New Heritage Minute Launch Marks National Aboriginal Month!

June 12, 2013

Unsung hero is recognized in the Battle of Queenston Heights

Ohsweken – June 12, 2013 – The Historica-Dominion Institute joins Aboriginal leaders, educators and members of the community to celebrate its second new Heritage Minute in nearly a decade at Six Nations Polytechnic in Ohsweken, ON.

The story of John Norton and the Grand River warriors at the Battle of Queenston Heights, adds a fresh vision to the 66 classic Minute collection. The Minute tells the underrepresented story of Norton and First Nations warriors who - vastly outnumbered after the fall of General Brock - held off invading American forces for hours until reinforcements could arrive to help take back the Heights.

“We are thrilled to be shedding light on the lesser-known Aboriginal contribution at Queenston Heights,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of The Historica-Dominion Institute. “Without the efforts of Norton and some 80 Grand River warriors in repelling more than 1,000 American soldiers, the battle might have been lost, and the tide of war turned.”

The launch also marks National Aboriginal Month in June (National Aboriginal Day is June 21st). In addition to the premiere screening of the Queenston Heights Minute, a question and answer session will be held with members of the production team including Norton actor, Billy Merasty (best known for his role as Elijah Harper in Elijah) and members of the Six Nations Legacy Consortium.

The Historica-Dominion Institute commissioned a public opinion poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid, to determine the top Minutes from the past 20 years, as well as measure attitudes on the series and Canadians’ picks for topics and makers of future Minutes. Click here to view full poll results.

Canadians’ favourite Minutes are the Halifax Explosion, Jackie Robinson, Jennie Trout, Winnie, and Laura Secord, while Canadians reported learning the most from Minutes on Marion Orr, Agnes MacPhail and Dr. Penfield. Overall, six in ten Canadians strongly agree that the Minutes are a good way to teach our history (63%) and are important storytelling vehicles (60%). It’s no surprise that a resounding majority of Canadians want to see more Heritage Minutes produced, and that’s exactly what we are doing.  The Battle of Queenston Heights Minute is available for viewing at 

The new Heritage Minute is made possible with the support of the Government of Canada.

The Historica-Dominion Institute is the largest independent organization dedicated to history and citizenship in Canada. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada. Visit



For more information:                                                               

Fadia Otariste
Communications Officer
The Historica-Dominion Institute
416.506.1867 x. 259