NWC Wild Rice is bringing Saskatchewan’s bounty to your table.
There might not be a food more synonymous with northern Saskatchewan than wild rice. Grown in the picturesque streams and bays in our province’s stunning north, wild rice is a delicious and nutritious sought-after staple, and its harvest has supported Indigenous families for generations.
Meet a wild rice harvester
Dennis Favel is a long-time wild rice harvester who learned his craft from his father. “My dad started growing wild rice in the early 1980s and I took over from him in the 1990s,” says Favel. Wild rice is harvested in August after being planted in the early spring. Once it’s ready, Favel harvests several times as it ripens using a 25-foot pontoon boat with a 20-foot header. “A header is similar to a combine, and we make several passes over the crop to gather the rice as it ripens,” he says. “We gather about 70 per cent of the crop, with about 30 per cent falling back into the water and reseeding for next year.”
It’s a job that Favel loves. “I love the work. I love the outdoors and seeing the wildlife as I harvest,” he says. “Wild rice is a food that help feed them and us, and the work connects me to the land I love.”
Off to market
Once the wild rice is harvested, it is taken for processing, bagging and sale by NWC Wild Rice. NWC Wild Rice is a 100 per cent Indigenous owned and operated wild rice company, supplying Canada and the U.S. with organic wild rice carefully collected by Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis harvesters like Favel.
The company understands the relationship it, and wild rice harvesters, have with the Earth. They have learned the lessons of their parents and grandparents to be respectful and modest with the land. “We believe it is our responsibility to care for the land, for it is our children and communities who inherit it,” says Nap Gardiner, NWC Wild Rice CEO and proud Métis. “We are so proud to share our wild rice with our customers.”
More than just food
NWC’s wild rice is more than just a food for your table. NWC Wild Rice supports Indigenous communities and people right here in Saskatchewan. “Supporting our business means we have an active say in our own industry, how it operates, and how we can respect the land and water,” says Gardiner. “Our owner groups are made up of people from three different Indigenous groups—Métis, Dene, and Cree—and our company and our rice helps them support their families and their communities.”
Share the bounty
NWC Wild Rice is TCO and USDA organic certified Grade A. Learn more and shop online at nwcwildrice.ca.