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four food chiefs

In Osoyoos, Indigenous Food and Wine Reflects the Legacy of the Land

Dyawen Louis is singing a traditional welcome. He holds his drum with reverence, placing it down carefully when he is done, then graces us with the story of how this land came to be. It’s an origin story that he has authority to share, but is not ours to record or set down. As we stand in a circle in the grounds of the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre watching the mist rise off Osoyoos Lake, this tale of the Four Food Chiefs—the bear, the salmon, the bitterroot, and the Saskatoon berry—resonates. It may be centuries old, but it couldn’t be a more timely lesson in conservation, respect, and understanding of the biosphere.

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