N.W.T. Métis Nation producing Cree-language cooking show

The Northwest Territories Métis Nation is shooting a six-episode series in which residents of Fort Smith and Hay River, who want to learn the Cree language, can do so while learning how to cook Cree recipes.

Episodes to be made available online, on DVD

Kyle Napier, left, who manages the N.W.T. Cree Language Program for the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, attends filming of an episode of "Good Eating" in Hay River. (CBC/Jacob Barker)

The next edition of a cookbook produced by the Northwest Territories Métis Nation will feature a DVD of a cooking show filmed in Hay River and Fort Smith. The hook? Participants prepare recipes while learning the Cree language.

"We want to present a learning resource in a format that would be relatively accessible for those using those digital technologies," said Kyle Napier, who manages the N.W.T. Cree Language Program.  

Approximately 100 people in Hay River and 200 people in Fort Smith speak Cree, according to Napier. 

Sharon Pekok wants to be one of them. Pekok said her parents spoke three aboriginal languages, including Cree, but never taught her any of them.

"We could have had three or four different languages in our family but because of the influence, I take it, of the residential school, we were taught just English," said Pekok.

Pekok says she wanted to learn Cree for herself and pass the language on to her children, so she took part in the filming of a recent episode in Hay River, cooking fried fish. 

"With our young people, we have to try to entice them somehow and a good way is cooking because they like to eat!" said Pekok.

The DVD will include six episodes of the show, called Miyo Micisowin ('Good Eating'). Between now and the cookbook's release in 2017, episodes will be uploaded to the language program's website.  

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