LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: THE FOOD ISSUE
Welcome to the second issue of MUSKRAT Magazine! Inspired by life, sustenance and land, this issue is all about FOOD- the ultimate ruler of life for every human and animal on the planet since the beginning of time.
Reflecting on this issue I’ve discovered how food can both imprison and free us and, too often in our communities, how it is killing us. I’ve seen how simple seeds can bring healing and how conscious food choices can bring health to our people with little impact to the land. I’ve experienced first-hand the excitement, sacredness, and teachings involved in hunting and that living in harmony with nature can be unpredictable and rewarding. I’ve learned that ‘traditional’ is actually continuously evolving, food IS art, and that which sustains us brings us closer together.
Join urban Indigenous foodie, John Croutch as he deconstructs the Indian Taco, connecting its evolution to the forced containment of Aboriginal communities onto reserves. John investigates our perceptions of “traditional” foods and challenges us to redefine our relationship to some of our most beloved post-contact foods and to revitalize Indigenous approaches to eating in the ways of our ancestors.
In this issue, our MUSKRAT team unearths the ‘original’ 100-mile diet and talks slow food practices with visiting food warriors such as Mohawk Dotah (Elder), Jan Longboat at her Earth Healing Herb Garden where she cultivates and safeguards Indigenous seeds to feed and heal our communities.
We follow Kory Snache as he upholds familial hunting traditions within one of the most populated regions of Canada, securing hunting as an Indigenous birthright for generations to come.
Curator William Kingfisher (re) defines food as bimaadiziwin (the art of living in a proper way) by planting a gitigaan (garden) that includes strawberry, pennyroyal, tobacco, and wild rice amongst the installation works of Michael Belmore, Jude Norris, and Jimson Bowler. MUSKRAT profiles the works of Lisa Myers and Maria Hupfield as they celebrate stories and confirm that food connects people with places, history, and a sense of identity.
In this issue MUSKRAT digs up memories unearthing stories that impart teachings about respecting food and life and honouring our relationship to land and the sustenance she provides. To celebrate our rich Indigenous food tradition we invite you to feast with us! Wiisnin daa! Let’s eat!
What We Do:
MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture and living magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary.
MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation on an accessible, day-to-day basis.
Traditional ecological knowledge has been, and continues to be, accumulated through time spent living on the land. This includes Aboriginal oral traditions and Indigenous knowledges expressed in a multiplicity of ways. It encompasses all aspects of the environment and sees humans as an intimate part of it, rather than as external observers or as the controlling entity.
Publisher: Rebeka Tabobondung
Art Director & Webmaster: David Shilling
Managing Editor: Cherie Dimaline
Photography and Video Manager : Keesic Douglas
Launch Press Manager: Audrey Huntley
Editor: Jessica Kraitberg
Jan Kahehti:io Longboat
MUSKRAT magazine is published biannually by MAAIINGAN Productions, a collective of Aboriginal artists, designers and researchers working collaboratively to promote and support each other’s work in community and media arts. MAAIINGAN Productions