The Saskatoon Berry: A Fruit of the Present and Past
While hunting has traditionally provided the majority of our food, our traditional diet was often supplemented with the wild berries and herbs that we would find as we travelled across the land, following the animals. Similar to the meat, of which we would dry to eat during the winter months, we would also dry the berries to keep longer, and sometimes use it to make pemmican.
We ate a variety of berries – the choke cherry, the buffalo berry, and most commonly, the Saskatoon Berry. In our Stoney language, we call the Saskatoon Berry wobathokâ. It is small in size and looks like a blueberry, but has a unique sweet and nutty flavour. An abundance of Saskatoon bushes continue to grow in the region to this day, and are noticeable especially during the summer months when the berries are ripening.
Our ancestors would use the fruit and bushes in multiple ways. After the fruit was picked, the branches would be used to make bows and arrows. The berries, in addition to being dried, would also be stewed, steamed or mashed prior to eating.
At Stones Restaurant, we honour our long history with this berry by incorporating it in several of our dishes. We invite our visitors to start off their meal with a refreshing glass of Saskatoon Berry Lemonade, or ending a meal with a delicious bowl of Saskatoon Berry Soup served with Fry Bread. On the brunch menu, we also feature Saskatoon Berry French Toast, using house-made bannock.
Come, enjoy, be inspired by our food and our culture.
Stones Restaurant is located inside the Chiniki Cultural Centre, and easily accessible from the Trans-Canada Highway (Exit 131, Morley Road). The Chiniki Cultural Centre also contains a gallery shop, cultural exhibition, and outdoor Tipi Encampment. We encourage visitors to share photos of their #ChinikiCulture and #StonesRestaurant experiences with us online via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.