Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Indian tacos aren't what they should be

Sounds like inventive cuisine doesn't it? Who wouldn't love maybe some rice and curry piled high on a piece of naan... oh, wait, what? That's not what Indian tacos are??

A new restaurant called the Feast Cafe Bistro is set to open in the old Ellice Cafe spot at the corner of Ellice and Sherbrook; they will have "modern dishes rooted in traditional First Nation foods..." and  the "big hit, however, is expected to be the Indian tacos" according to a CBC article.

She won't be the first to serve "Indian tacos" - working in the North End I have seen many a flyer for a fundraiser where they would sell the same. Feast Cafe Bistro owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther says that the tacos will be piled "teepee high" on authentic fry bread. Why not call them Teepee tacos then?

I don't feel comfortable saying the word Indian (unless I'm talking about people from India) any more than I feel comfortable saying the "N" word. It has been drilled into my brain for years and years that saying Indian when referring to a First Nations/Indigenous/Aboriginal person (admittedly, I'm not sure which of those terms is best to be using, I always worry that I will inadvertently offend) that I may absolutely not use the word Indian. There is no chance I'm the only one who feels this way.

I know that it is said everyone gets too offended these days, and while I guess I wouldn't go so far as to say this offends me, but it sure makes things murkier when trying to navigate the collective feelings of society. Imagine being a newcomer, trying to fit in here in Canada, not necessarily knowing the history behind a word and needing to figure out that it's perfectly acceptable to call a First Nations inspired taco an Indian taco but don't you dare call a person from that same background an Indian!

Looking forward to checking out the new restaurant, hopefully they understand what I mean when I order a Teepee Taco.


  1. I tend not to use the word "Indian" as well, although I certainly don't equate it at all to the "N" word. I don't fully understand why it's considered an offensive term by some, and I think it's a useful term because it distinguishes that demographic from Métis and Inuit, who also fall under the First Nations or Indigenous umbrella.

    I think it slowly became offensive because of negative stereotypes that were attached to the term, but the problem there is the stereotypes, not the term. The term, originally derived from latin "of God" is not offside in the way Eskimo is, as the actual meaning of Eskimo is unflattering. Thus, unless I'm discussing CFL football, I never use that term.

    Anyhow ... my 2 cents. Thanks for broaching the topic.

  2. Indian Tacos are usually good in taste. I love the tacos. My mom cooks it for me when i am sad. I feel good after knowing that there is tacos today in the lunch or dinner. ;-)

  3. Lol. Your post is riddled with sarcasm, wit and humour. The first thing I thought of when I heard the word Indian tacos, was that they would be super spicy.