First Nations and Culture

Dax Justin

First Nations and Culture

Canada’s First Nations culture and the heritage of the people who make our country so unique can be explored anywhere you’re travelling in Canada’s west. Stay at lodges run by First Nations communities who will happily share their oral history, their food, music, dance and art. Festivals like the Kamloopa PowWow will leave you wondering why you haven’t been to one before, while a visit to the sacred lands of the Haida G’waii will leave you entranced. 

How can we act as good allies when we travel and explore in Western Canada?

The Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society (SFS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary all year at the Exhibition Park South Pavilion. Indigenous people from across North America have come to participate in such activities as a powwow and Indian relay races, another of which will be held in September. 

It’s not every day that someone can paddle their way around history. But you can in Lac La Biche, home to one of Canada’s most unique provincial parks, Sir Winston Churchill Park, Alberta’s only campground that is on an island.

I thought it was the beauty of Kiixin that took my breath away. I thought it was the archeological remains of the 5,000-year-old site, the natural splendour of the shoreline and First Nations connection to the rainforest. But when Wisqii told us he was so proud to share the history of his people, I knew what this tour was truly about, the people.

Cranbrook, B.C. – Rising to the early morning glow from outside the teepee walls, we breathed the crisp mountain air and arose from our comfortable sleeping quarters to greet the day. After spending a night nestled in a teepee at Speaking Earth in St. Eugene, part of the greater Cranbrook area, we felt refreshed and more connected to our Canadian heritage than ever.  

A Two-night package gives guests the opportunity to go back in time and learn how people not only survived, but thrived along B.C.’s rugged west coast.

The waves of the Salish Sea crash rhythmically along the shore of the Sunshine Coast and the seaside harbour town of Lund. Rich with history dating back thousands of years this community is on the traditional territory of the Tla’amin Nation.

As one of Canada's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an incredible aboriginal legacy, helping to preserve more than 6,000 years of Blackfoot cultures and traditions that happened here in the North American plains.

The rushing waters of the St. Mary River pass a circle of Ktunaxa tipis erected proudly on its banks while Fisher Peak keeps a watchful eye in the distance. You could imagine this very scene 10,000 years ago when the first Ktunaxa (Kootenay) people called this land home.

#OkanaganExploring Ogopogo is B.C.’s very own Loch Ness Monster, turned friendly water creature, the legend hunters have been trying to capture on film for the past half century. It’s seemingly a part of our heritage, until you find out the true meaning behind the serpent-turned-cartoon-statue and you become, as the kids say, woke - with a sudden understanding of the spirit of Ogopogo truly means.