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Indigenous Experience’s Mādahòkì Farm in Ottawa sharing new federal cash for woman-owned tourism businesses

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Indigenous Experience’s Mādahòkì Farm got $750,000 for improvements in an announcement of federal tourism relief funding for women-led businesses and projects in the sector Thursday.

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The farm hosted the event and was among 14 recipients sharing more than $2.7 million announced by Minister Filomena Tassi from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

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“When COVID hit, our social enterprise Indigenous Experiences was at risk of losing everything as we relied heavily on international tourism,” Trina Mather-Simard, founder and executive and artistic director, said in a media release from the agency.

Tourism Recovery Fund money has helped redevelop the 164-acre farm on West Hunt Club Road in Ottawa’s Greenbelt into Mādahòkì Farm, she said. The venue, launched in October 2021, is now welcoming student groups, drawing local residents and domestic and international tourists, and working with more than 50 small Indigenous-led businesses.

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The money is going to a four-season venue for agriculture and farm-to-table culinary tourism events, more accessible facilities, a year-round Indigenous Marketplace and a permanent home for the farm’s Ojibwe Spirit Horses.

Mādahòkì Farm hosts Indigenous events celebrating each season, including the annual Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival. Indigenous Experiences has been organizing Indigenous culture, history, food and arts programs for more than 25 years and has been designated a “Destination Canada Signature Experience” for tourists.

Thursday’s event was a lead up to Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Nov. 19.

Other organizations benefitting include KPP Concerts, for music events at venues throughout downtown Kingston, and Saffron Hub, which aims to launch the Canadian Immigrant Women Culinary Expo in Belleville.

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