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  Aboriginal Culture

For thousands of years before Europeans set foot in what is now Saskatchewan, aboriginal people made this land their home.

Many of the unusual place-names in Saskatchewan are derived from First Nation languages. "Saskatchewan", for example, is taken from the Cree for "swift-flowing river."

Today, our province is home to five First Nations peoples: Cree; Saulteaux; Dakota-Sioux; Assiniboine; and Dene. A sixth aboriginal group is the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, people of North American Indian-European descent.

Aboriginal culture is fascinating and rich. And it's a subject of growing interest, in no small part because people in developed nations are recognizing the need to respect and preserve their natural inheritance, a hallmark of traditional aboriginal belief.

Virtual Saskatchewan will introduce you to engaging aboriginal figures from the past and present, delve into the tradition of story-telling, pass along some enchanting myths, and take you back a few thousand years to show you how the Northern Plains Indians lived in an area that's now Saskatchewan's biggest city. Check out the stories below and follow the link for more.

In the meantime, here's a recipe for "bannock", the traditional, simple, and very popular Cree bread.

In a large bowl combine:
1.5 L (6 cups) flour
30 ml (2 tbsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) sugar

Make a hollow in the middle of the dry ingredients, and then add:
500 ml (2 cups) water
90 ml (6 tbsp) canola oil (another vegetable oil will do)

Mix well until dough is formed. Knead until soft and only slightly sticky. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then roll dough onto a lightly-floured cookie sheet. Pierce surface of dough with a fork in several places. Bake at 110 C (350 F) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

-- Recipe courtesy Wanuskewin Heritage Park.

Circular boulder alignments called medicine wheels have been part of the Northern Plains since the time of the pyramids. First Nations peoples revere them, archaeologist debate them, others desecrate them.

Thanksgiving is a year-'round observance for traditional First Nations people.

Celebrating 6,000 years of Northern Plains Indian culture.

more aboriginal stories. . .

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