Jason Kicknosway, the Mamidosewin Centre's retention support worker and event coordinator, hosted the We Cook virtual cooking show and made beef stew. Photo credit: Stephane Gunner

The Mamidosewin Centre, located at the Ottawa campus, will host the next Kiinwi Jiibakwe or “We Cook” virtual cooking show for students to learn budgeting and cooking skills on April 12, 2022, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Indigenous Counsellor Jackie Tenute, will host the session where she will make lentil soup.

The last Kiinwi Jiibakwe event happened on March 16, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Jason Kicknosway, the Mamidosewin Centre’s retention support worker and event coordinator, hosted the We Cook virtual cooking show and made beef stew.

Kicknosway said the Mamidosewin staff wanted to do something they could do on a monthly basis for the students and in the past, they would often cook for the students during the week.

“We Cook is what we started at the beginning of this term, but what we are doing is all the staff members take a turn preparing a meal,” Kicknosway said. “We do this virtually until we have the permission to come back on campus.”

By doing it all virtually right now, he said the students can sit down and see them prepare an entire meal.

“We are not a professional cooking show,” he said. ” So the students can see how an average everyday person cooks and how an everyday person goes out and shops and gets through groceries. And what we do with those groceries is the main focus.”

Kicknosway said that he liked how the students have been latching to the idea and seeing how they cook, as most of the cooking ideas came from the students themselves.

The goal is to teach students how to save money as they go out and do their shopping, go through recipes and teach them to cook because some new students do not necessarily know how to cook or maintain all the groceries they buy and will expire without them knowing.

“It is everything from picking up a bag of five-pound potatoes,” said Kicknosway. “Students do not know how to use all five pounds of potatoes. So we teach them what they can use and how to use all of the food they buy and create meal plans for the students—simple ones that are easy to follow, things that they can make week after week and for a low cost.”

He explained that their goal is to teach students to prepare a meal and save money as they get through their post-secondary studies.

Kicknosway said normally the event participation is about 12 to 25 students. In their efforts to help students, they issue a $25 gift certificate to every participant. And they will be able to use it once they sign up for the event and go buy the necessary items they need to purchase.

“I am very happy the students are responding because we, in the first attempt, just had our laptop cameras,” Kicknosway said.

“It has been a learning stage for us, and as I said, we are not a professional cooking program. So we are constantly being creative to find better ways to showcase to our students.”