Aboriginal canoe tour, Howe Sound (Patrice Halley photo)
British Columbia has the highest diversity of distinct First Nations in Canada, with more than 50 First Nations in more than 200 communities.
Interpretive centres, museums and tours throughout the province provide opportunities to learn about Aboriginal stories, ceremonies and traditions.
Aboriginal artwork, carvings and totem poles can be seen at galleries and museums, or even standing in their original, historic locations.
Some highlights include the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, the Haida Heritage Centre on Haida Gwaii, and the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos – but these are just a few of the many places and tours sharing Aboriginal cultural experiences in BC.
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32 Aboriginal Experiences in British Columbia
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Hwy 62 High Level Rd
Hazelton, British Columbia
As a replicated ancient village, 'Ksan illustrates many features of a Gitxsan village from the distant past. 'Ksan's houses form a single line with each building facing the river and the large decorated house fronts and totem poles are visible from the water. In conjunction with other features, such as the smoke house and food cache, 'Ksan illustrates characteristics typical of a past Gitxsan village. The museum is the oldest component of the Village and houses over 600 pieces. Comprised of both ceremonial and utilitarian materials, this collection illustrates the great diversity within the material culture of the Gitxsan.
7133A Pacific Rim Hwy
Port Alberni, British Columbia
Owned & operated by Nuu-chah-nulth artist Gordon Dick. When you come into the gallery, you will immediately smell the cedar & see many fresh cedar chips on the floor as Gordon & other artists are often working on wood carvings in the gallery.
Through Ahtsik Native Art Gallery, Gordon wants to be a role model to show that First Nations individuals can be successful. He aims to share with the world the talents of Nuu-chah-nulth & other First Nations' artists. Ahtsik Native Art Gallery appreciates the hand-crafted work that Canadian Aboriginal artists put into their art pieces & houses original art from many First Nations.
1719 Cowichan Bay Road
Cowichan Bay, British Columbia
The gallery celebrates Arthur's passion for creating original West Coast art. Often described as a modern day renaissance man & known for his love of story telling his works connect us with the stories & memories of his beloved coast & its history. A master at the ancient art of serigraphy & always experimenting with new & challenging mediums & materials Vickers works in 24k gold-leafing in low relief are signature pieces that are unique to this renowned First Nations Artist. The gallery & the seaside village of Cowichan Bay will be a true highlight of your trip to Vancouver Island, an experience you will always treasure.
2 Second Beach Rd
Skidegate, British Columbia
The Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay in Skidegate on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), opened in July, 2007. The Centre, located at the site of the old Haida seaside village of Kaay Llnagaay, or "Sea Lion Town", showcases the living culture of the Haida, dating back over 12,000 years. Six monumental cedar totem poles carved by Haida artists stand in front of the Haida longhouses, which are connected by interior walkways & atrium space. The Centre incorporates the Haida Gwaii Museum, a gift shop, canoe house, carving shed, performing house, the Bill Reid Teaching Centre & a cafe.
3310 Comox Rd
Courtenay, British Columbia
I-Hos Gallery presents a collection of traditional & contemporary northwest coast native artwork. Hand carved masks, limited edition prints, gold & silver jewelry & wood carvings, textiles & clothing produced by First Nations artists. Displayed at our distinctive building on the K'omoks First Nation band lands (located between Courtenay & Comox) on Vancouver Island. We invite you to browse our gallery & discover for yourself the broad range of talent represented here. Prefer to shop on line? Browse & purchase works of art on our commerce secure website. Not seeing what your looking for? Email us for more information.
270 Whonoak St
North Vancouver, British Columbia
We showcase traditional and contemporary Native artwork and crafts. Masks, prints, gold and silver jewellery, wood carvings, textiles and clothing produced by First Nation artists are displayed in a distinctive long-house style building.
A second-generation First Nations owned and operated business, the gallery is located on Capilano Reserve, part of the Squamish Nation. We specialise in work from our community, offering first-hand the tales and legends behind the authentic artwork.
Miniature Train In Stanley Park
Vancouver, British Columbia
Enjoy the warmth of our Aboriginal Summer Village in Stanley Park this summer. Klahowya Village welcomes you to celebrate & experience our vibrant culture through song, dance, art & cuisine. There will be dance performances Fridays through Sundays & programming throughout the day, every day, by artisans - wood carving & weaving, crafts for budding artisans, aboriginal cuisine & artisan kiosks. More lasting memories if you hop aboard the Spirit Catcher train for a fun ride through nature. Gate admission to the Village is FREE. Charges apply for Spirit Train rides.
6777 Salish Dr
Vancouver, British Columbia
Musqueam is a destination for those who seek out world-class products such as Musqueam's unique Cultural Education Resource Centre and Museum as well as the five-star meeting facilities, art galleries, and golf course. Musqueam facilities offer a quality experience. Visit, study, and hold your meetings at Musqueam in spaces that embody connections to the land and culture. Feast on traditional cuisine. Browse authentic quality art installed within each magnificent cedar structure. Enjoy local views of the river and walk in the footsteps of our ancestors while learning about ancient plants, salmon habitat, and historic trails.
1000 Rancher Creek Rd
Osoyoos, British Columbia
Experience "The Land, the Legends and the People" at Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre, a cultural and outdoor desert experience. View arts and cultural exhibits, audio-visual presentations and interactive displays featuring Okanagan First Nations culture and desert plants and animals. The 22 ha site features walking trails through the sagebrush habitat, outdoor sculptures & hands-on displays. Highlights include a reconstructed aboriginal village and in the summer, features daily guided walks, cultural programs and rattlesnake demonstrations. Visit Coyote's Gifts for First Nations art, jewelry, books, clothing and giftware. Located in an award winning, sustainable building.
34 Weway Rd
Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia
Nuyumbalees means "The Beginning". The Nuyumbalees Society was founded in 1975 by Hereditary & Elected Chiefs of the KwaKwaKa' WaKw people, to negotiate the return of their Potlatch Treasures & Regalia (Kikasuw). The society is entrusted with the care & preservation of a priceless & historic collection of original KwaKwaKa' WaKw Kikasuw returned in February, 1979. The Kwagiulth Museum opened in June that same year.
A visit to the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre is a fascinating journey that forms a link between the past, the present & the future of the Kwakwaka'wakw People. Beautiful treasures include: masks, regalia, whistles, rattles & carvings of the Sacred Potlatch Collection.