Canning helps us save homegrown, healthy foods left over after harvest to enjoy throughout the year. It’s likely that many elders used to preserve foods this way, but the process diminished during the last few decades with the popularity of pre-packed, easy-to-prepare convenience foods. However, canning is gaining in popularity again - and many Native communities are helping their people learn to can through workshops and other educational opportunities.
For Families and Individuals Considering Canning Foods:
- Ask elders advice. They may be very happy to share the knowledge and this will provide opportunities to share cultural stories, traditional knowledge and more.
- Check with Extension departments at nearby universities. Many offer workshops or classes about canning and have information listed on their websites.
- Follow directions carefully! Temperatures and procedures are important and help prevent contamination and disease.
- See whether you can use equipment in a nearby cannery, restaurant or other food facility. Some tribes, the Oneida in Wisconsin, have tribal canneries that are open to community members.