Food processing course aims to make traditional food market-ready
Inuvik classes teach sausage making, canning, vacuum-sealing techniques
A new traditional foods processing course in Inuvik, N.W.T., is aimed at helping extend the shelf-life of country food and make it more readily available in northern supermarkets.
Frank Elanik cooks country food, but he said he's never thought of making reindeer breakfast patties, like he was doing on Monday.
"It's quite an experience," he said.
The pilot program is teaching participants skills such as making sausage, how to vacuum seal fish and even how to can muktuk.
"[We're] trying to find ways to use bits and pieces of meat that are generally discarded and make them shelf stable, make them market ready," said Jirri Raska, the project's director.
"There's a growing demand from the tourism sector to try to access these foods. There's a growing demand in terms of food security to try and access these foods."
Most of the course takes place in trailers retrofitted with equipment such as sinks, canners and meat grinders.
The territorial government is supporting the program and it's being run in conjunction with Aurora College and the economic development arm of the Inuvialuit group. They hope to bring the course to communities around the Beaufort-Delta region.