Métis Centre Proposed
Facility on old Ojibway Landing site would feature daycare, indoor soccer fields and more
Originally published on Simcoe.com
PENETANGUISHENE – A plan for a new Métis community and cultural centre is being kicked around Penetanguishene
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The proposed 75,000-square-foot facility would provide a number of services to Métis residents and the greater community, including a daycare, indoor soccer fields, lawn bowling, lacrosse and meeting facilities, said Dave Dusome, treasurer of the Midland-based Georgian Bay Métis Council.
The hope, he said, is for the centre to be located on the waterfront site of the former Ojibway Landing campground on Robert Street West.
“That’s our homeland. The majority of us came from Drummond Island hundreds of years ago, and we migrated from there to Penetang and area,” he explained.
Métis council president Brenda Laurin hailed the project as an important development.
“It will allow local Métis to capture and display our culture and language, while providing vital health, training and sports facilities to the whole community,” she stated in a news release.
Métis council members recently made a presentation to town council, and Mayor Gerry Marshall said the town is strongly interested.
“We had a look the project and a preliminary peek at the concept,” he said. “We let (Dusome) know we would have an interest in pursuing discussions on it.”
The group came back to the town with a solid vision for the centre, including plans on how to fund it and how it would look conceptually, added Marshall.
“Right now, they need about 10 acres of land, and their preference is Ojibway Landing,” he said. “Currently, it is land that is unutilized.”
Marshall said the centre would be a unique facility, as well as a possible draw for tourists.
“We don’t have a convention centre … so we like it from the town optics and how we can use it,” he said. “I like it in terms of its presence here, too. We’ve obviously got a strong Métis population within our community … and the centre itself would draw people in from other places. It will create a reason for the Métis population and others to come visit.”
While Dusome would not comment on a possible cost for the project, Marshall said he is confident the group will have all its ducks in a row in order to get the project completed.
“I did ask them if funding was going to present a huge challenge for them, and at this point in time they articulated it would not,” Marshall said. “They’re confident they will get the funding and are far enough down the path and their plan to acquire funding was solid and reasonable.”
The centre would also mean the creation of 40 new jobs, said Dusome.
Originally published at: http://www.simcoe.com/news/article/1012914--metis-centre-proposed