Skwachays: Indigenous Art Hotel

Rooftop Purification and Indigenous Rose: 48 Hours in Vancouver

Posted on October 30, 2018

Ready for the rainy mood of autumn on the Northwest Coast? Don’t let the weather keep you from seeing the sights! Relationship to the land is year-round for the Indigenous people of present-day British Columbia and practices shift according to the season.

Experience the art, culture, food, and natural wonder of Vancouver from an Indigenous perspective as a guest on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.


11:00 AM Check in at Skwachays: Indigenous Art Hotel.

Skwachays: Indigenous Art Hotel

Lay the foundation for your Indigenous experience in Vancouver at this Indigenous-owned boutique art hotel for socially responsible travellers. There are 18 unique and modern suites that tell timeless stories, including the Longhouse Suite, Forest Spirits Suite, and Drum Circle Suite. These spaces are thoughtful combinations of colour, light, and texture that have been woven together in contemporary Indigenous interpretations of traditional mythology. Arrange in advance to meet with artists-in-residence or participate in a rooftop sweat lodge or smudging ceremony led by an Elder. Fairtrade Indigenous art gallery, luxurious beds, and a modern mix of Victorian and Indigenous heritage in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. (Photo Credit: Skwachays Lodge)

12:00 PM See In a Different Light at Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC.

Museum of Anthropology

Spend the afternoon in MOA’s groundbreaking new gallery, the Elspeth McConnell Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks. Until Spring 2019, the museum presents IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: Reflecting on Northwest Coast Art. The collection of 110 Indigenous pieces is housed in a small innovative gallery with movable display cases, storytelling chairs, and a lighting system that responds to the colour of the sky.  (Photo Credit: Museum of Anthropology)

6:00 PM Gather for dinner at Indigenous restaurant, Salmon n’ Bannock.

Salmon n’ Bannock in Vancouver

Wrap up your first day on the land with an Indigenous dining experience. Salmon n’ Bannock serves free-range game meat, wild seafood, and daily features that bring the changing seasons to your plate. Sample the Indigenous wine list at this comfortable bistro where people and food matter most. Reservations for this dinner-only restaurant are highly recommended. (Photo Credit: Charlene Johnny Photography)


10:00 AM Experience the Talking Trees Tour with Talaysay Tours.

Meet one of Talaysay’s Indigenous cultural guides at the Stanley Park bus loop for a walking tour of Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park. Hear Indigenous perspectives on trees and plants of the Northwest Coast. Experience Indigenous ways of knowing as time on the land and engaging, authentic storytelling are used to share lessons on traditional use, preservation, and harvest of local plant life, including red cedar and licorice root. Schedule in advance and your hosts will prepare traditional Indigenous tea. (Photo Credit: Talaysay Tours)

2:00 PM Shop for Gifts at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.

Bill Reid Gallery

Learn about traditional Indigenous tattooing, piercing, and body adornment practices on the Northwest Coast as the Bill Reid Gallery presents Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest (until January 2019). Explore the gallery shop’s curated collection of prints, paintings, sculpture, and jewellery and purchase a piece to support local Indigenous artisans. (Photo Credit: Sama Jim Canzian)

For more Indigenous BC experiences click here.

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