School Brings Families Together with Food Preserves and a Virtual Ceremony

In the early months of 2020, the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) Cultural Immersion School piloted their Traditional Food Preservation program. The school hosted two separate hands-on sessions where students and parents learned the traditional techniques of making deer meat jerky. They hoped to have additional sessions in the spring to teach canning techniques, but gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 derailed these plans. Undiscouraged, the Language Instructor at the school worked with her daughter and grandchildren to can 8 dozen jars of salmon, huckleberries and saskatoon berries. These jars were distributed to families from the school and, using the online video conferencing platform Zoom, students and families participated in a virtual “Change of Season Ceremony” while enjoying the delivered goods.

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