Recipe Cards


This recipe is a great representation of the others shared in Buckskin Cookery. It reflects the storytelling aspect that Gwen Lewis emphasizes throughout the book and shows the humour that she so skillfully incorporated. Lewis does not use a traditional recipe layout style as her inspiration for this cookbook was the stories shared by her grandmother and other "old timers." This recipe also included a photo of a woman walking out a door who appears to be in shock as she saw a coyote hanging from the ceiling with one of its hindquarters missing. The methods used in the recipe emphasize the "use-what-you-have" mindset that would have been reflective of a historical period when resources were limited and wasting food was out of the question. This was a common theme in the book; for example, some recipes explain how to scrape the mold off your canned meat so that it was still safe to eat. What constituted safe and normal in this context is quite different from what is acceptable today.



This recipe stands out because it speaks to the relationship between settlers and Indigenous people and reinforces how much food was used as a weapon to control and assimilate Indigenous peoples. In the 19th century, laws such as "The Pemmican Proclamation" in 1814 were introduced with the intent to control and restrict Indigenous people from participating in the economy. In some regions of Canada, the export of pemmican by various Indigenous groups such as the Assiniboia was banned. This was an attempt to restrict their ability to gain economic capital and resulted in "The Battle of Seven Oaks" in 1816. Coincidentally, it is Indigenous peoples who introduced pemmican, a highly nutritious pack food, to settlers after their arrival in North America. Most European settlers' nutritional needs were not being met and they lacked the skills and knowledge to survive in North American climates. Indigenous peoples played a significant role in educating and helping settlers adapt and survive in Canada. Without education about foods like pemmican, European settlers would not have been able to survive due to nutritional deficiencies and/or starvation. 



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