Thunder Bay·Northern Nosh

Meet the woman teaching people to harvest wild rice on Whitefish Lake

Rhonda Lyons started the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience in 2016. The company offers groups a hands-on lessons in harvesting and processing wild rice.

Rhonda Lyons started the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience in 2016

Rhonda Lyons is the owner of the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience. (Supplied by Rhonda Lyons)

Rhonda Lyons' family has been harvesting wild rice on Whitefish Lake for generations.

"I can go as far back as my great grandfather harvesting on this lake," she said. "And I wanted to share this way of traditional activity with other people who want to learn."

That's why Lyons, a school principal, started the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience in 2016. The company offers groups a hands-on lessons in harvesting and processing wild rice. 

Collecting wild rice. (Supplied by Rhonda Lyons)

I reached Lyons, who lives in Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, to learn more about the business — and wild rice itself. 

Tap the player to hear our conversation.

This week on Northern Nosh we're on Whitefish Lake near Thunder Bay to learn about a business called the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience. The company offers groups a hand-on lesson in harvesting and processing wild rice. Rhonda Lyons started the company back in 2016. She lives in Biigtigong Nishnaabeg where she also is a school principal.

For more on the Anishinaabe Wild Rice Experience, visit their website.

Rhonda Lyons roasting wild rice. (Supplied by Rhonda Lyons)
Lyons' son cleaning twigs to get ready for roasting. (Supplied by Rhonda Lyons)
Participants in the rice fields. (Supplied by Rhonda Lyons)

Northern Nosh" is a weekly feature on Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for northern Ontario. If you know a food producer you think would make a great story, get in touch! 

Send an email to upnorth@cbc.ca, message us on Facebook or Twitter — or call 1-844-85NORTH.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Pinto is the host of Up North, CBC Radio One's regional afternoon show for Northern Ontario and is based in Sudbury. He was formerly a reporter/editor and an associate producer at CBC Windsor. Email jonathan.pinto@cbc.ca.

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