• Gail Johnson

Inaugural Indigenous Feast at Harmony Arts Festival: oolichan, bannock, bison, and other traditional

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Chief Ian Campbell.

The evening could not have been more gorgeous: as the sun beamed during its langourous descent, a fresh breeze swirled off the ocean just steps away, feelings of community and awe whirling in the air along with it.

The inaugural feast at Ambleside Landing on unceded Coast Salish territory started with song and a blessing, a traditional welcome by the Chinook Song Catchers. The group, headed by Marissa Nahanee (Maykw Cha7em), of the Squamish & Nisga’a Nations, Eagle Clan, also includes Latash-Maurice Nahanee, Delhia Nahanee, Amanda Nahanee, among others; joining them was Chief Ian Campbell, Xalek/Sekyu Siyam, one of 16 Hereditary Chiefs of the Squamish Nation (who's currently running for Mayor of Vancouver).

Salmon n' Bannock curated the menu; joining forces with the Indigenous restaurant was the crew of BigHeart Bannock Cultural Cafe (which serves brunch every weekend at Skwaychas Lodge Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery).

Expect to see the resurgence of Indigenous cuisine to continue right across the country. It's nothing new, and it's not a "trend". Indigenous people, after all, are the original creators of the so-called "100-mile diet", only traditionally theirs is more like the 100-metre diet, with people hunting, fishing, foraging, and harvesting in the lands they call home.

More and more, Indigenous chefs are reviviing their palate; sharing their flavours, techniques, and recipes with non-Indgenous people; nourising others with wild foods;and rightly celebrating food as a vital part of their culture.

Check out a few photos of the August 7 Indigenous Feast:

Chinook Songcatchers.

Dinner is served!

Indigenous World Wine.

Smoked oolichan in a blanket.

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