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Provincial funds to help boost Wiky tourism

Development continues on tourism initiatives on Manitoulin and in Killarney

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory has received $260,000 from the province to build up its tourism industry after experiencing a dip in activity due to the COVID pandemic.

The funds, which come from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, will go to Enaadmaagehjik, the Wikwemikong Development Commission.

The non-profit organization offers business and skills development programs, such as apprenticeship courses, wage subsidies, grants and loans for startups and business expansion.

The newly announced funding will help maintain operations and secure the sustainability of its economic, workforce development, and training programs.

“As a leader in Indigenous tourism experiences in Ontario, Wikwemikong Tourism has been working with our partners to build a foundation for sustainable tourism development in Manitoulin Island and Killarney,” said Luke Wassegijig, tourism manager.

“The Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory is grateful for the contribution from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and the advocacy from Minister MacLeod to support Indigenous tourism.

“This grant will assist our organization in reaching our goals to build capacity, strengthen product development and enhance our experiences to enable us to return to pre-pandemic growth levels and ultimately build back a better and stronger Indigenous tourism sector.”

Wiikwemkoong is located at the far eastern end of Manitoulin Island, which is located in Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.