Community

history-banner.jpgRama Road in the 1970's

The Chippewas of Rama First Nation is approximately 1.5 hours north of Toronto, Ontario. Our 2,500 acres of interspersed land is nestled in "Ontario's Lake Country" on the eastern side of Lake Couchiching.

We have over 1800 members including over 700 living off-reserve.

 We are Ojibwe peoples, part of the Three Fires Confederacy along with the Odawa and Pottawatomi Nations.  It has been said that when people spoke of our tribe, they referred to us as the people who live near the fence, or at Mitchekuning.  

Now spelled Mnjikaning, this word can be translated as: "In", "On", "At" or "Near" 'The Fence'.  This fence refers to the fish weirs which are located at the Atherley Narrows, where Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe meet.  The weirs are one of the oldest human developments in North America and are believed to have been built some 5,000 years ago by the Wendat and others.  The site located at the weirs has been noted as neutral grounds, where First Nations people gathered to enjoy festivities, exchange goods, share information, ceremony and storytelling.  In 1982, the Federal Government officially declared the weirs a National Historic Site.

Rama radiates with the spirit that has made us a thriving community.  For centuries, our people have been leaders, entrepreneurs, artisans and harvesters.  The Seven Grandfather teachings passed down from the Creator are at the centre of community culture.  These traditions form the backbone of a community that draws strength and inspiration from the past while preparing for its future. 

Rama was chosen as the site for a First Nation casino after a comprehensive site selection process in 1994.  With strong regional support and external partnerships in place, Rama was uniquely positioned to take on the challenge.  Casino Rama celebrated its 20th Anniversary on July 31st, 2016.  Over the past 20 years, employment, business opportunities and local services have all grown in response to the tourism generated.  Rama First Nation and Casino Rama make social responsibility a priority, supporting local institutions and charities, including the recent Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital expansion.

Casino Rama has generated close to $9-billion in revenues since opening with an estimated 3-million visitors yearly.  It employs approximately 2,500 employees with a payroll in excess of $106-million annually. 

Highlights from Rama's business portfolio includes:

    • Two GTA Bingo facilities owned and operated by Rama Gaming, were used as pilot sites under Ontario Lottery and Gaming's modernization for Bingo operations. 

    • St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino in British Columbia, is a three-way First Nation partnership established in 2004. 

    • Rama's Property management portfolio includes retail and professional office leased space.

These businesses are among those managed by Rama's Chief and Council, who are responsible for economic development.  A trip through the community reveals the rewards of successful business planning and a clear vision.

The Seniors Complex is a showcase for Senior's care, offering apartments and extended care for members in their golden years.  Rama's Health Clinic hosts visiting doctors and health care specialists.  Social Services address counselling, support groups and specialized services for members.

Together, Rama First Nation's Emergency Services, Police, Fire and Paramedic services are supported with leading technology, equipment and highly trained crews, ensuring that members and Casino Rama patrons receive prompt professional response and quality care.  Our vehicles are recognized throughout Simcoe County responding through mutual aid agreements.

Rama's elementary school provides cultural programming and education from Early Childhood through to grade 8.  Education programs have contributed to increased student success in secondary and post-secondary education, resulting in the largest per capita graduation rate in Ontario.  Rama's future is bright with the promise of coming generations.

Rama was invited to sit on the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, comprised of First Nations, Inuit and Métis business and community leaders from throughout Canada.  The Board advises the federal government on strategies to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the Canadian economy.  Our community was also one of the First Nation cases examined for business leadership.

Rama's commitment to community and gaming management expertise remain focal points for the future.  With long standing local and regional relationships flourishing, the Chippewas of Rama First Nation is poised to take the next step in solidifying itself as a business leader.