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By MYRON LOVE  For the first time in more than 25 years, Salisbury House is opening a new location outside of Winnipeg. The newest Salisbury House is scheduled to open at Norway House Cree Nation at the end of March with 40 full and part-time staff.

The announcement was made on Monday, January 26, at a press conference at the Sals on Leila. In attendance were  Sals President and CEO Earl Barish and Norway House Chief Ron Evans along with his band council members and several other Manitoba Aboriginal leaders.
Norway House is an Aboriginal community of more than 5,000 people located about 800 km north of Winnipeg.
While the decision to open in Norway House was largely a business decision, Earl Barish acknowledges that the community’s strong support for Israel – Chief Evans has led several groups of Norway House residents on visits to Israel over the past few years and himself participated in the Winnipeg Jewish community’s Solidarity Mission to Israel last summer – was also a factor. “Norway House’s support for Israel certainly made this more personal for me,” says Barish, a leading philanthropist who has been most closely associated with B’nai Brith over the years. “It made me more determined to find a way to make this work,” Barish says of the restaurant project.
He notes that the Norway House leadership team approached Salisbury House. “The community had recently built a new hotel and was looking to open a restaurant that would complement the hotel and would offer an affordable menu,” Barish says. “Quite a number of Aboriginal People frequent our restaurants when they are in Winnipeg and appreciate our food, service and pricing.”
One of the challenges for Sals was to find a way to emulate the Winnipeg experience, which focuses on meals made from fresh food ingredients provided from the chain’s central commissary. The solution: Norway House purchased a refrigeration unit that can be attached to the community’s two full-sized buses. The buses travel to Winnipeg and back a couple of times a week shuttling Norway House residents to Winnipeg and back and transporting supplies.
Barish notes that the 100-seat restaurant in Norway House will be owned by the community with Sals operating the restaurant for the community. “Take-out will be a big part of the business,” he says. “There are no other major restaurants in Norway House.”
Barish adds that the Norway House leadership group has been “wonderful to work with. We anticipate a long and prosperous relationship.”
“Partnerships like this one with Salisbury House help to build a skilled workforce in our community, create employment opportunities and build a respectful environment that eases misunderstandings based on race,” Ron Evans says. “It will help secure a positive future for our children.”




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