Traditional Indigenous meal raises funds for student bursary

Service Day Dinner

ST. ANDREWS – Students in the Culinary and Hotel/Restaurant Operations programs at the St. Andrews Campus of New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) recently put their learning to work in support of the College’s Indigenous Student Bursary Fund.

The students recently planned, prepared and served a traditional Indigenous meal of bannock, corn chowder, salmon, traditional vegetables, blueberry shortcake and cedar tea. The formal dinner raised $1,000 for the NBCC Foundation, which administers the Indigenous Student Bursary.

“More than the money raised, is the cultural awareness that this activity inspired,” said Mi’kmaq traditional elder Donna Augustine (Thunderbird Turtle Woman), who advised the students on the cultural aspects of the meal. “The students were very open to the cultural experience, and the food was excellent.”

Augustine explained the cultural significance of the food and its preparation methods to the students, who were interested to learn about traditional foods such as “The Three Sisters” of vegetables (squash, beans and corn). The fundraising dinner was consistent with NBCC’s Indigenous Learning and Engagement Initiative, which increases opportunities for students and staff to learn from and about Indigenous culture and history.

“It was a really good experience, with a lot of interesting First Nations aspects,” said student Emily Jenkins. “I think everyone enjoyed the meal, and we enjoyed preparing it.”

Student Emily Vienneau worked with Augustine on preparing bannock.

“It was really interesting to learn new techniques,” she said. “I learned everything I could from her.”

The traditional meal was the Culinary and Hotel/Restaurant Operations programs’ fall Service Day activity. Service Day brings together NBCC students, employees, Board members and alumni for one day to take part in service learning and volunteering to help community organizations across New Brunswick.

Service Day is an important part of NBCC’s Robertson Institute for Community Leadership that has become the heart of creating a culture of community leadership and service at the College.  Since the launch of the Robertson Institute in 2014, community groups and not-for-profit organizations across our campus communities have benefited from more than 46,000 hours of service by NBCC students, staff, alumni and Board members in more than 895 projects.

With over 90 programs and six campuses across New Brunswick, NBCC is a provincially recognized post-secondary institution renowned for producing skilled, knowledgeable college graduates. NBCC offers students full-time concentrated study periods in one- and two-year certificate and diploma programs. For more information, visit:

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