Blueberry and Native Indians
Blueberry and Native Indians

All about blueberry > Blueberry and Native Indians

In 1615 Samuel de Champlain saw the North American aboriginal people gathering wild blueberries along Lake Huron. They would dry them and pulverize them and make a paste which they would combine with corn, honey and water to make a pudding called "sautauthig." Lewis and Clark, during the course of an expedition, were surprised to see Native Indians crushing blueberries and mixing them with meat before smoking it or curing it for their winter provisions.

The Native Indians particularly prized the blueberry, since they believed the Great Spirit had sent this fruit with the star-shaped flower to ease the hunger of their children in times of famine. They also used the blueberry roots to make a highly aromatic tea to be used as a relaxant during pregnancy.

The early colonists quickly incorporated blueberries into their own diet, adding them to soups and stews to enhance the flavour, or serving them as is with grated maple sugar.


Illustration: Native Artist Robert Tanenbaum

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