Indigenous Programming Accompanies Re-enactment Return at Battlefield Park

This June, 210 years since the original battle transpired, the re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek returned after a 3-year hiatus. Since 1981, participants have gathered at Stoney Creek Battlefield Park to re-enact the successful offence that marked a turning point for the British in the War of 1812.

Reenactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek, at Battlefield House and Museum

In the early morning of June 6, 1813, under the command of Brigadier John Vincent, the British launched a surprise attack on an American encampment, after receiving information from Billy Green, a Stoney Creek resident, on the whereabouts of the American Camp. Supported by Six Nation warriors led by Mohawk Chief John Norton, the battle resulted in an American retreat and led to the Crown’s victory over control of the Niagara Peninsula.

The battle took place on the homestead of the Gage family, part of the newly established Stoney Creek. Having moved from New York in 1790, the Gages were one of many families provided land through the Between the Lakes Purchase of 1792. The purchase, first negotiated in 1784 between the Mississaugas of the Credit and the Crown, was intended to provide land to Six Nation and loyalist refugees in the aftermath of the American Revolution. The land granted to the Gage family is covered by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant and located on the traditional territory of the Eerie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississauga.

“Eagles Among Us” artwork installation created by David General

Each year, battle re-enactments are accompanied by a variety of public programming hosted throughout the weekend. According to Carrie Brooks-Joiner, director of Tourism and Culture, “attendees will wander through the re-created military encampment and mingle with early 19th-century settler and soldier reenactors; shop among one-of-a-kind merchants; witness historical demonstrations of cooking, dancing, blacksmithing, games, musical entertainment, and more.”

Historical demonstrator at a spinning wheel

New to this year is a focus on Indigenous programming, providing perspectives that have been appropriated and largely absent in the event’s past. Travis Hill, Curator of Indigenous Heritage and Culture states, “In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation and understanding the Indigenous history and community connection to Hamilton, we have enhanced existing programming with Indigenous demonstrations, interpretations, and artistic performances.” This included a Haudenosaunee lacrosse demonstration held on the battlefield prior to each battle re-enactment on June 3. As Hill writes, “To the Haudenosaunee, lacrosse was a medicine game in its purest form and was also played as a peaceful alternative to war amongst warring nations.” The game was followed by Haudenosaunee-led dancing while players enjoy a post-game meal prepared by Six Nations top chef contestant Tawnya Brant.

Two narrated Haudenosaunee lacrosse demonstrations took place on June 3rd.

With an activity-packed weekend the Battlefield Re-Enactment was “a terrific event for families, history enthusiasts, and those looking for a unique experience.”- Carrie Brooks-Joiner, director of Tourism and Culture.

More information can be found at


This article was written in consultation with the following sources:

Ridler, Jason. “Battle of Stoney Creek.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, last modified March 4, 2015,

Dale, Ronald J. “Battle of Stoney Creek National Historic Site of Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, last modified March 4, 2015,

Ridler, Jason. “Battle of Stoney Creek.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, last modified March 4, 2015,

Wilson-Smith, Anthony. “John Norton and the War of 1812” The Canadian Encyclopedia, last modified December 5, 2016,

Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. “Between the Lakes Treaty, No. 3 (1792).”, uploaded November 4, 2020,