Indigenous Engagement

Joseph Alex

Culinary Skills Instructor – School of Indigenous Education

“Teaching lets me reach back to my roots. I want to show our young and aspiring Indigenous cooks that we can achieve so much more. Inspired by our Indigenous culture, I have been experimenting with more ingredients from our land and striving to incorporate our ways of preparing, preserving, and serving food. I will always continue to learn and bring the traditions of our past into the present – including our foods and the way we eat.”

Joseph Alex

Joseph is from Osoyoos Indian Band in Oliver, BC. He has been involved in RRC Polytech’s Culinary Skills program in the School of Indigenous Education since it began five years ago. He is now the program’s lead Culinary Skills Instructor. As an Indigenous Red Seal Chef, he aims to guide the next generation of Indigenous cooks and chefs.

Joseph graduated from RRC Polytech’s Culinary Arts program in 2013. He honed his professional skills as sous chef at Inn at the Forks, where he helped the executive chef with menu and recipe development, and Indigenous-inspired features whenever the ingredients were available. He also trained new employees and culinary students.

This experience serves him well in his current role. Joseph has created and delivered course content in the lab, classroom, and kitchen, where he also takes part in recipe development. He acts as a bridge between students and RRC Polytech’s services and supports.

Joseph has been passionate about teaching the next generation of Indigenous cooks and chefs from the very start of his career. He’s led several outreach and recruitment initiatives, and events such as Culinary Career Day, where he encourages Indigenous high school students to enrol in RRC Polytech’s Culinary Skills program.

Joseph also believes in giving back to the community. In the summer of 2022, he headed an APTN Indigenous Day Live event, selling bison sliders, elk skewers and blueberry wild rice salad to raise funds for Bear Clan Patrol, a volunteer safety organization supporting Winnipeg’s Indigenous population.

The Three Sisters Soup recipe on the next page was developed by Joseph to provide a professional development opportunity for PRK Research Assistant Roxanne Kent. The recipes lives on (without smoked duck) for the menu at Wiisinin, the short order kitchen Indigenous Culinary Skills students set up every April.