Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre, Duncan (M. Dorigo photo)
Long before James Cook landed on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1778, Aboriginals have inhabited the area and its history lives on in numerous Aboriginal experiences.
The Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwakawa'wakw have lived in permanent settlements on the shores and valleys of the island, creating elaborate art forms over the centuries.
Visitors exploring Vancouver Island's Aboriginal culture can expect to taste traditional foods, take an interpretive tour, see totem poles, view art galleries and museums, witness ceremonies, and hike or canoe historical routes travelled for thousands of years by the island's first residents.
So rich is the Aboriginal culture here that it was chosen as the location for the 2008 North American Indigenous Games. The games hosted over 4,500 Canadian and US athletes and more than 3,000 cultural performers. Vancouver Island is perhaps the most accessible area for Aboriginal experiences; visitors are never far from First Nations' culture.
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5 Aboriginal Experiences in Vancouver Island
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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.
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.
Other businesses with Aboriginal Experiences
We offer multi-day cruises through Haida Gwaii's (Queen Charlotte Islands') Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Northern Vancouver Island, the Great Bear Rainforest, North Coast/ Khutzeymateen and Southeast Alaska. Our 68' vessels provide the perfect base from which to tour remote coastlines. On these world-class learning journeys we expect to see whales, bears, rich intertidal zones, and a great number of birds. With our First Nations guides we visit ancient villages, see totem poles and hope to catch a glimpse of the Kermode. Our experienced Crew and on-board naturalist will take you places that few have visited on our award-winning expeditions.
Landsea Tours offers daily scheduled half-day & full-day mini-coach sightseeing excursions to include Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler & more - maximum of 24 guests. See it all: Stanley Park, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island Market, Alaska cruise ships, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain & Butchart Gardens. Combine a Victoria tour with whale watching or a floatplane flight, or a Whistler tour with the Whistler Mountaineer train by Rocky Mountaineer. Driver/guides create memorable sightseeing experiences by sharing their extensive knowledge of area history, geography & current events & in answering guests' individual questions.
Private tours and transfers are also available: SUVs, Mercedes Sprinter Vans and Mini-Coaches available.
Based In Heriot Bay
Quadra Island, British Columbia
Join us for the exhilarating & unforgettable mothership adventure of your dreams. Extraordinary wildlife viewing, breathtaking landscapes & warm, hospitable crew combine to thoroughly satisfy & delight every guest. We offer a variety of sea kayak tours where we paddle each day & return to the mothership each night. Accompanied by qualified naturalists, we explore the remote wilderness areas of coastal British Columbia, kayak through glacial fed waters, amongst lushly forested islands dotted with ancient First Nations village sites & observe numerous species of wildlife including orca killer whales, dolphins, harbour seals, black bears, grizzly bears, bald eagles & deer.