Northern Ontario leaders recognized by province: Freshwater Cuisine and Eabametoong First Nation named Rural Ontario Leaders.

Position:Awards list

A Kenora entrepreneur and a Far North First Nation community are among the inaugural winners of the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards.

The initiative is a new program of the Ontario government designed to recognize innovative rural leaders who have boosted economic development while improving the quality of life for its residents.

Among the winners is Freshwater Cuisine, owned by Chef Jay Barnard, a Kenora-based company that produces fresh fish products. Barnard turns locally caught fish into value-added products like popcorn pickerel cheeks, freshwater whitefish cakes, and wild caught Northern pike cakes.

In December, Barnard received a Leaders in Innovation Award from the province.

Also named is Eabametoong First Nation, a First Nation community located 360 kilometers north of Thunder Bay. It has turned a small community garden into Fort Hope Farm, a seven-acre farm that creates jobs and provides fresh, healthy food to the community, while blending traditional knowledge and...

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