Muskoka, ON – Seasonal resident, David Lyons who inherited a million dollar Muskoka cottage, has an opinion on Indigenous land sovereignty.
“It doesn’t make sense,” began a 60 year old Lyons, whose family cottage has been passed down between four generations. “You can’t say you have the right to land or property because your ancestors owned it over a hundred years ago. That’s so messed up.”
According to Fiona Lyons, David’s eldest daughter who will eventually inherit the family’s cottage, nothing in life is just handed to you.“You want a property like this? You need to work for it,” stated Fiona, a snowboard instructor whose annual income is nowhere near what is required to own and maintain a waterfront property. “My family has worked hard. Well, my great-great-grandparents did and so just like their large sums of money, their hard work is also passed down to us, too.”
Fiona added that they were not unsympathetic to Indigenous Peoples, and had recently hung a land acknowledgement document next to their Live Laugh Lake poster.
David Lyons went on to explain that stewardship of the land is important and that’s why they hire someone to take care of the tennis courts when they’re not there. “Oh! Did I mention we’re building an extension?” added Lyons pointing to a pile of tall white pines recently chopped down for the purpose of increasing the cottage’s curb appeal.
“Normally, you can’t build that close to the water but because a second boathouse was included on the original blueprints, and the local government honours agreements even from almost a hundred years ago, we’re allowed.”
At press time, the Lyons family have reported that they are excited to get back to their ancestral Jamaican timeshare later this year.