Plan #2 - Wakapanpi (Pemmican)
Links: Life Sciences, Native Culture Class
The students will make pemmican.
One to two class periods
Materials for the classroom:
dried meat, tallow, sugar, raisins or June berries
National Science Standards: Content Standards A, B, C, E, F
to learn Dakota words.
Our people have survived on the prairie for many centuries living off of the bounty of the land. To survive this area's harsh winters the people made foodstuffs like pemmican that could be stored indefinitely and consumed when fresh game wasn't available. Today, many people still enjoy pemmican.
Slice a deer roast or beef roast into thin strips. Hang it out to dry (or hang it on a rope across a warm room such as a kitchen and turn on a fan. If you're not in hurry let it dry at room temperature (this method will take a lot longer). It should dry over night. Put the dried meat into a pan and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes. After removing it from the oven, sprinkle it with water. Return it to the oven for 5 minutes. Now place the meat in a cotton kitchen towel and pound the meat until it is grounded. At this point add the tallow, sugar, raisins or June berries to taste and mix. (I omit the sugar and berries). Distribute the pemmican into small containers or small bags. Be sure to share your pemmican with the elders.
Grade the groups of students on participation.
Additional Activities -
Learn the Dakota words:
dried meat is papa, tahca tado is deer meat, tallow is wiadi, sugar is can hanpi, raisins is hastana, and juneberries is wipazuca.