Indigenous chef from Edmonton looks to break racial barriers with pop-up restaurant

National Indigenous Peoples Day fell on Sunday this year, and with the COVID-19 pandemic and a recent anti-racism movement, the day looked much different.

“I think there’s more of an awareness now this year with George Floyd and what can Canada do to address its systemic problems with its Indigenous populations,” said Scott Iserhoff, chef and owner of Pei Pei Chei Ow Indigenous Cuisine.

In a video posted online Sunday, Edmonton’s chief of police is promising change.

READ MORE: Calls for change after massive anti-racism rally in Edmonton: ‘We’re not going to stop’

“EPS is excited, we have put in a real commitment to Indigenous people and minorities and that’s certainly going to be case going forward and I think to do that there’s a lot of lessons to be learned and this day is a real tribute to those lessons,” Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee said.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s really difficult as there’s a lot of racism, I used to cook in the industry and I dealt with a lot of racism, and me starting my business I thought I didn’t have to deal with that but I still have to deal with it even more,” Iserhoff said.

While many people celebrate either inside their homes or online, Iserhoff decided to offer up a pop up restaurant to share his Indigenous culture.

“Indigenous people are put in a box where we can’t do… I have to stick to bannock and stew, I can’t be creative but that’s a barrier I want to break down,” Iserhoff said.

READ MORE: Chief Allan Adam arrest: Cameras not enough to solve RCMP systemic racism, experts say

Edmontonian Tess Dehoog stopped by eager to not only taste the food but also support this Indigenous restaurant.

“It’s time to shift perspectives and you can do that by eating fry bread,” Dehoog said.

“I think there is a lot of work that Canada needs to do to provide support and reparation to First Nations people in Edmonton and so I think doing things like, as an individual, supporting an Indigenous pop up is super important.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.