Métis Crossing has grown to share the Métis story. Our stories come from our families and in many ways these are best shared around the table. The stories of our food harvesting and preparation tell a lot about who we are as a people. Métis people are resilient and we are entrepreneurial.
We plan to grow and harvest many ingredients from our own land. Knowing that we will operate very much at a commercial scale welcoming visitors from near and far, and building on our commitment to sustainability has led us to grow our own food forest and build local procurement agreements.
Like the Métis people, our favourite dishes come from a fusion – of past and present, of European and First Nations, of local and international. We pick the best from all worlds to create dishes that are distinctly Métis. Our philosophy has been to bring in Indigenous chefs to create amazing dishes guests will travel miles to enjoy. Bison, saskatoons, trout, raspberries. Like our experiential programs, our meals change with the seasons and what nature has to share with us.
The lifestyle of the Métis revolved around the Plains buffalo. Traditionally, the Métis were hunters. Every aspect of their lifestyle was dependent on the buffalo hunt. They needed buffalo to survive. However when the skilled Métis hunters were not on a buffalo hunt, they spent time hunting other animals for food such as pronghorn antelope, moose, elk, mule deer, prairie bush rabbit & wild birds such as prairie chicken, sage grouse, duck and geese. If fishing was available in the area it was also a major source of food for the Métis people. The Métis also gathered wild berries and edible wild plants. Berries were important food for the Métis. They were eaten alone or added to a dried preserved meat called ‘Pemmican’. Dried berries and pemmican were stored in animal skins to prevent them from going bad.
Bannock – The Métis ate a lot of ‘bannock’. Bannock was a combination of Scottish bread and Indian fry bread that could be baked in an oven, cooked in a skillet over a fire or fried. The benefit of bannock was that it was easy to make, transport, lasted a long time without spoiling and was quite filling. The Métis harvested wild turnips, peeled and dried them, and then pounded them into flour for use in the bannock.