Kyla Lee Owl – Guide and Co-Manager at Ritchie Falls Resort

Ritchie Falls Resort was initially built in 1909 and has since passed through five different owners prior to being purchased in 2012 by the Sagamok Development Corporation. When I first learned about this 100+-year old Ontario hunting and fishing lodge, now 100% owner-operated by First Nations people, I wanted to understand better how the services on offer have changed. In specific, the history of the lodge, and it’s purchase, renovation and rebranding as an indigenous tourism experience that includes hunting moose, elk, wolf and bear, and fishing – all now undertaken with an indigenous perspective. I was curious about what these experiences entail. How the services are being marketed around the world and to whom.

I also set out to profile the young Aboriginal couple that manages the Resort and travels throughout the world to promote their services. Kyla and Matthew are doing a great job in blending their First Nations indigenous values and traditions with an international business model, all while building their own reputations as modern day hunters, fishers and business leaders. I wanted to learn how they got the job, their responsibilities, vision and future plans. What success of the lodge means to them, and what they bring to the job and their visitors.

My Interviews with Mathew Owl (episodes 146 and 147) drill down on the for-profit ownership and their aboriginal leadership and vision, as well as the perspective of neighbouring communities, elected officials, business people and community at large. I wanted to explore what benefits there are for everyone to share. It’s a business model that’s being tried throughout Canada and the world, and the results achieved, the challenges experienced and community response offer important lessons.

I also wanted to provide firsthand impressions of being at the Resort, and to experience their service and cultural offerings. To this end, an adventure article narrating my experience is being published in several publications. The article summarizes what I learned; what I found and didn’t find, what came as a surprise, and my overall impression of the Resort.

For more information about Ritchie Falls Resort please visit:
Ritchie Falls Resort
Office: 705.865.2221