Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad

Now you're cooking

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Broughton Island (Feb 07/05) - Jacopie Qaqqaq looks forward to Tuesdays.

Qaqqaq, a Grade 11 student at Inuksuit school in Qikiqtarjuaq, cooks "a little bit" at home, but he rarely gets to make, then feast, on boiled fish heads or onion-filled baked char like he does at school on those days.

That's when, from 9:30 a.m. to lunch time, he takes part in a new life-skills cooking class.

"It's good for the kids," said teacher Dionne Reid, who came up with the idea. Since September, the students have learned how to make bannock and cook country foods like char, caribou and seal.

"They really take pride in it," said Reid.

Many of the students who take the cooking course were identified early on by their teachers as students who would benefit from alternative ways of learning.

"In this course I find they are all extremely attentive, polite, courteous. It's so nice for them. They share, they help each other," said Reid.

Reid started by recruiting an elder from the community to lead the cooking courses.

"We started off by making bannock and progressed from there," said Reid.

Last Tuesday, the elder and her husband were still out on the land hunting caribou and couldn't make it in to lead the course. That happens once in a while. On those days, more "southern" dishes like pizza and hot dogs are on the menu.

Reid admits that before the course began, she wasn't the world's greatest chef.

"This is a learning experience for me," said Reid laughing.

But Reid is getting in touch with her east coast roots through the course. She's been inspired to bring in bottled seal and moose she brought back with her from a recent trip to Newfoundland.

"We're going to get the kids to try the seal from Newfoundland and see if they know the difference," said Reid, who explained that seal meat from Newfoundland can have such a "strong taste" to it, before it's bottled, Newfoundlanders will boil it with baking soda.

She is hoping the kids will also like the moose meat.

"It would be interesting to see what they think, if it's like caribou," she said.

"We can do a cross-cultural comparison," she said.