Pemmican [Cree pimikan
, meaning "manufactured grease"] is dried meat, usually BISON
, pounded into coarse powder and mixed with an equal amount of melted fat, and occasionally saskatoon berries or other edibles. Cooled and sewn into bison-hide bags in 41 kg lots, pemmican could be stored and shipped with ease to provision FUR-TRADE
personnel. Peter POND
is credited with introducing this vital food to the trade in 1779, having obtained it from the CHIPEWYANS
in the Athabasca region. Later, posts along the Red, Assiniboine and north Saskatchewan rivers were devoted to acquiring pemmican from the Plains Indians and MÉTIS
. Pemmican was also made and used outside the region, eg, by the Royal Navy, which provisioned several arctic expeditions with beef pemmican made in England.
JOHN E. FOSTER
Links to Other Sites
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.
A Story of Beat Meat (Pemmican)
Peruse this article about pemmican, the dried and powdered meat of the buffalo, which became the staple food of the fur trade from Rainy Lake to the Rockies. From the website for the Manitoba Historical Society.