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Lesson Plan #2 - Wakapanpi (Pemmican)
By Aurelia Bets His Medicine, Brockton School
Grade Level: Junior High and High School

Links: Life Sciences, Native Culture Class


The students will make pemmican.

Time Required:

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


1. Students to learn Dakota words.
2. Students will learn about their heritage.
3. Students will learn how to use local plants and animals to make traditional


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.


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