While I and my family were enjoying the beautiful environment of this region, I was also looking for stories and histories of the Aboriginal people of the area - after all, the park is named after one of their nations, the Algonqins.
However, I did not find anything - except a stereotypical display of pre-contact life in the Visitor's Centre (which is very spacious and tells a lot of other stories) and this life-size figure (together with another one of "an Indian" in a canoe) in front of a craft store for tourists.
So in the midst of total ABSENCE of the real people and their real stories about how they still have to fight for land they had never signed away (like the Algonqin Park) I found the PRESENCE of images that relegates Aboriginal people to the past, to the imaginary and the exotic, that commercializes their culture and dehumanizes the people.
Algonqin means "allies," and the Algonqins were allies of the British in 1812, but instead of being rewarded for their efforts they had and still have to fight for their rights.
It is hi/stories like these that need to be told in Canadian educational institutions. This is why I teach in Native Studies."
podcast: What do I say?