Preserving tradition, Culture Department holds wədax̌ (huckleberry) jam-making classes

Preserving tradition, Culture Department holds wədax̌ (huckleberry) jam-making classes

By Molly Bryant, Puyallup Tribal News

The Puyallup Tribe’s Culture Department offers a wide variety of activities and classes for the community. This month, the department hosted two huckleberry jam-making sessions.

The Heritage Division’s new location at the Winners Gym, 801 E. Harrison St., in Tacoma, has expedited the jam-making process, as the kitchen is equipped with more ovens.

Culture Director Angie Totus served as the instructor. She guided the attendees through the process of jam-making while emphasizing the importance of food safety.

It was a sight to witness as traditions were being passed down to the youth in real-time. Two families were mother and son/daughter duos. The mothers patiently explained the process and helped their children along the way.

As they blended, stirred and poured, many described feeling nostalgia and recalled stories of berry picking in the mountains as children.

Some attendees had previously attended the Huckleberry Culture Camp held in late August. Those who attended the camp were able to experience the process in full, from picking the berries to freezing them, to making jam.

Those interested in attending jam-making classes should be sure to follow the Culture Department’s Facebook page @PuyallupCanoeFamily.