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1-Cow_0364-Cowichan-aboriginal
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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7 Aboriginal Experiences in Vancouver Island

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11

Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre - Quathiaski Cove

34 Weway Rd
Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia
V0P 1N0
Websitehttp://www.nuyumbalees.com
Toll-free
Phone250-285-3733

The majestic backdrop of Discovery Passage frames the Village of Cape Mudge on Quadra Island, home to Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre. Established in 1979, Nuyumbalees was the first museum of its kind in Canada, designed specifically to house the Sacred Potlatch Collection. This unique grouping of masks, ceremonial items and regalia was repatriated from the federal government. Visitors can view over 250 items removed during the Anti-Potlatch era (1884-1951), as well as stone tools displays, pre-contact basketry, and historic Totem and Welcome Poles located in our Carving Shed. At the Ah Wah Qwa Dzas guests will see several petroglyph, more than 2500 years old. Traditional Salmon BBQ dinner & dance performances held May - Sept (reservations are required). Gift Shop and Tours are available throughout the year.

12

Spirit Eagle Experiences - Ahousat

House 741
Ahousat, British Columbia
V0R 1A0
Websitehttp://www.spiriteagle.ca
Toll-free
Phone250-670-2319

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!

Other businesses with Aboriginal Experiences

13

Aboriginal Journeys: Wildlife Viewing & Adventure Tours - Campbell River

3 1371 Island Hwy
Campbell River, British Columbia
V9W 5T5
Websitehttp://www.aboriginaljourneys.com
Toll-free888-455-8101
Phone250-850-1101

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 the 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 40 years experience on these waters. Transport Canada certified. Guaranteed sightings; see website for details.

Rated by TripAdvisor as the #1 attraction in Campbell River.

14

Island Time Tours - Victoria

463 Belleville Street
Victoria, British Columbia
V8V 1X3
Websitehttp://www.islandtimetours.com
Toll-free866-846-1917
Phone250-477-3322

We are the local experts! We offer many destinations on Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands. All unique and worth the trip. From Scheduled to Reservation style options. We depart downtown Victoria in small groups with 10 or less passengers. Groups with reservations (any size) Most of our tours are custom designed. Ask a local...hey that's us! You'll sip award winning wines/ciders/ales. Feast on seasonal organic delights and explore the back-roads of the very West Coast of Canada. Our routes include mountain vistas, ancient rain forests, country scenery, delightful local vineyards/farms and world class attractions. New, West Coast Trail in a day with the Ditidaht First Nations. A long day but so worth it. Bring your camera and your West Coast Spirit of Adventure. Let's Go!

15

Landsea Tours & Adventures - Vancouver

Websitehttp://www.vancouvertours.com
Toll-free877-669-2277
Phone604-255-7272

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 & transfers are also available: SUVs, Mercedes Sprinter Vans & Mini-Coaches available.

16

Mothership Adventures Columbia III - Quadra Island

Based In Heriot Bay
Quadra Island, British Columbia
V0P 1H0
Websitehttp://www.mothershipadventures.com
Toll-free888-833-8887
Phone250-202-3229

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.

17

T'ashii Paddle School and Tofino SUP - Tofino

Websitehttp://www.tofinopaddle.com
Toll-free855-883-3787
Phone250-266-3787

A unique Aboriginal Cultural experience. One of the most unique trips in Tofino!

Dug-out Canoe Tours: Join your Nuu-chah-nulth guide and paddle a hand crafted dug out cedar canoe. Learn about local aboriginal culture and history. Walk along 1000 year old red cedars on the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island.

Paddle board Tours: Try stand up paddle boarding in the pristine wildlife sanctuary of Grice Bay, in Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park.

Hop on our special touring boards for a sleek and stable ride. Explore the unique ecology of the mudflats and beautiful grassy estuaries of Grice Bay.

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