Tonight we dine in 1491
November 5, 2018 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Demand growing in Canada for Indigenous food, eateries

In recent years, Indigenous-owned eateries like his have emerged in many Canadian cities serving traditional foods like bannock and buffalo. While it’s taken time to move into the mainstream, chefs say demand is high thanks to increasing awareness of Indigenous culture and desire for local foods.

How the Navajo Nation Is Reclaiming Food Sovereignty: Through cooking classes, outreach, and social media, a new generation of Native Americans are reconnecting to Indigenous foodways.

Planting the Seeds of Indigenous Food Sovereignty: In the Great Bear Rainforest, educator and agitator Jessie Housty reconnects the Haíłzaqv community with its food traditions.

posted by poffin boffin (13 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Canadians now only as racist to Indigenous peoples as they are to every other POC. Sadly, this is a big step up.
posted by GuyZero at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

"Put a buffalo on it."
posted by ...possums at 11:15 AM on November 5, 2018

Very cool, but I wish I could have seen at least one picture of the food. Apparently bannock is a type of bread. Learn something new everyday. Reading the article I was 50/50 imagining it as a fish/varmint.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2018

Mmm, Bannock.
posted by Mitheral at 11:43 AM on November 5, 2018

Bannock: consuming colonialism
As time went on, colonization started to dramatically control and change the daily lives of Indigenous peoples, and in the process changed the relationship they had with bannock. Where bannock was once an easy food to make out on the land or along trap lines during fur trading, it became a necessary staple for Indigenous people to feed their families and stave off starvation. It sustained them when they were forced to give up their mobility, much of their traditional food sources, and their traditional lifestyles, and were relocated from their traditional territories onto reserves.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:07 PM on November 5, 2018 [7 favorites]

Apparently bannock is a type of bread.

The_Vegetables, as Space Coyote's link indicates and our previous discussions on the Blue elaborate on, bannock has a complicated history and relationship with indigenous people.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've been to NishDish and Pow Wow Cafe here in Toronto. They're both great but small spaces - NishDish is pretty much takeout only, and Pow Wow Cafe might hold a dozen people. Next on the to-do list is Kūkŭm Kitchen, which is more of a fine dining experience.

It's a bummer that there are so few native restaurants in the city - there are 23,000 aboriginal people in Toronto, vs 13,000 or so people of Japanese descent, but think of how many sushi restaurants or izakayas are here. There have been fine dining restaurants like Canoe in Toronto or Chez Boulay in Quebec City that talk up their commitment to northern plant and animal species, but that is not the same thing as native recipes made by native hands.
posted by thecjm at 12:39 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Related listen (from Ryan McMahon's Red Man Laughing podcast) - it's a really interesting discussion: In this episode of Red Man Laughing, Ryan is joined by Dr. Joseph LeBlanc (Anishinaabe), and they talk food systems, food insecurity, and Indigenous Nationhood.

He was talking about making this whole season about indigenous food security and sovereignty, but he's said that there's so much going on (including his work on the the Thunder Bay podcast) it might be covering more than that.

Also related!

Dear PETA: What the seal means to the Jerry Cans
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:15 PM on November 5, 2018

I still miss Keriwa Café which was killed off by the flooding in 2013. The chef, Aaron Joseph Bear Robe, moved on to a private wine tasting club that requires a thousand dollar a year membership to join, so I won't be eating his food any time soon, but my god that man has a gift for balancing flavours on a plate.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:20 PM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

There's Tea and Bannock in Toronto as well. I hear it's a quite a nice little place.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2018

Tea and Bannock is lvoely
posted by PinkMoose at 3:51 PM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Canadians now only as racist to Indigenous peoples as they are to every other POC.

Haha, if only.
posted by 256 at 4:02 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tonight we dine in 1491

More like 1533.
posted by furtive at 6:40 PM on November 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

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