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The Wikwemikong Development Commission helps community members develop and realize economic opportunities from construction to modern communications, while keeping touch with their traditional values.

Transcript: Wikwemikong

Manitoulin.

Island of the Spirits.

Surrounded by the Great Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, it is the largest freshwater island in the world. Home to the Odawa, Ojibway and Potowatomi peoples of Wikwemikong First Nation. A burgeoning success story.

Thanks in large part to the Wikwemikong Development Commission. The WDC was established in 1973 to create training, job and business opportunities for its residents with start-up money for a variety of on-reserve enterprises. The Commission has been responsible for giving the community a major economic lift, from its early days in log home construction to today, growing prosperity is evident everywhere.

Like at Andy's. For 40 years this family business with more than 35 full-time staff has been the largest employer on the reserve. Andy's has a gas station, as well as a laundromat, a grocery store, a hardware store, and Manitowabi Clothing and Gifts.

Patsy's Restaurant and Gas Bar is a popular fixture in the community. For more than 20 years, this thriving family gathering place has been serving hearty home-cooked meals. And often, it's standing room only.

The band owned Rainbow Ridge Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole championship layout, with full clubhouse and pro shop facilities. Exciting plans are in place for the 30-room Three Fires Resort complex that will become a true Manitoulin Island holiday destination.

The WDC is exploring the great economic and environmental benefits of wind energy with the Met Tower, the first phase of a feasibility study with huge potential for the community and its residents.

Keeping up with modern communications is a priority for the Wikwemikong Development Commission. It supported First Tel, which offers local telephone service - and has plans to expand into long distance and other profitable telecommunications ventures. And there's Wiky News - a bi-weekly newspaper serving local residents and others on Manitoulin Island. TV-5 houses full-service video production and a cable television facility, which covers the local scene and broadcasts the many events that Wiky, one of Canada's five cultural capitals has to offer. Its programs are enjoyed by community members of all ages.

At Wikwemikong there's a special reverence for the elderly who are treated with loving care and respect. There's also a strong devotion to its young people, the next generation who will take the community to even greater heights.

It's all strong evidence that the way ahead is bright for Wikwemikong- a place where dreams become reality; on the Island of the Spirits.

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