St. John's Native Friendship Centre sharing traditional food skills

image001This post is the first in a series from community organizations using the Root Cellars Rock Food Skills Workshops. Contact to learn how to host your own workshop!  This October the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre hosted its annual Women’s retreat at Woody Island Resort, just a few hours outside of the city. This provides Aboriginal Women in our community the opportunity to reconnect with nature, connect with peers, and learn from one another’s experiences. At each retreat we learn a new skill: last year we learned how to skin and clean small game (rabbit and partridges), and this year, thanks to the Food Security Network, we learned the ins and outs of safe bottling and canning.

Every year our retreat brings together Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal peoples of all ages. A great deal of time is spent on transferring knowledge from the elders to our young people. During our workshop, elders shared stories of how all foods were traditionally preserved with the youth in our group. No matter the age, everyone taking part in the workshop walked away with a new piece of information. We enjoyed our partridgeberry jam on bannock, traditional bread made by Aboriginal peoples for years.

With the grant we received from the Food Security Network we were able to purchase everything we will need for future workshops, and materials will also be made available to our community so that they can safely preserve their harvested berries and vegetables in the years to come.