Land of Our Ancestors
The ideas of environmental stewardship and sustainable resource management are certainly not new or radical concepts for British Columbia’s Aboriginal peoples. Long before Europeans even dreamed of traveling to North America, B.C.’s First Nations already had a deep spiritual connection to the land – considering themselves a part of it – as well as traditions, legends and stories reaffirming their respect for nature.
Lillian Rose from the Ktunaxa First Nation shares those stories and legends at the Lakeshore Resort and Campground in Windemere, B.C. when she takes visitors to experience the local wildlife and the ancestral lands of her people. She says even people who have traveled extensively in B.C. are awed when their eyes are really opened to the Aboriginal way of seeing the land.
Being so far away from so-called “civilization” where there is nothing but trees and nature is the purest of experiences, adds Takaya Tours’ Dennis Thomas. It’s almost like stepping back in time, he says. They carry on the traditions of reverence for the land that has been passed down for generations since time immemorial, sharing those ideals with visitors, and championing a way of life that is almost as old as the hills and forests themselves. Aileen Hans of the Haida Nation also shares her ancestors’ territory with visitors to Haida House at Tllaal, where she said just being amongst the ancient trees, singing birds and clean, fresh air tends to have a calming effect on visitors.
Click here for more information on how you can experience British Columbia through the eyes of an Aboriginal guide.