Artists: Dominique Dennery and Rosemary Breault-Landry
A gift from the Haitian state and the Haitian community to Ville de Gatineau. Work unveiled on November 5, 2015 in the presence of His Excellency Frantz Liautaud, Ambassador of Haiti, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau, and the members of the Haitian community.
This bronze bust represents Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of the key figures in the history of the Haitian people. Born into slavery in 1758, he died on October 17, 1806 in Pont-Rouge, Port-au-Prince. Dessalines fought Napoléon's troops to prevent him from bringing slavery back to Santo Domingo. Surrounded by other generals from the indigenous army, he proclaimed Haiti's independence on January 1, 1804. He was then recognized as the father of the Haitian nation, the first Black Republic in the world. In 1804, he was appointed as Governor General for life, then as Emperor, taking the name of Jacques I. After freeing Haiti from slavery, he helped several Latin American countries gain freedom from Spanish domination.
The work evokes the grandeur of Haiti, as well as the sacrifices and battles for justice. Today, Jean-Jacques Dessalines is in every history book. There is a city in Haiti named after him, and the national anthem is La Dessalinienne.
Gatineau is the fourth largest city in the province of Quebec with close to 285,000 inhabitants.