Like others, Lucy Martin, an Indigenous Tourism Specialist in Northern BC, speaks enthusiastically of a “younger generation eager to share their stories.” One of her favourite examples is a traditional pit house, different in construction from cedar longhouses found in other parts of the province. Students from the University of Northern British Columbia and high school students from the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation around Prince George built it in 2014. A traditional winter dwelling dug four feet into the ground, the UNBC Pit House is constructed with earthen walls and wooden beams in the style of the Dakelh, an Indigenous people from north-central British Columbia.
Unique adventures and physical challenges are naturally a big part of First Nations travel offerings. Hidden just off BC Highway 1 and spectacularly sited amid diverse mountain ranges at the roaring confluence of the mighty Fraser and Thompson rivers, the Village of Lytton is located on the gathering site of Nlaka’pamux Village where First Nations people have made their home for 10,000 years.
The area population of approximately 2,000 includes neighbouring Lytton First Nation, Skuppah, Nicomen, Siska, and Kanaka bands. Outdoor activities include whitewater rafting, single-track mountain biking, and hiking in the majestic Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park. Here visitors will find the ancient “birthing rock.” At this easy-to-access spot near a trailhead, women would line the stone ledges with soft fir boughs and give birth to their children in a sacred place.
Given the incredible diversity of Indigenous communities in the province, museums and associated tours make an introduction to it all simple.