Gwichya Gwich'in Name:
Teetł’it Gwich’in Name::
Stoneberry shrubs are evergreens similar in appearance to cranberries, though stoneberry leaves are not as shiny. The dull pinkish-red or orange-red fruit has seeds inside and a dry, mealy taste. The berries can be mixed with pounded dry fish to make it’suh. It can also be mashed up and mixed with loche liver or fish eggs. Caroline Andre said, “Old ladies were bad for it a long time ago.” Mary Francis (COPE, b) said they used to use stoneberries in pemmican. Alfred Semple adds the berries to pemmican (meatballs). The sweet spring petals can be eaten also.
Source: Andre, Alestine and Alan Fehr, Gwich'in Ethnobotany, 2nd ed. (2002)
It’suh (pounded dry fish and berries)After you make dry fish you take all the good eating dry fish out of the pile. Then you pound all the dry fish. You make lots of pounded up dry fish. It is just like pemmican with meat. Make a big birch bark dish and put all the pounded up dry fish into it. Then you pour fish oil into it, put stoneberries or cranberries in it, and mix it up good. If you’re going to use it for winter, sew a bark lid on it using tree roots. Then you put it away where it’s cool so it won’t get stale. This is how you make use of dry fish too.- Effie Francis (COPE)