Grocery store opens on Brokenhead Ojibway Nation

People living in and around the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, northeast of Winnipeg, are celebrating the grand opening of a grocery store in the community.

Store will also have medical clinic and pharmacy

The store is committed to offering fresh produce at competitive prices to keep people in the community from having to travel for groceries. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

People living in and around Brokenhead Ojibway Nation are celebrating the grand opening of a full-service grocery store in the community.

Hundreds of people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Brokenhead Grocery Store on Bear Road, directly across from South Beach Casino and Resort, on Tuesday morning.

The grocery store allows people in the area to do their weekly shopping without driving 20-30 minutes to Selkirk, Man., said manager Kyle Tanner.

Tanner added the co-operative-style operation that is being welcomed by the approximately 700 people living in the First Nation.

"A lot are elderly. They don't have access to vehicles. So I've been hearing that people are paying to drive, have other people drive to Selkirk … to pick up their fresh produce and meats," he said.

Tanner said he hopes the store will attract customers from neighbouring areas.

Shoppers like Maria Mancusi, who has lived in the community for six years, said she will shop at the store several times a week. She was happy to see that the prices were competitive and that the store had all the basics. 

"The prices are actually really convenient for single mothers like myself," said Mancusi who also said she'd be saving money on gas not having to travel outside of her community.

The store will also include a pharmacy and a medical clinic, as well as an area for traditional healing.

"Because of the health needs of our people, there is a great demand for services, so we are glad to be able to offer them right at home," said Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Chief, Jim Bear.

Officials said they hope the clinic will open in April.

The store has created jobs for 11 people, seven part-time and four full-time, from the community and surrounding area. 

The First Nation is about 65 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.