Pemmican Trade. This trade was a major factor in the emergence of a distinct Métis society. Pemmican was made of dried buffalo meat pounded into a powder and mixed with melted buffalo fat in leather bags. Packs of pemmican would be shipped north and stored at the major fur posts.
What is the cultural significance of pemmican?
Pemmican is a food made of protein, fat, and berries that originated with Indigenous tribes in North America. The nutritional density and long shelf life of this food made it ideal for hunters that wanted to travel light. The name of the food comes from the Cree, Pimikan, which means fat/grease.
How was pemmican traditionally made?
Traditionally, pemmican was prepared from the lean meat of large game such as bison, elk, deer, or moose. The meat was cut in thin slices and dried, either over a slow fire or in the hot sun until it was hard and brittle. The pounded meat was mixed with melted fat in an approximate 1:1 ratio by weight.
What is pemmican and why was it important to the fur trade?
Pemmican became the main source of food throughout the Bison trade nearing the end of the eighteenth century. The Hudsons Bay Company relied on the food to provide a source of energy for their fur-traders who had relocated to areas that had a scarce food supply but plenty of fur.
Why was pemmican banned from Selkirk?
The Red River Colony imposed on that economic order and, when famine threatened the settlement in mid-winter 1814, Governor Miles Macdonnell (1767-1828) issued what became known as the Pemmican Proclamation. This law was meant to stop the export of pemmican to NWC forts in the West and retain it for the HBC settlers.
What fat does pemmican have?
In general, pemmican calls for a ratio of roughly 1:1 tallow to dry ingredients. However, thats by weight. Your sawdust-like mixture of meat and berries may seem like a lot (see below), but it weighs relatively little.