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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11 Aboriginal Experiences in Vancouver Island
1 - 10 of 11 Results
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.
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.
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.
House 741 Box 128
Ahousat, British Columbia
Aboriginal First Nations Eco-Cultural Experiences. Join us for a guided experience that will last for a lifetime: Experience our First Nations culture, our home & what we do today. Exchange stories with elders, local artists & singers. Enjoy traditional Aboriginal foods. Gather seafood, harvest hystuup from the reefs & fish for the tyee. Explore the Ahosuaht Hahoothee for spiritual connections, eagles, whales & other local happenings. Friends, Family & Storytelling.....See you soon!
1 Front Street
Alert Bay, British Columbia
Potlatches were banned in Canada between 1885 & 1951. Since 1922, some of our most treasured masks & ceremonial objects had been in the hands of museums in Canada, England & the United States, taken away at a time of great sorrow when a law deemed the potlatch was illegal. After years of effort, many of the confiscated treasures were successfully repatriated to their rightful owners, the Kwakwaka'wakw, & are now housed carefully in the U'mista Cultural Centre, called' The Potlatch Collection'.
The U'mista Cultural Centre Gift Shop is internationally known for its wide selection of authentic Kwakwa_ka_'wakw fine art, crafts & souvenirs.
Other businesses with Aboriginal Experiences
3 1371 Island Hwy
Campbell River, British Columbia
Family owned business offering Whale Watching, Wildlife & Adventure Tours & Grizzly bear viewing. Our Grizzly Bear Journey is on Aboriginal lands with viewing platforms at Orford River, in Bute Inlet. Explore with us the beautiful water ways of the Discovery Islands. Possibly view Killer Whales (Orca), Humpback Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, Seals, Black bears, Eagles & so much more!
In operation since 2000 & is one of Campbell River's most experienced tour operators with over 30 years experience on these waters. Transport Canada certified. Guaranteed sightings; see website for details.
Rated by TripAdvisor as the number 1 attraction in Campbell River.
Landsea Tours offers daily scheduled half-day & full-day mini-coach sightseeing excursions to include Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler & more - maximum of 24 guests per bus. 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.
154 Tsulquate Reserve
Port Hardy, British Columbia
Fascinating cultural adventure aboard a 28' Transport Canada certified vessel provides great insights into the magnitude of the rapids, which can run up to 17 knots during the peak tidal changes, as well as the local Aboriginal culture & wildlife. This area is also the gateway to the southern part of the Great Bear Rainforest offering guests breathtaking views of its remote & mysterious coastline.
It's a 4 or 5 hour trip across Queen Charlotte Strait into some of the most remote wilderness in the world. Tours are conducted by a knowledgeable guide from the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations & are designed to entertain & educate.