Artist/Maker/Manufacturer/Founder: Lloyd Pinay
Material/Medium/Support: Bronze, diamond brown stonebase quarried from Shawinigan (Québec)
Earliest Production Date and Latest Production Date: 2001
Dimension (H x W x D in centimetres): 520 cm
Institution Name: National Capital Commission
Copyright: National Capital Commission. Credit to artist Lloyd Pinay
Aboriginal people have served their country on peacekeeping missions and battlefields around the world. This monument honours their service. The monument has four human figures. Together, they represent the Inuit, Métis and First Nations.
Two carry weapons; two hold items of spiritual significance. Proud and strong, they face towards the four points of the compass. Above them is an eagle. It symbolizes the creator and the spirit of Aboriginal peoples. On the four corners of the monument are four animals of special importance in Aboriginal cultures – the wolf, the elk, the bear and the buffalo.
The campaign to build this monument was led by Aboriginal veterans who wanted to honour their comrades and their people.
A Thriving Tradition
Aboriginal Canadians have responded to the call of war, time and time again. In Confederation Park, in downtown Ottawa, a monument honours Aboriginal Canadians who have volunteered in Canada’s armed forces, from the First World War to the present day. At six metres high, it is a significant reminder that many Aboriginal Canadians sacrificed their lives at a time when they didn’t even have the right to vote.
The monument, unveiled on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2001, was commissioned by the National Aboriginal Veterans Association, an organization formed in 1981 to represent the accomplishments and interests of Aboriginal peoples in times of war and peace. Aboriginal soldiers are renowned as snipers and reconnaissance scouts, utilizing their traditional skills as hunters and warriors.
Created by Aboriginal artist Lloyd Pinay of the Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan, the bronze and granite monument reflects harmony with the environment, a central and long-standing Aboriginal value. Accordingly, all humans, plants and animals exist in an interrelated circle, and have spirits that must be respected, honoured and tended.
Four animal spirits — wolf, buffalo, elk and bear — guide warriors in their pursuit of victory and peace. Male and female figures represent Aboriginal Canadians from Metis, Inuit and First Nations communities across Canada. They hold weapons, but also important spiritual objects: an eagle feather fan and a peace pipe.
Symbol of the Creator, the Thunderbird sits atop the monument, uniting and guiding those below.
LLOYD PINAY AND THE NATIONAL ABORIGINAL VETERANS MONUMENT
Pohanna Pyne Feinberg,
M.A., Art History, Concordia University.
Sculptor and painter Lloyd Pinay can trace his heritage to Plains Ojibway, Plains Cree and Sioux origins. As is evident in the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument…
This essay was written by an M.A. student in a Museum Practice seminar in the Department of Art History, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University. The seminar was taught by Dr. Loren Lerner with the assistance of Dina Vescio, a M.A. graduate of the program.
2009. Digital photograph.
Zoë Jaremus is a photographer currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Concordia University. Her photography depicts figures in contrived situations …
This artwork, inspired by the national treasure, was created by a student artist in the Department of Studio Arts (Photography) under the supervision of Marisa Portolese, Assistant Professor in Studio Arts (Photography), Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University.