Archive | First Nations

Okanagan Bitterroot

This week as part of RespectFEST[i] in Vernon BC, I listened to Mollie Bono, an Okanagan elder, speak on the History of the First People: Pre-Contact. She spoke about the traditions of everyday life among the Okanagans, especially from a woman’s perspective and their relation to the land and their food sources. She mentioned the […]

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Cariboo Sunflowers

Cariboo sunflowers are a beautiful marker of spring and in the not-too-distant past they were also an important food crop for the First Nations peoples of the BC interior. This plant, also known as arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), is a member of the aster family. Nowadays it grows plentifully on hillsides and grasslands.        […]

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Salmon Canneries in BC – the Smith Butcher Machine

If you follow the BC Food History Facebook page, you’ll see a recent post about Joe Coyle, the BC man who invented the egg carton. There’s another invention that deserves recognition for even more long-reaching effects on the BC food industry. The Smith Butcher Machine (also known as the “Iron Chink”) was both a technological […]

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Virus-Free Pemberton Potatoes

Pemberton potatoes are virus-free. The geographic isolation of the Pemberton Valley, one hour north of Whistler, has made it a world-wide source of virus-free seed potatoes.  Thanks to this agricultural innovation, potato famines may never happen again to the extent that they did in the past. Potatoes first came to Fort Langley, BC in 1827 […]

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Buffaloberry – A Super Fruit

The buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensi), also known as bulberry, soopolallie, soapberry or foamberry, is a old/new super fruit that grows in every province across Canada (except PEI) and also the western and northern United States. The buffaloberry bush grows one to four metres high in open forests and thickets and has slim grey-green leaves.  It can […]

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Blackberries – delicious or dastardly? Many people love to pick this free fruit that grows in abundance from Vancouver Island to the Okanagan to Haida Gwaii. Blackberries are also considered to be a scourge; they’re prickly and invasive, creating impenetrable brambles and impossible to harvest without injuring oneself. It’s interesting to note that there are […]

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