Three themed virtual events will immerse participants in Indigenous cultures and travel experiences across BC
Coast Salish Territories / Vancouver, BC: Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is thrilled to host a series of free virtual workshops celebrating National Indigenous History Month (June 2021) and National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21, 2021), in partnership with Destination BC and sponsored by Daily Hive. An engaging opportunity for people everywhere to learn about Indigenous cultures, history and tourism in BC, the workshops are anchored by themes of food and beverage, arts and culture, and wellness.
National Indigenous History Month was introduced in June 2009 as a way to educate, connect and promote reconciliation in Canada. In 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day was declared, with the date of June 21 chosen to coincide with the summer solstice and the start of berry-picking and fishing season – both important traditions in Indigenous cultures. The holidays invite Canadian residents to celebrate local First Nations cultures, while reflecting on the storied history of the country’s Indigenous peoples.
ITBC will facilitate deeper connections between Canadians and Indigenous cultures in BC through a series of virtual workshops that promote support for local businesses, raise awareness of the province’s exceptional Indigenous travel experiences, and highlight the many ways tourism supports revitalization of Indigenous cultures.
A Tasting of Indigenous Cultures – Tuesday, June 15 at 2pm PST / 5pm EST
An immersive exploration of the rich history and cultures of Indigenous cuisine and wine in BC. Viewers will meet Paul Natrall, second-generation chef and owner of Vancouver’s Indigenous food truck, Mr. Bannock, and Ryan Widdup, manager and sommelier of the Okanagan’s picturesque Indigenous World Winery. Learn how to make authentic bannock from home and learn about the history and practices behind Indigenous wine.
Eventbrite registration: https://bit.ly/33U30W5
Celebrating Living Indigenous Arts & Culture – Thursday, June 17 at 2pm PST / 5pm EST
Travel virtually to the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC with Sara Fulla, where you’ll learn about the history and cultural significance of Potlatches as well as the artistic practices of cedar weaving, song and dance. Viewers will then be transported to the remote Great Bear Rainforest in Klemtu, BC where they will meet Sierra Hall at Spirit Bear Lodge. From harvesting traditional foods and wildlife watching to viewing petroglyphs and historical tours, Spirit Bear Lodge fosters deep connections to place and land.
Eventbrite registration: https://bit.ly/3eZktmw
Honouring Wellness – Tuesday, June 22 at 2pm PST / 5pm EST
Restore your spirit through an exploration of Indigenous wellness rituals. Frank Antoine, co-founder of the Okanagan’s Moccasin Trails, will host a smudging ceremony and attendees will learn about the colonization of Indigenous wellness practices. Viewers will then meet Dennis Thomas of Vancouver’s Takaya Tours, an Indigenous owned eco-tourism venture. Indigenous peoples have travelled the land and waters of traditional territory for thousands of years, and Dennis will share his ancestral knowledge, fostering an appreciation for wilderness and Indigenous culture. Learn how nature and sustainability, through an Indigenous worldview, contribute to social wellbeing.
Eventbrite registration: https://bit.ly/3ft3J5V
“We’re thrilled to host our first-ever virtual workshops in celebration of National Indigenous History Month,” says Brenda Baptiste, Chair of ITBC. “We’ve secured a group of exceptional individuals who will share their stories, and we invite participants across BC and abroad to dive deeper into prominent themes of Indigenous cultures. While travel restrictions are in place, we hope these online events will inspire the community to learn now and visit later to support Indigenous businesses and experience our history and traditions firsthand.”
Included on each event page are links to purchase relevant products or reserve future travel experiences relating to each workshop topic, including sage sticks for smudging and pre-made mixes to bake bannock at home.
The National Indigenous History Month virtual workshops are presented by Indigenous Tourism BC, in partnership with Destination BC and sponsored by Daily Hive.
About Indigenous Tourism BC
Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is a non-profit, Stakeholder-based organization committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. Through training, information resources, networking opportunities and cooperative marketing programs, ITBC is a resource for Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in BC who are operating or looking to start a tourism business. ITBC works closely with tourism, business, education and government organizations to help BC’s Indigenous tourism businesses offer quality experiences and actively promote these experiences to visitors and local residents. www.indigenousbc.com
About Destination BC
Destination BC is a provincially funded, industry-led Crown corporation that supports a strong and competitive future for BC’s tourism industry through a combination of global marketing, destination development, industry learning, cooperative community-based programs, and visitor servicing. Destination BC receives approximately $52 million each year, out of a Provincial investment of about $140 million in BC’s tourism ecosystem as a whole. These investments help to improve the visitor experience, support businesses and communities, and strengthen BC’s worldwide reputation as a destination of choice. For more information about Destination BC’s programs and services, please visit: www.destinationbc.ca.
Destination BC Media Relations | [email protected]