Who We Are

Economy, environment and social sustainability

Odawa Island Farms is co-owned by John O Foods and the Sheshegwaning First Nation. John O Foods is a family owned boutique processor and distributor specializing in sweet water Lake Fish. Founded by John Omstead, a fourth-generation member of the Omstead family (Omstead Fisheries established in 1911). The people of Sheshegwaning are of the Odawa Nation of Anishnaabek. Our farm is set in the open water, far from the shores of the community, in the pristine waters off of Manitoulin Island. Through partnership, we have come together on a mission to provide the cleanest and best tasting steelhead trout available anywhere in the world. We do this through a commitment to three bottom lines: economy, environment, and social sustainability. 

 Our name – Odawa Island Farms – embodies our mission. The word “Odawa” translates to “trade” in Anishinaabemowin. Odawa people have a deep history and relationship with the water. The Odawa were expert fishermen and navigators on the Great Lakes. Fishing with nets historically provided Odawa fishermen with the greatest opportunity to feed their family as well as the entire village. While the Odawa were masterful traders, they did so in harmony with their surroundings. The Odawa people’s connection with their environment is reflected in our farm’s commitment to responsible practices. At Odawa Island Farms, much like the early Odawa fishermen, we are pioneering our industry. As an off-shore open water farm, we rely on the latest technological and scientific advancements to operate a precision-based low-impact farm. We use specialized open water pen systems which can be controlled to submerge and avoid ice flows. We use the latest in scientific research, developed at the University of Guelph’s Fish Nutrition Research Laboratory, to promote efficiency and minimize our footprint.

Contact odawa island farms



Sheshegwaning First Nation
Economic Development


1079A Sheshegwaning Road,

Sheshegwaning, ON



Tel: 1-705-283-3292 ext. 232