Lifestyle

Anishinaabe Cook Uses Language to Teach About Traditional Food

By WAUBGESHIG RICE
Journalist, CBC News

January 29, 2016 – An Anishinaabe cook is using his indigenous language and knowledge of traditional foods to teach people about culture and healthy eating at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Dan Kimewon, from Saugeen First Nation in southern Ontario, is in Ottawa this weekend to talk Anishinaabemowin (also known as the Ojibway language) with community members, lead cooking classes, and share his experiences of growing up with traditional Anishinaabe teachings about growing and preparing food.

“I'm here to teach about a healthy way of life, and how to cook in a healthy way,” said Kimewon, following a lesson with the Wabano diabetes program's community kitchen, where people learn how to make healthy food options to manage diabetes.

He encourages people to move away from diets of processed and fast foods in hopes of curbing high rates of diabetes and obesity among indigenous people.

“We've got so many native people that are sick from this, and we've got to understand that,” he said.

Instead, he wants people to embrace more traditional indigenous foods like corn, also known as “mandamin” in Anishinaabemowin. He demonstrates how to prepare corn for soup and other meals in his presentations.

“[Corn] is a way of life of our people,” he said. “It never came from overseas. It's from here. We've always had it.”

Kimewon's hands-on demonstrations in the kitchen include language lessons, where he labels common kitchen items with words in Anishinaabemowin. For example, “mookmaan” is the word for knife.

Morning and afternoon sessions at Wabano on Saturday are free and open to the public.

READ FULL ARTICLE: Cbc.ca,. “Anishinaabe Cook Uses Language To Teach About Traditional Food“. N. p., 2016. Web. 1 Feb. 2016.

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