Indigenous cuisine reconnected a Sixties Scoop survivor with family, community and culture
From bannock burgers, to gourmet salmon dishes, Salmon n' Bannock Bistro speaks volumes about co-owner Inez Cook's Indigenous heritage. The Vancouver restaurant is decorated with West Coast artwork, and a large painted canoe hangs from the ceiling.
As a survivor of the Sixties Scoop, Cook didn't have the opportunity to grow up in her own community of Bella Coola, B.C. But after Salmon n' Bannock opened its doors, it didn't take long for word to get out about a Nuxalk-owned restaurant.
"It was written everywhere that a Nuxalk person had opened this restaurant, but the Nuxalk community didn't know me because I was adopted out. So, they thought that it maybe wasn't necessarily true," she said. "They started to send Nuxalk people in just to check it out."
When she was just one-year-old, Cook was taken from her community and adopted. During the Sixties Scoop, many Indigenous children and babies were taken from their families.
While Cook acknowledged she was lucky to be placed in a loving home, she is thankful that her restaurant helped her reconnect with the family, community and culture that was missing for so much of her life.