Cooking with Koohkoom

Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund
06.10.22 08:26 PM Comment(s)
A free online Métis traditional cooking class promotes food security

Food security is the physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle. Indigenous peoples living off-reserve are more than twice as likely to experience hunger and food insecurity compared with non-Indigenous Canadians; 27% of Indigenous Canadians are food insecure compared with 11% of non-Indigenous households. Culture and food security are closely connected to practiced cultural norms and healthy lifestyles and communities. Guided by Métis culture, the Rocky Mountain Métis Association used the funding from the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund to improve food security for Indigenous peoples

Cooking with Koohkoom was a 4 week online cultural workshop led by Métis Elder Kokum Marie Schoenthal. This project taught participants through sharing Métis cultural cooking techniques and cultural teachings. Métis culture uses land-based accessible foods to make healthy meals that feed many people for multiple days. The versatility of the ingredients in the recipes allowed the participants to make multiple healthy and affordable meals. This cultural workshop encompassed Indigenous practices such as Elder teachings, oral transmission of knowledge and language and created community in a virtual environment. Along with food security, we connected communities to interact through a digital setting by bringing participating Indigenous communities together to celebrate our many cultural connections. Every participant was given three Métis recipes and $60 in gift cards to buy the ingredients to make the meals. Originally, Cooking with Koohkoom, started as a local grassroots project but quickly gained momentum reaching 212 people in 6 provinces, and 1 Territory across Canada.

Quotes from participants
“I loved EVERYTHING! It was a wonderfully life-giving course. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to cook with Koohkoom Marie. She is amazing. It was also heartwarming to share with others in the chat. Previously my fried bannock was good, but I didn't make it very often. My baked bannock, however, was a massive failure. Now, I am delighted to say that I have learned how to rock baked bannock. I make it often for family and friends and they LOVE it! I have gained so much confidence! Thanks so much for this amazing course! Thank you Koohkoom Marie, Amy and all!”
“The food! I also loved the teachings and fiddling. Loved dancing in my kitchen!”
“I loved hearing Koohkoom Marie recall memories and take us on her journey, it was an Honor to listen to her personally and able to envision her stories. It reminded me of my childhood and how food and gathering brought families together, I love her graceful demeanor and I learned how hard her family worked to provide for her as, many of our ancestors did the best they could, I loved her little mannerism and loving willingness to share, Maarsii”
“It is such a pleasure to have a connection with an Elder, she is so brave for sharing her story too.”
“I enjoyed this time of learning so much. Being Metis I had no idea of the early times for our people. The only cooking I knew was La gaalet and my mom's La soup vyaand. I wish to learn so many more things as I will pass this to my children and my grand children. Now that I feel I am connected, I am excited I am going to learn so much more. I have even learned a small part of the language maarsii.”
“It gives us an insight into how Metis were treated and helped me understand why in my family our cultural heritage was not celebrated or even talked about. This has helped on my journey to discover my true ancestry and is very fulfilling.”

Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund