Indigenous communities have a deep understanding of food harvesting, farming, hunting, and fishing practices that have sustained their health and well-being for generations. Traditional diets consist of foods found in the natural environment, including wild game, fish, and edible plants.
Embracing these traditional foods connects Indigenous people to their cultural identity and fosters a sense of community. Further, these foods, such as berries, fish, beans, corn, squash, and wild rice, were originally gathered and cultivated by Indigenous people and offered unique flavours and health benefits to their traditional diet.
We asked several Indigenous chefs, bakers and cooks, to share about their traditional ingredients by creating recipes and cook along videos that tell the story of the ingredients and show how they use them today.
These recipes offer a rich blend of flavours and are highly nutritious. For instance, the Three Sisters salad combines the traditional three sisters of beans, corn, and squash to create a balanced and delicious meal. Another unique recipe incorporates wild rice, a staple in savoury dishes, into an Indigenized chocolate chip cookie recipe with cranberry and sage.
Some of the highlighted recipes include:
From Chef Jenni Lessard (Métis Nation of Saskatchewan): Aunt Mabel’s Haystack Baked Lentils, Barley Lentil and Vegetable Soup and Date Oatmeal Cookies.
From Baker Jodi Robson (Okanese First Nation). We are honoured to share Jodi’s Bannock recipe as well as her Savoury Zucchini Quiche, Cinnamon Apple Cake, and Honey Cake with Saskatoon Berries.
From the Mâmawi Cafe (a student-run food program in north central Regina): Cranberry, Sage, and Puffed Wild Rice Cookies.
From Chef Kirk Ermine (Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and sous chef at Dakota Dunes Resort on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation): Three Sisters Salad
From Chef Douglas Hyndford (Peepeekisis Cree Nation and Director of Hospitality at Wanuskewin Heritage Park): Wild Rice Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.
Follow Canadian Food Focus for more Indigenous recipes coming soon.