Cowichan Valley
(Dannielle Hayes photo)

Vancouver Island

Aboriginal Experiences

Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre, Duncan (M. Dorigo photo)

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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ExploreBC Blog

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