture Services.
On the morning of June 21, 2021 – in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day and in alignment with public health guidelines – Radford, members of Alderville First Nation including Chief Dave Mowat, and City of Kingston representatives including Mayor Bryan Paterson and Portsmouth District Councillor Bridget Doherty met to tour the completed artwork. Due to COVID-19, a formal launch event with the artist, Alderville First Nation and the public will be held at a date to be announced later this summer. In August 2020, the members of Alderville First Nation held a ground blessing ceremony at the site to mark the beginning of the construction of this living public artwork.