Learning to Prepare a Traditional Nuu-chah-nulth Feast

Ucluelet Secondary School Indigenous Ways of Wellness SD070 School Level Secondary Island Health Authority Public

Students from Ucluelet Secondary School used a Healthy Schools BC Grant to prepare a traditional feast during their Nuu-chah-nulth studies class. Students researched foods that local First Nations would have eaten and the different roles that members of the community would take on during a traditional feast. Students were responsible for procuring food for the feast, which included sockeye salmon, clams, mussels, oysters, prawns and bannock, and they spent time learning the Nuu-chah-nulth word for each food. On the day of the feast, an elder was invited to demonstrate the traditional techniques of cooking the foods over a fire. The elder also taught students about cedar and why it was so important to the Nuu-chah-nulth culture.

What was the impact of the project? Students were engaged in learning about Nuu-chah-nulth traditions while simultaneously learning about healthy eating. Furthermore, the project provided an opportunity for students to make connections within the community –as students had to approach local First Nations, family and friends to procure the food for the feast, and all of the students had the opportunity to connect with the elder on the day of the feast. Lastly, many students were exposed to new foods, such as oysters which aren’t as common to eat anymore.