Top 5 Spring Aboriginal Adventures
British Columbia is home to more than 200 First Nations – one third of all the Aboriginal people in Canada – with approximately 32 different First Nation languages and close to 60 dialects spoken in the province. Sharing their 10,000-year-old history and still-thriving culture is a big part of the Aboriginal identity, and visitors to BC can participate in an almost inexhaustible number of activities throughout the year, ranging from whale and wildlife watching tours, fishing and hiking excursions, to cultural discoveries at museums and special events.
Here are our top 5 favourite Aboriginal adventures for Spring:
1) Storm-watching, Wya Point Resort – Ucluelet
The stunning scenic beauty of Vancouver Island is legendary, but you haven’t been truly awed by Mother Nature until you’ve watched towering thunderstorms roll in from the ocean while in the comfort of Wya Point Resort. Located in the lush coastal rainforest of Vancouver Island’s west coast, a few kilometres outside Ucluelet and within minutes of world-famous Pacific Rim National Park, Wya Point Resort is a retreat that offers luxury lodge accommodations, rustic eco yurts, plus a scenic campground. There are also many trails available in the surrounding area, which are perfect for hiking and walking.
2) Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – Whistler
After a day of spring skiing or snowboarding Whistler’s award-winning slopes, head over to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to explore the rich Aboriginal history of the area. The venue is an authentic cultural activity, showcasing the art and heritage of the Squamish and Lil’wat people and featuring a museum, modern gallery, craft activities, gift shop, café, and theatre. The centre offers guests guided tours of the museum and exhibits, singing and drumming performances, multimedia presentations and craft workshops, as well as indigenous cuisine.
3) Talking Trees Tour with Talaysay Tours – Vancouver
You’ve heard of Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park, however Talaysay Tours lets you experience and see the ecological wonder in a whole new way. Talaysay’s guides take you into the park to teach you the many Aboriginal stories of the region, as well as cultural and scientific knowledge of the Northwest Coast trees and plants that Aboriginal people today still continue to gather and harvest for food, medicine, and art.
4) Bill Reid Art Gallery – Vancouver
Located right in downtown Vancouver, this gallery named for acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid (1920-1998) showcases the permanent collection of the his work, as well as changing exhibitions of Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Northwest Coast. The gallery also features a gift shop with a wide selection of original works and prints by local Northwest Coast artists, plus jewelry, accessories, books, cards and more.
5) Kekuli Café – Merritt
Spring is a great time to explore British Columbia by car and if you happen to be travelling between Vancouver and the Okanagan, you should definitely plan a stop at the Kekuli Café in Merritt. There, you’ll get to sample a wide variety of Aboriginal and Aboriginal-inspired fare from traditional fry bread (bannock) to “Indian Tacos.”