In The News

In The News

Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre has been offering programs and services since 2018. In that time period, our area local newspaper reporters have occasionally stopped by and shared with the public what we’ve been up to.

Below you will find excerpts and links to our fascinating journey. More articles will be posted as they are written.

See how much we’ve grown !!

Elexicon Energy Showing ReconciliACTION

The Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre was gifted $2,000 from Elexicon Energy. These funds will help get a website established, purchase resources and offer additional services/supports for the Healthy Indigenous Families programmes in Gravenhurst. Resources such as Early Childhood Education materials, cultural activities, and even the Meetsho Taak–Let’s Eat program. You can read the full interview with reporter, Sarah Law, right here.

Facing Racism

Recently some ribbons with the names of 2 children that had been in Residential School and never returned home, were tied in a tree. The next morning they were gone. The community came together to correct this and put their names in multiple locations as a result.

Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre members in Gravenhurst made the new ribbons that are available to anyone who would like to display some. Read more here.

Pop’s Sneakers doing reconciliACTION on TRC Day

Pop’s Sneakers opened its doors Sept. 15, 2022 in Bracebridge. It wasn’t long before business owners Kim and Dale Curd were showing their compassion for community.

To read the full story click this link.

Honouring TRC Day In Bracebridge, 2022

An act of reconciliation–Bracebridge’s Acting Mayor Rick Maloney and Niso Makwa, Vice-Chair of the Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre, join together to raise the Residential School Survivors Flag.

To read more, go to this link

Muskoka Indigenous Artisans Craft Market

The Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre hosted a Muskoka Indigenous Artisan focused Craft Market on National Indigenous Day, June 21, 2022,

Various artistic talent was presented from beading, dreamcatchers, painting, soap making and so much more.

To see all the photos and read the story, click this link.

Brooke Morrow from Kigons Creations

Huntsville location opening…..

The Huntsville Public Library recently reached out to the Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre to offer free meeting space.

This meeting with the public was to gauge interest in establishing regular outreach programming.

To read more–opening in Huntsville.

Red Dress Day Ceremony In Gravenhurst

“It’s an ongoing crisis that never stops. To this day, it’s still ongoing.”

That is what Niso Makwa of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation said after hanging a red dress, shirt and tie in a tree outside St. James Anglican Church in Gravenhurst.

To read the full story and see more photos, click here.

Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre remembering Red Dress Day….

The Gravenhurst branch which meets every Tuesday at the St James Anglican Church in Gravenhurst from 1-3pm will mark May 3 as their day to remember. A red dress will be hung from a tree in the church yard and will remain there for a week. There will be a ceremony and drumming. Everyone is invited.

Learn more here.

Finding A Home For The Future Orange Ribbon Community Quilt…..

How large the quilt will be and where it will be on display are questions yet to be answered. This quilt is coming into existence out of the desire to repurpose the over 7,000 ribbons that had been tied to the area surrounding the Bracebridge Falls in September, 2021. The purpose is to continue to use these ribbons as a teaching tool through the artwork of a giant community quilt.

Details are still being sorted out, but in the meantime, read this article.

Quilt To Keep Conversations Going

This is intended to be a community project, according to Buker. One that will include people with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous connections whether they be local quilters, girl guides, high school students or anyone who is interested.

“Perhaps local businesses offering supplies or resources, or seniors willing to dust off sewing machines and teach a new generation,” she said, noting this is a project that will grow organically with the visions of the people in the region.

Read more about this initiative here.

Hopes To Expand Across The Region

The day the reporter visited, the Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre attendees made a no-sew blanket covered in dream catchers for an unwell member. Just one of the many activities and supports that the group offers to the community.

Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre is moving toward non-profit incorporation. The ultimate goal is to have additional sites in Bracebridge and Huntsville so people from across the region can also have access to safe gathering spaces to do cultural activities and connect to community. Read more here….

Orange Ribbon Homage Removed

Weeks after the first TRC Day in Canada, the over 7,000 orange ribbons were lovingly removed from the railings surrounding the Bracebridge Falls. What will become of them now?

There are plans to turn them into a work of art in quilt form. Hopes are to display this creation in Bracebridge when it is ready.

Read more…

‘Listen to our stories and help us carry our burden’

One by one, they stepped forward touched by sacred smoke as part of a smudging ceremony before adding to the orange ribbons at Bracebridge Falls in honour of Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves — casualties of Canadian residential schools.

Guy Jackson from the TRC Advocacy Circle was one of many who joined local Indigenous and Non-Indigenous community members in this solemn event. Each ribbon representing a child who never returned home. Read more here.

Bracebridge Falls transformed into a place of healing

He needed to do something. NisoMakwa was disheartened to learn of memorials being vandalized and decided to tie the orange ribbons at Bracebridge Falls as a temporary tribute.

“I started with 215 and I placed them from one side all the way down to the other,” he said. “And then I wanted to get to the actual documented number, which is about 4,000-something so everyone’s just kind of jumped on board and it’s just grown and I’m just really, really appreciative to see how much it’s brought the community together and to see how much it’s helped people heal. Read the full article here.

Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre hopes to heal and grow

The Parry Sound Indigenous Friendship Centre has been operating for more than 50 years — but until last year, there wasn’t anything like it in Muskoka.

That’s why Theresa Buker decided to make a community group. The Muskoka Indigenous Friends Cultural Centre was formed in October 2018 and meets every Tuesday afternoon in Gravenhurst. Buker, who is Métis, wanted to create a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to connect and share knowledge, learn about Indigenous culture and build trust. Read the full article.