THIS MONTH FROM THE COMMUNITY CONNECTOR
What has Kate Boyer been up to this month…
Don’t Panic, Eat Bannock!!
November 19, 2020
Another day another article about stuff I do. This day in particular I focus on one of the greatest things on this planet: FOOD!
Some of my earliest memories involve food, which I’m sure is also true for many of you. Contrary to popular belief, food is not just a way to sustain energy, it also sustains our very soul by connecting us to our ancestors and our individual histories while also connecting us with each other.
For Indigenous peoples and especially Métis people, bannock (a type of bread similar to a biscuit or a fry bread) holds a special place in our history as well as in our hearts (and our stomachs :)). When I was just knee-high-to-a-grasshopper I remember my Mama making bannock for me and my Papa (Mama and Papa translate to Mom and Dad in the dialect of Michif my father’s family spoke). We loved to eat it with a generous helping of butter and either saskatoon berry or strawberry jam with a large cup of Red Rose tea on the side.
If this description has your mouth watering, get ready because a chef based in saskatoon is using bannock as a vehicle to educate people about indigenous culture as well as creating innovative ways to serve this traditional dish. Chef Rachel Eyahpaise (with ties to the Sakimay First Nation on treaty 4 territory) is the owner and chef at ‘Bannock Express’ in Saskatoon. A quick peek at her restaurant’s Facebook page had me craving things I didn’t even know existed, all with a healthy serving of delicious homestyle bannock.
If you would like to hear more about chef Rachel and her business you can pay Bannock Express a visit at 312 Avenue B S, Saskatoon. They are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 9 pm and on the weekend from 11 am to 7 pm.
Click Here to read a fabulous interview with Chef Rachel when she was featured in Canada’s Tastemaker series on the Food Bloggers of Canada website (which is also where I got the information from this article). I have also attached a bannock recipe similar to the one my family uses if any of you guys, gals, and non-binary pals would like to give it a try at home. With Covid and all the stress of the winter season, there is nothing better than grounding yourself with a little home cooking.
I hope all y’all give it a try!
Community Connector signing off.
Bannock (La Galet)
- 6 cups flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- ¾ cup melted butter, oil, or lard (Choose one of these)
- 1 egg beaten
- Mix all dry ingredients together
- Mix all wet ingredients together
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into it
- Mix with a fork until stiff
- Dump onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky (be careful not to over kneed otherwise the bannock will be tough)
- Hand press until one inch thick, dust with flour and flip if it has become sticky
- Place on a baking sheet and poke with a fork
- Bake 25-30 min until lightly brown on the bottom, flip, and then continue to bake until both sides are golden
- Serve with jam and tea and enjoy!
Costume with Care
October 15, 2020
The Halloween season is upon us. It feels like summer lasted for about 35 seconds but here we are in the heart of fall. Pumpkins, ghosts, and goblins are beginning to take over stores all over the place and we are again faced with an age-old problem: cultural appropriation. You might not think that cultural appropriation has anything to do with the fun-filled candy crazed holiday we all know and love but let me assure you, it comes up again and again. Every year thousands of costumes are bought and sold and unfortunately many of them are different orientations of the “Indian princess” trope.
Throughout history this trope has been used over and over again as a costume or a bit of fun as if it’s no big deal… like it means nothing. This carelessness is extremely harmful to Indigenous people because it portrays us as nothing more than a character, or something else that doesn’t exist. So this year please be kind and choose a costume that doesn’t harm anyone and only brings joy.
If you would like to read more, here is an artical from CBC News. Eventhough its from 2018, it still illustrate the problem that continues today.
There are so many fun costumes ideas out there, so I thought I’d attach a couple of pictures for inspiration. Enjoy!
You could be a Jelly Belly bag…
Or a corn cob…
Or maybe that guy from Ratatouille!
Pictures from Pintrest.com, Popsugar.com, and deMilked.com
Fall into an Unexpected Adventure
October 7, 2020
Hey communities in need of connection! It’s me, the tame adventurer. I may not be trekking through rainforests or crossing deserts (desserts on the other hand I am well versed in) but I do have a habit of getting out into the world and finding some interesting and fun things to occupy your time. This month I’ve really been loving the cozy fall feels and have enjoyed getting out and exploring the beautiful natural landscape we are blessed with. As a Métis person, I feel a deep connection with the land we occupy and the plants we share the space with. Mother Earth has taught me so much about how to live and how to sit back and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. So this time, to celebrate her beauty and wisdom, I thought I’d try something a bit different and film one of my adventures. Click here to check out how it went and feel free to email me with any questions you might have or ideas for more adventures!
A Walk By the River
September 12, 2020
Photo from thestarphoenix.com
As many of you know, the river has been a major resource for First Nations and Métis People throughout history. It has been used as a transportation system, a guide, a water resource (obviously), and a healer. As summer is slowly giving way into fall, appreciate the beauty of this sacred element while taking a calming walk along its banks.
River landing in Saskatoon has always held a special place in my heart because of its close proximity to the south Saskatchewan River. I like to start my walk at Broadway Bridge and continue beside the river all the way down to just past the old Farmer’s Market building.
On your adventure by the water, here are a couple of things to look out for:
River Landing Tree Grates
(I got this information from saskhistoryonline.ca by the way)
Photo from metalshapes.ca
Along the riverbank, there are art pieces that have such a functional purpose they can sometimes go unnoticed. The River Landing tree grates were created by urban designers in partnership with local Indigenous elders to create a narrative that focuses on four indigenous themes: Home, storytelling, play, and ceremony. Some of the designs you can expect to see are Bison Grate, Feast Grate, Grass Dance Grate, Hoop Grate, Horse Grate, String Games Grate, Tipi Exterior Grate, and Tipi Interior Grate.
Photo from metalshapes.ca
You can learn more about these tree grates here: https://thesheaf.com/2009/10/20/aboriginal-urban-design/
The Comming Spring
Photo from eaglefeathernews.com
Right near the end of your journey, you will find a very impactful public art piece. According to Eagle Feather News “The Comming Spring” was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #79, which is “educating and creating a sense of shared awakening”. If there is a slight breeze you can hear the haunting sound of the chimes on the top of the sculpture. I encourage you to take a minute to sit in silence in the grass and just listen to the sound of the wind and the chimes. If you feel moved to, offer some Tabacco as a gift of thanks to the life-giving river, or pick up some of the garbage that is always blowing around down there. Say thank you to the water for sustaining us and grounding us. I believe that everything lives and in turn gives life, so to continue the cycle it is important to give in order to receive.
You can read about “The Comming Spring” at:https://www.eaglefeathernews.com/arts/the-coming-spring-reconciliation-commemorative-artwork-installed-in-victoria-park#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20Coming%20Spring%2C%E2%80%9D%20by,a%20sense%20of%20shared%20awakening.
The Bog Blog
August 13, 2020
While this summer heatwave continues (seriously, it’s so hot my cat stole my fan!) it’s great to take advantage of the beautiful Canadian landscape during our short summer season. One way to do this is by visiting Boundary Bog inPrinceAlbert National Park for a much-needed photography adventure. Bust out your camera and capture the natural beauty of the place we call home. As of now, Metis citizens will be able to get into national parks in Saskatchewan for free! As a Metis citizen myself this is super exciting because I love walking through the landscapes my ancestors have walked for many years. Bring your friends, bring your family, or just bring a snack and enjoy some amazing and delicate northern plant life.
For more information on the trail and how to get there visit pc.gc.ca and if you want more information about free access to national parks for Metis Citizens, check out this link. Here are some photos I took when MaTayOo (my boyfriend) and I walked the trail this past week:
Some Art to Light Up Your Day
Hello other budget Saskatchewanderers! As I’ve mosied around Saskatoon in the last few
days, I’ve noticed some temporary art exhibits that are definitely worth the search. In recent years, Cree syllabics written in neon letters have been popping up across the city. According to Eagle Feather News and CBC News, these works of art have been created collaboratively by Indigenous and Settler artists to showcase the beauty and tradition of the Cree language. The next time you are in the city, consider going for a syllabics scavenger hunt which will take you to some of my favourite spots in Saskatoon. For the locations of these art pieces and translations of them, check out:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/city-of-berries-could-become-permanent-1.4082818#:~:text=City%20of%20Saskatoon)-,An%20art%20installation%20that%20honours%20Saskatoon%20as%20the%20%22land%20of,according%20to%20a%20city%20report. And for more information about Cree syllabics:
SHE NATIVE; Indigenous Women Helping Indigenous Women
Devon Fiddler is the Chief Changemaker and Founder of the fashion brand SHE NATIVE, based in Saskatoon. Fiddler’s company is run by Indigenous women with a goal of providing support and mentorship to other Indigenous women. Fiddler’s designs are hip and fashionable while also using elements of Indigenous culture to tell a powerful story. SHE NATIVE is also committed to giving a percentage of their proceeds to causes that help support Indigenous women.
You can learn more about the brand and buy your very own SHE NATIVE designs at https://www.shenative.com/.
Back to Batoche with a New Twist!
Every year Metis Nation Saskatchewan along with other partners put on a Festival called Back to Batoche Days that celebrates Métis culture and way of life. This year, COVID had the potential to put a damper on the usual celebrations. Luckily, we Métis are good at finding new ways to deal with adversity. This year the festivities will go-ahead but in a virtual setting. On July 23rd at 10 AM you can join in the fun at https://backtobatochedays.ca/.
If you are looking for a fun family event from July 23rd to July 26th Back to Batoche Days is a perfect choice. You can watch square dancing, jigging and fiddle competitions all from the comfort of your couch, as well as enjoy a host of other entertainment and Métis cultural events. If you look closely you might even spot me in a competition or two. Have fun enjoying a good old Métis house party!
images sourced from: