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Indigenous Partnerships

November 23, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre (MSDC) is so much more than a museum or repository of historic artifacts. Through vision, focus and partnerships, the MSDC brings together the Indigenous community, the Gravenhurst community, authors, artists and spokespersons.

One of the central themes to the MSDC is the “sustainability”.  It is a central theme because it is woven through every conversation, every initiative. But what does it mean? “Recent world events have once more proven that we cannot assume that the sustainability of our natural, special geography and lifestyle can be taken for granted”, states an issue of the Centre’s Reflections magazine.  It further states that an exhibit is planned that will “highlight important ways we can all make a difference and inspire action. It will be provocative and challenging with the objective of changing attitudes and behaviours towards climate change.”

Canadians in all parts of our nation are facing a challenging crossroads. Our prosperity has traditionally been dependent on extracting natural resources, whether they be above or below ground. Water, timber, oil, coal, fields of harvest, minerals are crucial to our livelihood and identity. What form will this crossroads take? Will there be protests in Muskoka about the destruction of shoreline? Will there be modification of waste collection processes?

Sustainability, “Love Muskoka, Sustain Muskoka”, sounds great, but how does that match with the never-ending belief that “growth” is essential? More sales, more homes, more boathouses, etc., etc. Most owners of a wooden boat believe they are the current custodian and have a responsibility to preserve the boat for future generations. Do we feel the same about our shoreline, water and forests or will Hardy Lake be the only place to see more than 500’ of unblemished shoreline? Let’s see what the experts have to say?

By Tim Du Vernet

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