48 Hours Around Kamloops: Canoe Journey, Secwepemc History, and Resort Relaxation

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This two-day itinerary features visits to Secwepemc hosts in and around Kamloops and experiences on the traditional waterways of Secwepemc’ulecw, including the South Thompson River.

Secwepemc | Syilx | Nlaka’pamux

Responsible tourism means that the experience creates a positive impact for all involved–not just the traveller. Responsible Indigenous tourism in BC means that travel includes consideration of all which is of value to Indigenous Peoples–their communities, languages, and cultures; water, animals, and lands.

How to Travel Responsibly

In Kamloops, learn about Secwepemc heritage, ethnobotany, and pre-contact innovation on the land, as well as the impact of residential school.

Stay at Quaaout Lodge and Spa on Little Shuswap Lake in Squilax  (Chase, British Columbia) and enjoy Indigenous fusion cuisine, world-class golf, and spa facilities, and generous cultural ambassadors with so much to share about the land that continues to sustain seventeen Secwepemc communities.

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Day 1: Kamloops

12 PM  Kamloops

Pick up last-minute essentials for the road and eat lunch in Kamloops. Plan to arrive at Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park after its daily noon hour closure from Monday to Friday or by appointment, depending on staff availability.

1 PM  Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park

The museum’s Precontact Tour teaches about traditional life in Secwepemc’ulecw and includes local Indigenous plant knowledge, exhibits on traditional clothing and tools, and the chance to visit a traditional underground winter home. The Residential School Tour includes film, history, discussion, and a tour of the fourth floor of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, previously the boys’ dormitory. Also, there are four galleries, all vibrant displays of Secwepemc culture and history.

5 PM Quaaout Lodge and Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort (Chase)

Check into your relaxing accommodations and prepare for Indigenous fusion cuisine at Jack Sam’s Restaurant and Lounge. The on-site restaurant has an all-day menu that showcases fresh, local collaborations, and traditional ingredients, including juniper (punllp) and spring shoots; salmon (sqlélten) and venison. Share the stories of the day and a glass of award-winning Indigenous white wine on the deck overlooking Little Shuswap Lake.

9 PM Little Shuswap Lake

After your meal, borrow a canoe from your hosts at the lodge and take a relaxing sunset paddle on Little Shuswap Lake.

Days: 2 Golf, Canoe Journey + Spa

6 AM Talking Rock Golf Course

Tee off  before breakfast in the mature sandy forest at the world-class Talking Rock Golf Course. This golf course, located on the rugged shores of sparkling Little Shuswap Lake, is the pride of the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band.

11 AM Moccasin Trails Canoe Journey | Lafarge Landing to Valleyview

A local knowledge keeper leads this leisurely 14-kilometer paddle down the South Thompson River along the traditional Secwepemc water route to Tkemlups for meetings and trade. Book ahead to experience the sacred connection of the Secwepemc people to these waters, surrounded by the beauty of Secwepemc’ulecw and its plant and animal inhabitants, as your cultural guide shares stories.

3 PM  Le7ke Spa

Following your canoe journey, head back to Quaaout Lodge’s Le7ke Spa (pronounced la-ka, meaning “I am good” in the Secwepemc language) for a manicure, massage, and relaxation with certified professionals. Reserve at least 24 hours in advance for a wide selection of treatments and access to the steam room, pool, and infrared sauna, offered Tuesday through Saturday.

Day 3: Heading North

12 PM  Tsutswecw Provincial Park and Gift ‘n’ Gab Trading Post or Kekuli Cafe

There is time for one more adventure. Head north in Secwepemc territory toward Tsutswecw (Roderick Haig-Brown) Provincial Park and Adams River, which boasts one of the world’s most spectacular salmon runs in autumn. Pick up souvenirs of your Indigenous experience at Gift ‘n’ Gab Trading Post in Barriere. Alternatively, head south toward Merritt in the Traditional Territory of the Syilx and Nlaka’pamux people for coffee and a stacked sandwich on fresh bannock at Kekuli Cafe, the first Indigenous franchise in Canada.