What is Canadian cuisine and how does it differ from Indigenous fare? Early settlers in the lands now known as Canada were initially dependent on Indigenous foodways, only then to replace them with European flora and fauna, the likes of wheat, cows, and pigs. But later, when the country chiselled out an identity of its own—one distinct from Britain—, Canadian visual imagery drew from and reimagined Indigenous motifs. Then, on the occasion of Canada’s centennial, as celebrated by Montreal’s Expo 67, La Toundra—the host country’s official restaurant—claimed Indigenous ingredients as Canadian. Following the emergence of Canadian cuisine in restaurants, Indigenous-themed eateries, and, more recently, the contemporary relocalization of foodways, more and more Indigenous chefs are “cooking back.” They are reclaiming local ingredients and serving their own stories. In Canada, to talk about local and heritage foods is, thus, to talk about land, power, Indigenous erasure, and, now, resurgence. This talk will draw from my book project 'Culinary Claims: Restaurant Politics in Canada' and zoom in on two specific moments. I will discuss the feast Canada threw for its centennial at Expo 67 in tandem with Canada 150 in 2017—two years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—and the latter’s overlap with the emergence of Turtle Island's Indigenous Food Movement.
All welcome - This event is free, but booking is required.