The first intake in a how-to course on food preservation wrapped up with positive results in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.

The course is funded by the Food Security Coalition through the Department of Family Services.

Selma Eccles, left, and Veronica Connelly display learning books given to participants in a how-to course on food preparation delivered by the Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.
Photo courtesy Nunavut Literacy Council

Course instructor Kelly Lindell of the Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council said the coalition put a call out for course proposals on different ways to help food security and, at the same time, help people foster skills that they may not currently possess.

She said she submitted the course proposal based on the skills she developed while attending the Atlantic Culinary Institute at Prince Edward Island’s Holland College.

Because I went to school and learned about that skill, I thought it would be such a good idea to teach the preserving skill to other people because we have such an abundance during certain times of the year here, and then we go for such a long period of time without during the winter months,” said Lindell.

It goes in step with how people make mikku, and preserve food that way, or how they make pipsi — this course is just kind of a more-modern method that I thought people might enjoy learning.

So, we set up our first two intakes to be a four-day workshop on soups and vegetables, with both a morning class and an evening class, and then towards the last week of October, we’ll be doing a morning intake and an evening intake focused on preserving methods for tuktu and char.”

Morning intake participants in a course on food preparation delivered by the Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council are, from left, Jovette Kurok-Clarke, Margaret Kusugak, Kandace Graham, (in back), Catherine Pilakapsi, Sally Kusugak, Selma Eccles, Nellie Kusugak and Veronica Connelly in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.
Photo courtesy Nunavut Literacy Council

Clark said the program attracted many, many applicants, making it impossible for them to take everyone in the first two intakes.

She said that tells her right away that food preserving is a program that should be offered in Rankin Inlet again because the interest is there.

The first two groups were comprised of all ladies who had applied and everybody seemed to really enjoy the program and learn a lot of new skills that, maybe, they hadn’t had before

Maybe they were just a little bit intimidated by the thought of preserving but now I think, after the four-day workshop, they feel a lot more comfortable and have gained the confidence to go home and try it on their own.

Some of the participants may see it as another way they can preserve maktaaq without loading up their freezer, or maybe they’ll see it as a way to go out this year and pick a lot more cranberries because now they know how to make their own cranberry sauce or jam with it.

It just gives them another outlet in terms of how to preserve what we are able to harvest locally, but in a different way. So, I believe the program was very much enjoyed by everyone who took it.”

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