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.