The 32-annual Manitou fish fry began with the unveiling of a plaque designating heritage status to the mounds and ended with some 1,000 people lining up to devour almost 400 pounds of walleye and 40 pounds of smoked sturgeon.
An assembly line of volunteers battered the fish, tossed the salads, and cooked the potatoes.
“We put money aside for this every year,” said Rainy River First Nations Chief Gary Medicine, when asked about the expense of staging such an event.
Hundreds of vehicles lined the road to the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre, and golf carts were kept busy going to and from the parking lot to the giant tent by the roundhouse.
Representatives from First Nation communities across Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota were on hand for the meal, which was blessed by band elder Annie Wilson.
Local MP Robert Nault, the minister of Indian and Northern Development, Treaty #3 Grand Chief Leon Jourdain, Rainy River Mayor Gord Prost, and Chapple Reeve Bill Clink also attended.
After complimenting Rainy River First Nations on the plaque, Reeve Clink added, “I would like to commend the First Nation for one other thing—they sure make a good fish fry!”