Authentic Indigenousrecognizes Salmon ‘n’ Bannock for its commitment to sustainable Indigenous employment in Vancouver, Indigenous cultural sharing through the use of traditional ingredients, and presentation of Indigenous issues to school-aged children and community.
Salmon ‘n’ Bannock is a highly successful Indigenous bistro located on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh, and Squamish Nations in the heart of present-day downtown Vancouver. The restaurant makes every effort to hire Indigenous employees and procure local and traditional ingredients. At Salmon ‘n’ Bannock, food is culture. The warm venue hosts honest and positive conversations that support reconciliation and Indigenous cultural sustainability.
When sharing knowledge of the food’s origin and preparation, the staff naturally imparts lndigenous knowledge of plants, places, and values. Saskatoon berries and stinging nettle; cedar jelly and sea asparagus are all linked to the land they come from, as are the people. By focusing on traditional Indigenous ingredients, Salmon ‘n’ Bannock supports the transfer of cultural knowledge and sustains the livelihood of those who harvest traditional foods from the land.
Culture at this award-winning bistro consists of more than the inclusion of Indigenous design, ambiance, and offerings. Host and owner, Snitsmana (Inez Cook), belongs to the Nuxalk Nation of Bella Coola, and the all-Indigenous staff hail from communities throughout British Columbia. They proudly share their connections to diverse living Indigenous cultures through unique sets of knowledge.
The restaurant hosts local school groups and provides young students with immersive Indigenous cultural experiences with food, and open dialogue on the impact of residential school and the Sixties Scoop on Indigenous communities and culture.
This knowledge comes from a personal place: Inez Cook’s experience of being ‘scooped’ from her own family and adopted by a non-Indigenous family at the age of one. This journey and her subsequent return to the Nuxalk community and culture is the subject of her children’s book, Sixties Scoop.
Local and sustainable, Indigenous food selection at Salmon ‘n’ Bannock introduces ingredients from territories throughout BC. The procurement of traditional Indigenous culinary components supports the livelihood of traditional harvesters and connection to traditional lands through food.
Hiring Indigenous staff means ongoing opportunities for Indigenous people living in Vancouver to use Indigenous skills while growing experience in the high-profile Vancouver restaurant industry. Indigenous values and ownership in the workplace aid in Indigenous capacity building and support the transfer of modern Indigenous business knowledge.
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