Community Leaders attend Canadian Canoe Museum Grand Opening in Peterborough


Pictured L-R: Kevin Malone, chair, CCM BOD, Bonnie Clark, Peterborough County Warden, Janet McCue, Her Honour Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Carolyn Hyslop, CCM Executive Director, Chief Keith Knott, Curve Lake, Margaret Froh, president, Métis Nation of Ontario, Anne Gainey, MP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Westmount, QC, Janique Labelle, Jeremy Ward, CCM Curator, Garfield Mitchell, chair, BOD, Weston Family Foundation, Michelle Ferreri, MP Peterborough – Kawartha, ON, Laurie Scott, MPP Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock, ON, Dave Smith, MPP Peterborough-Kawartha, ON, Jeff Leal, Mayor, City of Peterborough, Senator Donna Dasko, Min. Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, MPP East Hamilton – Stoney Creek, ON.
The grand opening of Peterborough’s celebrated Canadian Canoe Museum took place over the weekend, and included warm greetings from Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh, alongside guests and dignitaries. Representing the MNO were Regional Councilor Andy Dufrane and MNO Peterborough and District Wapiti Métis Council President Christa Lemelin.

With a record setting collection of 600 watercraft, 500 paddles, and hundreds of other related artifacts, the Canadian Canoe Museum’s new 65,000 square-foot space houses not only canoes and related artifacts, but also stories from the original inhabitants of the land. Situated along the shore of Little Lake, the museum includes carefully curated displays, an outdoor canoe and kayak launch, and offers unique experiences for visitors while educating on the cultural significance of the canoe.

“The canoe is iconic, serving as an enduring symbol of this country and these lands,” President Froh said in her opening remarks. “This work of storytelling the museum is undertaking is particularly important in this country’s ongoing work of reconciliation. The role that places like this have, aligns very well with the work of the MNO, and many other Indigenous nations, as we continue to share our stories and educate Canadians on our long and rich respective histories.”

References to Métis culture feature prominently throughout the museum, connecting Métis stories to physical artifacts. These objects serve as reminders of the resourcefulness and resilience of Métis and are a source of pride for the community.

This visibility is crucial in amplifying Métis stories and supporting Métis self-determination, particularly as the MNO works to advance its self-government legislation with Canada. President Froh reiterated the importance of these spaces and the dialogues they spark, stating:

“At a time when some seek to render us once again invisible, denying our stories of struggles and loss, denying the lasting legacy of colonial policies — like residential schools and ’60s Scoop — and their impact on our communities still to this day […] and even sometimes denying our very existence as a peoples, places like this really matter. Storytelling really matters.”

Among the other dignitaries providing greetings were Peterborough Mayor Jeff Leal, Ontario Lt.-Gov. Edith Dumont, and Curve Lake First Nation Chief Keith Knott. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford also submitted video messages for the attending leadership, supporters and donors.

Formerly located at Monaghan Road, the original museum site closed in 2022. The new facility is now located on Ashburnham Drive on shore of Little Lake and is open to visitors. To learn more about the Canadian Canoe Museum and events visit: https://canoemuseum.ca/