Monday, May 27, 2024

Recipe: Lusknikn, Mi’kmaq bannock

Lusknikn – Mi’kmaq bannock

By Chef D’Arcy Butler
Many of you may have heard of bannock before, but not everyone knows Mi’qmaq ate lusknikn (sounds like loose-skin-agin).
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish


  • 1 Greased baking dish or cast iron skillet
  • 1 Oven


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup water or half water, half milk
  • 1 tbsp butter or jam


  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Shift dry ingredients together
  • Add liquid and mix to form a dough
  • Place in a greased baking dish, or like I did, in a cast iron skillet
  • Flatten until dough is just under 1″ or 2cm thick
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown
  • Enjoy with a bit of butter, or your favourite jam


It’s not something that I have talked about a lot on in my videos, but I am a proud aboriginal L’nu of Mi’qmaq heritage and a member of the Qalipu band. Aboriginal ancestry is something that many people in Newfoundland have been discovering, but not me. I was one of the lucky ones that grew up always knowing about this part of my past. My mother made sure that we knew who we were, in part because her father made sure that they knew who they were. This is not something that was always easy to do, especially growing up in a time when we were told that there were no aboriginal people in Newfoundland.
Aboriginal people in Newfoundland were lucky in some ways though. I recall listening to Elder Calvin White of Flat Bay who talked about our cousins in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and really, right across Turtle Island that were forced onto reservations, cut off from their traditional way of living, unable to eat country meat, Rich Francis, a well known chef and friend of mine in Ontario, has been trying to fight the stigma of traditional foods, and its a growing movement as more and more chefs embrace these amazing wild foods.
I thought I would dig into that bag of recipes of mine this week, and pull out a very simple and easy traditional item to make. Many of you may have heard of bannock before, but Mi’qmaq ate lusknikn (sounds like loose-skin-agin). Now there are some that would argue that this is not traditional aboriginal food, but traditions are not static and are constantly changing and evolving. This is certainly not a pre–colonial food, but for many, it is a traditional as it gets. I read somewhere that is was essentially a part of cultural exchange hundreds of years ago, between the Scots and the original inhabitants of Turtle Island, which makes sense, since it is very much like a scone.
This is really simple to make, and can allow you to connect with your aboriginal heritage.

D’Arcy Butler is the Commercial Cooking Instructor at College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Bay St. George campus. For more recipes, visit his blog at Big Red’s Cooking.

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