Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osyoos (Canadian Tourism Commission photo)
Aboriginal people have lived in the Thompson Okanagan region for thousands of years.
Ranging from the desert sands of Osoyoos to the fertile lands of the Okanagan Valley, the three First Nations of the region each have their own rich cultures and traditions.
Aboriginal and cultural experiences in the Okanagan include cultural centres such as Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos and Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park near Kamloops. Other experiences available here include overnight stays in a kekuli (underground pit house) at Historic Hat Creek Ranch.
Each year Kamloops hosts the three-day Kamloopa Powwow – the largest powwow in Western Canada – which celebrates Aboriginal culture and heritage through singing, dancing and storytelling.
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2 Aboriginal Experiences in Thompson Okanagan
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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.
200-355 Yellowhead Hwy
Kamloops, British Columbia
Museum exhibits feature oral history and legends of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) with historical photos and artifacts. Visit archaeological remains of a 2000 year old village, reconstructed pithouses, ethnobotanical gardens showing traditional plant use. A marsh attracts many birds for viewing.