Bannock to bring people together in Ottawa

Public event to feature the traditional food at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

A free event celebrating bannock and the bonds it creates in Indigenous communities is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre in Ottawa. Co-organizer Augatnaaq Eccles curated an accompanying art exhibition showcasing Inuit artworks like Annie Pootoogook’s “Mother and Child Cooking in the Tent” (2006, right). (Photo courtesy of Augatnaaq Eccles/Image copyright Dorset Fine Arts)

By Madalyn Howitt

People in Ottawa will get the chance to bust out the picnic blankets Thursday to celebrate all things bannock.

The lunchtime event, titled Bannock and Belonging, will take place at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre on Cooper Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free to attend and open to the public.

Organizers say it’s an opportunity to spend an afternoon making bannock, sharing recipes and celebrating community bonds through food.

“[Bannock] just reminds me of home,” said Augatnaaq Eccles, a curator, historian and artist who helped co-organize the event.

“It’s something that my mom would make almost every day with lunch when we’d be having traditional food. It was always a staple.”

When she moved from her home of Rankin Inlet to Ottawa for school, she found herself missing her mom’s homemade bannock, so she started cooking it for her roommates and friends.

Bannock is a dish shared by many Indigenous communities, said Danielle Printup, the Indigenous cultural engagement co-ordinator at Carleton University and an organizer of the event.

“Even though we’re distinctly different in our communities and we’re from different territories within it, still there [are] similarities across. I think sharing food is definitely one of them,” said Printup, who hails from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation.

There are many different ways to prepare and enjoy bannock, and attendees  will get a chance to try it in some sweet and savoury versions.

“[People] can try it with berry sauce on it and whipped cream and we’ll also have chili,” she said.

“[There’s] gonna be a couple ways of enjoying this phenomenal dish that is just so special for many reasons, right? It gets you closer to your family.”

Eccles herself likes her bannock deep fried in lard and dipped in the broth from cooking caribou meat or simply fried on the stovetop.

The event also accompanies a Carleton University Art Gallery exhibition curated by Eccles, titled Seasons of the Sun, spotlighting the work of Inuit artists and taking visitors through the seasons in Nunavut.

“It came from the idea of sort of wanting to create this space of home in Ottawa that I really longed for and missed when I was going to school here,” Eccles said.

One of the best-known artworks in the exhibition is Annie Pootoogook’s Mother and Child Cooking in the Tent (2006), which shows a mother cooking bannock over a Coleman stove in a canvas tent.

“I chose that piece because it reminded me of my own mom and how she’s made bannock for us. She really loved setting up her canvas tent in the summer seasons,” Eccles said.

Share This Story

(17) Comments:

  1. Posted by Kling-0n on

    Interesting to see this discussion about the commonality of bannock across indigenous groups, but no mention of it’s root, being Scottish.

    • Posted by Forever Amazed on

      Was thinking the same thing. Cultural appropriation works both ways.

      • Posted by Kling-0n on

        I’m not arguing that this is “appropriation” i’m just pointing out a history of bannock is incomplete without reference to its origins in Scottish culture. That is all.

        • Posted by Johnny Oh Ima on

          when it comes to so called history, a lot of indigenous perspective are not mentioned most of the time! so leaving out Scottish portion is no big deal. Really is that what bother you the most, must really have an easy life!

          • Posted by Par for the course on

            Low information bar by low information commentator. Do I act surprised?

    • Posted by Bagpipes on

      When you see Scottish people or decedents of Scottish people playing bagpipes do you question Scottish people and say “Interesting to see this discussion about bagpipes, but no mention of it’s roots being Roman or Middle-Eastern”. How about tea with the English for that matter should they attribute it to the Chinese every time they have a cuppa? SMH.

      • Posted by The World that We Live In on

        Yes, those cultural appropriators, whether they be Inuit swiping bannock and square dancing, those Europeans stealing potatoes or ketchup, of those Arabs stealing a numbering system from the Indians – cultural appropriators all! Call them all out. For shame, for shame!
        That is the world that we live in now – isn’t it?

      • Posted by John K on

        Do you know where I can get a cheap stone inukshuk for my garden? Home Depot doesn’t seem to have any.

        • Posted by Bagpipes on

          Think you did something smart there eh? It wasn’t I that asked to have them removed. I for one liked the idea of having that at Home Depot. Your failed attempt at a ‘gotcha’ moment is admirable, but lacking.

        • Posted by Nelson Muntz on

          Walmart (?)

      • Posted by How it looks from here on

        When we hear Scottish people playing the bagpipes we are not partaking in a discussion, we are listening to the bagpipes.

        If someone is speaking about the history of the bagpipes and does not mention those roots, then I would say that was an incomplete history.

  2. Posted by Cultural Melting Pot on

    Remember when our teachers raised us on Canada being wonderful because we had so many different nationalities here that you could SHARE culture with? Remember when cuisines from 2 different cultures was called a fusion and not appropriation? Remember when we used to not bicker over insignificant things all the time? The government remembers and they are GLAD that we are bogged down with these tiny little personal slights instead of tackling the larger issues.

    • Posted by Amen lol on

      Can you imagine instead of praising a wonderful inuk young lady who has done amazing work….. talking about bannock of all things?

      • Posted by Kinda Boring honestly on

        Its not really about bannock its about the things people associate with their identity, no matter how uninteresting or average they are.

        • Posted by Cultural Melting Pot on

          Let’s make it about bannock then! I like the style of Nunavut bannock, but it’s nothing like what I remember having as bannock made by Native Americans down south. The Nunavut loaf style is much better with jam and sweet toppings, while the southern style which is a much thinner and more fried-bread style, is better with savory toppings. But that’s just my personal opinion.

          I’ll see if I can find our recipe for Pizza Pop Bannock, it’s an amazing treat to make out in the bush, or as is said up here, on the land.

  3. Posted by S on

    No one that I know (and I know many) has any quibble with passing along their grandma’s sectet recipe for rhubsrb and bakeapple pie.

    Many, including me, are in FULL quibble with the identity policies that are being forced on our children by the overbearing cadre of antisocial socialists embedded in Canadian society – especially in our elementary and secondary schools.

    • Posted by Johnny Oh Ima on

      socialist, we accept more people than conservatives, conservatives are the triggered by everything and are the most fragile group in this country and around the world.


Comments are closed.