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5 Urban Indigenous Chefs & The Dishes They Can’t Live Without

Introducing Every Day Indigenous, our series centering and celebrating Indigenous people. Through strength and resistance, comes joy. It’s time to share that.
A few summers ago, I was walking in the tall grass on Peepeekisis Cree Nation in Southern Saskatchewan with my Kokum. She bent down to pick up a dandelion, and fondly recalled how her mother would fry up a dandelion in some butter, a rare delicacy for a Cree family in the '40s. At that time, government-appointed Indian Agents governed almost everything Indigenous people did on the rez, including how much and what they ate. Butter was hard to come by. 
It’s interesting to hear what my Kokum thought of as a treat in her childhood, because if I were to close my eyes and think back to my favourite snacks, I’d hear the buzz of a Slurpee machine or the sound of my aunties laughing in the kitchen as one of them baked fry bread.
Indigenous people’s relationship with food has changed a lot over the last few centuries. Most changes have come through the brute force of colonization. Others are the result of a natural evolution bringing  traditional foods into modern day cuisine. Despite these changes, one thing seems to hold true for Indigenous families, and that’s food’s ability to transport us back home.
We caught up with five Indigenous chefs to hear about the foods that bring them home.
The Refinery29 Canada team acknowledges that we are settlers on the land now known as Canada. We stand in solidarity and support of Indigenous people and we recognize that all of us have an ongoing part to play in reconciliation. We thank the Indigenous community for allowing us to live and work on their land.

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