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Cattails: Metis Cuisine

Cattail (Typha latifolia): The Metis used every part of the cattail. The young rhizomes and shoots can be eaten fresh in the spring. The parts of the stalks that are buoyant were used for various kinds of floats. The mature roots can be peeled and roasted or fried for eating. Metis Elder, Senator Edward Head informs that the lower six inches of the root was dried, after which it became a powder. This flour-like powder was used by the Metis to make bannock. The heads of the cattail were soaked in kerosene and lighted as torches. Ed Head remembers many skating parties lighting their way with these torches, which would burn for a long time because they were so dense. The fluffy seeds of the cattail can be used for insulation in clothing or blankets.

Cattails: Metis Cuisine Cattail (Typha latifolia) : The Metis used every part of the cattail. The

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute