Organizers of the 28th-annual Manitou fish fry are expecting several hundred people to show up for it this Friday at 4 p.m. at the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre Round House (Manitou Mounds).
Hosted by the Rainy River First Nation, more than 500 invitations were sent out to people on both sides of the border, including other First Nations communities.
“This is a big social event,” noted Manitou Mounds curator Stacey Bruyere. “People come from literally all over [including] various official representatives from the provincial and federal government.”
Attorney General Charles Harnick, who sources say will announce a million-dollar plus Heritage Fund grant for Phase 2 of the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung centre, and local MP Robert Nault are expected to be on hand.
Bruyere said invitations also had been extended to Natural Resources minister John Snobelen and NDP leader Howard Hampton but as of Monday, she could not confirm their attendance.
Guided tours of the historical centre, including the surrounding trail systems, will be available starting at 2 p.m. Friday.
“The trails are open to view actual mounds and are about three km one way,” noted Bruyere.
While actual construction of the historical centre is expected to wrap up in about a month, Bruyere said the permanent exhibits inside won’t be completed for another year.
But temporary exhibits would be set up for public viewing during the fish fry, including an aquarium display of sturgeon from the band’s fish hatchery.
“There will be also drawings of the permanent exhibits [on display] Friday and the story of the mounds,” she said. “Some artifacts will also be [exhibited].”
Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre can be accessed by turning south on Shaw Road, located about 50 km west of Fort Frances between Barwick and Stratton.