An encounter between Indigenous art from east and west on the Plains of Abraham

News release

A new space for dialogue on Cap Diamant will showcase two works of art by Ludovic Boney and 7IDANsuu Chief James Hart

Quebec City, Quebec, May 30, 2024 – The National Battlefields Commission is happy to announce its acquisition of two works by Indigenous artists. Beginning in September, they will both adorn the Cap Diamant area on the Plains of Abraham—an exceptional setting for these beautiful creations by Huron-Wendat artist Ludovic Boney and Haida artist 7IDANsuu Chief James Hart. The works of art will be further enhanced by the landscaping around them to create a unique, unifying space for dialogue. 

This project began as an exceptional philanthropic gesture by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Michael Audain, who commissioned the sculpture The Three Watchmen by 7IDANsuu James Hart. Audain’s generous donation is driven by his great interest in the historic value of the Battlefields Park and the special relationship he has established with the Commission and its representatives, notably Jean Robert, the chairperson of the Board of Directors, with whom he shares a passion for the site and its history.

Michael Audain explained that, “As a long-time fan of Chief Hart’s art and the meaningful messages about life and the environment he conveys in his monumental works, my family and I are delighted to collaborate with the Huron-Wendat Nation and Ludovic Boney on this important cultural coming-together of East and West with art works that will hopefully inspire dialogue among the many generations of Canadians from coast to coast who will visit this historic site. We consider Hart’s bronze sculpture a gift to the people of Québec, from those of us who dwell in British Columbia.”

The project would have been impossible without discussions and joint efforts with the Huron-Wendat Nation. One of the Nation’s members is Boney, who provided this new space with his original work of art Remembering through Beads. As Rémy Vincent, the Great Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation, puts it: “Whereas the Huron-Wendat Nation has since time immemorial occupied its territory, the Nionwentsïo, on which is now located the Plains of Abraham, I am proud to know that our history and contemporary presence will henceforth be marked by the work Remembering through Beads by artist Ludovic Boney. This work will be an opportunity for everyone to go and meet the Huron-Wendat Nation at a highly symbolic historic site that brings us together and is conducive to dialogue.”

Boney’s work of art is a series of hollow rings that represent wampum beads, a strong cultural and historical symbol for the Wendat. “Placed on the lawn, the wampum beads tell us a story—the immense and persistent memory of our ancestors,” says the artist of the Huron-Wendat Nation. Dialogue will be created with Chief Hart’s sculpture, which evokes the watchmen who stand guard. They look out over their surroundings, thus recalling the strategic position of Cap Diamant. As 7IDANsuu James Hart explains: “Life…such a precious gift, full of rewards, sorrows, a battling ram of consequences, the tight rope of walking on the edge of a knife, those that can, those that can't, what we do today affects tomorrow. Balance, not balanced, beauty, horrors…choices, direction, family, Life, such a gift. "The Three Watchmen", a 20 ft. bronze sculpture with three men sitting back to back looking out for danger approaching. If spotted, they then climb down to come and warn you of this. They not only look out for danger in this world but in the spirit world as well, day or night, summer or winter, sun or rain. They are there for us. Thanks to Michael Audain and those of the National Battlefields Commission for bringing West to East and thanks to the Huron-Wendat People whose ancestral territory this is, The Plains of Abraham.”

By creating this space, the Commission has taken a major step forward. This is the most important acquisition of artwork since the donation of the Joan of Arc statue in 1938. “I am very grateful for the generosity and support from Michael Audain, who has made a meaningful gesture to open up new channels of dialogue for the Commission with these communities,” says an appreciative Jean Robert, the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Commission. “These works of art mark a new milestone in the century-old history of the Battlefields Park and are in line with the Commission’s wish to make room for the Indigenous peoples in its activities and actions.”

The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, has likewise stressed the project’s importance: “The acquisition of these two Indigenous artworks marks another step forward in the process of reconciliation. These creations will become a space to engage in dialogue, where we can celebrate and honour the cultures and legacies of Indigenous peoples and, in so doing, enrich our national heritage.”

The concept of the new installation has been developed in conjunction with professionals in history and culture from the Huron-Wendat Nation. The space opens out onto the four cardinal points and harmoniously integrates the two works of art with park benches and landscaping features. In spring 2025, plants with cultural meaning in Indigenous traditions will be placed around the works of art and the symbolic fireplace, which will give people a focal point to stand around. 

Work will begin in spring 2024 and end in mid-September 2024. The unveiling is scheduled for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, on September 30, 2024. During this period, the Governors’ Promenade and Kiosk will remain open to the public.   

View fact sheets and images


Media enquiries:
Katherine Laflamme
Marketing & Development Manager

Plains of Abraham Museum
835 Avenue Wilfrid-Laurier, Quebec City, Quebec (G1R 2L3)
418 649-6157

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