National Indigenous Peoples Day

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, we wanted to recognize the land that our brewery is built on and learn more about the Indigenous origins of Lake of Bays, sharing with you what we learned through the process. ⁠

Before the 1850’s, the Anishinaabeg (the original people of this place) enjoyed exclusive domain over Muskoka and Lake of Bays. ⁠

Being a spiritual place abundant with resources, the Anishinaabeg would visit areas such as Lake of Bays in the spring/summer for harvesting berries, fishing and trading. Later, they would return in the fall/winter to continue hunting and harvesting. ⁠

In the early 19th century, word of the beauty of Muskoka and its many lakes began to spread, dramatically changing what Muskoka once was, and eventually the Anishinaabeg found their rights and territory removed through a series of misinterpreted treaties. ⁠

Now, the legacy of the original inhabitants lives on through the many landmarks, rivers, lakes, and islands bearing Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) names and words. The word “Muskoka” itself is a derivation of “Musquakie”, a former Anishinaabe Chief.⁠

Today, our region is often seen as an outdoor playground for visitors from around the world. However, it was (and remains) a place of great importance for Indigenous peoples of this country. We wish to acknowledge and raise awareness of the importance of Indigenous peoples, including the Anishinaabeg, Wahta Mohawks and Métis peoples, within our community – in the past, today and in the future as well.⁠

With thanks to our First Nations Allies for their advice and input on this post.