Kū-Kūm’s seal meat dish causing a stir in Toronto

A small restaurant in Toronto that has been serving up a selection of Indigenous foods from across Turtle Island for a while now – is causing a stir after putting seal meat on the menu.

Producer InFocus / Winnipeg

Beverly is a member of the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation in Manitoba. She has worked in media for over a decade, including broadcast, film and the arts. She joined APTN in January 2017 from Regina, SK where she was a video journalist for CTV and Indigenous Circle.

1 thought on “Kū-Kūm’s seal meat dish causing a stir in Toronto

  1. Kukum Kitchen is an Indigenous based business….and by attacking an Indigenous business, one shows a colonized mind set….a white privileged view of the world….very much a racist attempt at suppression of one’s rights to do business in a legal and proper fashion….something that supposedly a democracy like Canada was built on. The seal meat sold by Kukum is legally obtained….sold by a Canadian company….after being harvested & processed under very strict Canadian government regulations. It is used at Kukum to honour the Inuit, and these northern peoples’ contribution to our traditional Indigenous food heritage.

    More important overall is that an attack of any kind on the seal hunt as legally conducted is also an attack on Inuit hunting practices….on the traditional Inuit seal hunt. Because if one seeks to limit or end the east coast seal hunt around Newfoundland or elsewhere in the Atlantic, then one also invariably affects the Inuit hunt….to most a seal is a seal, often a “cute little helpless seal pup with sad eyes”, no matter where it lives or whom harvests it. Just watch the film “The Angry Inuk”. This documentary examines the controversial Canadian commercial seal hunt protests by animal rights activists, which negatively impact remote Inuit subsistence hunters living a thousand miles away. (See https://www.nfb.ca/film/angry_inuk/). So this attack on Kukum is not merely an attack on an Indigenous business, which is wrong enough, but ultimately an attack on an Indigenous way of life.

    Kukum Kitchen is absolutely our favourite restaurant….great service and incredible food….been there 10 times….looking forward to new menu later this month….and Kukum being open for brunch….

    My partner & I love everything on the menu….the food is fantastic….….the seal tartare is very good…..the staff very welcoming….the entire atmosphere is engaging (with a beautiful art mural)….great ambiance….a true culinary and cultural feast. AND despite the comments from some who have obviously never been to Kukum about seal meat being served, I highly recommend Kukum….even for those who are Vegan, since there are several Vegan choices on the menu….if you haven’t been there, you should try it….if you do not want the seal there are lots of other choices on the menu….honestly instead of writing ‘fake’ bad reviews on some place you’ve never been, you should go….try it before you knock it.

    Chi Miigwech to Chef Joseph Shawana for bringing Kukum Kitchen to Toronto. Kukum Kitchen is a great addition to the Toronto Indigenous community (and it has been good to see so many of our community and allies support Kukum Kitchen). After years of having so many of our ways being suppressed, it is now time to celebrate being Indigenous….to celebrate our arts….our crafts….our culture….our dance….our heritage….our languages….our music….our traditions….and yes, even our foods.
    Certainly Kukum Kitchen is very busy, with many non-Indigenous customers. Perhaps, Kukum Kitchen, a tiny 30 seat restaurant, in its own way is aiding reconciliation by sharing just a bit of Indigenous culture and tradition with mainstream society….feeding their hearts and minds and spirits as well as their stomachs.

Comments are closed.