These native foods had been staples for Ojibwe people for centuries, as had maple syrup, squash, dandelion greens and other foods foraged from nature, such as bitter root, wild rhubarb, mushrooms and huckleberries.
To help keep these food traditions alive, a committee of elders, including Savage, has gathered recipes from other tribal elders to create their first cookbook. The result, “Favorite Fond du Lac Reservation Recipes,” contains nearly 200 recipes. While many are not particularly American Indian, the cookbook includes old family recipes for cooking rabbit, moose, wild rice and dishes that call for fruits and vegetables indigenous to northern Minnesota. Recipes include Bannock (Indian biscuits), Indian pudding, Indian Succotash and Chippewa Sweet Meat.
The cookbooks sell for $10, and the money raised will help send Fond du Lac elders to the National Indian Conference on Aging, to be held Sept. 5-9 in Nokomis, Wash., according to Sharon Shuck, who was part of the cookbook committee.