A Definition of Pemmican from the Canadian Encyclopedia
Pemmican [Cree pimikan, meaning "manufactured grease"] is dried meat, usually BISON, pounded into coarse powder and mixed with an equal amount of melted fat, and occasionally saskatoon berries or other edibles. Cooled and sewn into bison-hide bags in 41 kg lots, pemmican could be stored and shipped with ease to provision FUR-TRADE personnel. Peter POND is credited with introducing this vital food to the trade in 1779, having obtained it from the CHIPEWYANS in the Athabasca region. Later, posts along the Red, Assiniboine and north Saskatchewan rivers were devoted to acquiring pemmican from the Plains Indians and MÉTIS. Pemmican was also made and used outside the region, eg, by the Royal Navy, which provisioned several arctic expeditions with beef pemmican made in England.
Author JOHN E. FOSTER