Indigenous cultures across Canada have a story to tell in which the natural world takes centre stage. In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous History Month, Yervana is proud to support Indigenous communities and provide a platform for Indigenous Tourism Providers to share their traditional ways with curious explorers.
When European settlers arrived in Canada in the 1500’s, hundreds of culturally distinct groups inhabited what we now know as Canada and they were as diverse as the land itself.
Prior to European settlers arriving, historians have identified the First Nations People through the six main geographical areas they inhabited. There were the Woodland First Nations, who lived in the East; Iroquoian First Nations, who inhabited the South; Plains First Nations, who lived in the Prairies; Plateau First Nations, who lived in land ranging from semi-desert in the south to mountains in the north; Pacific Coast First Nations, and the First Nations of the Mackenzie and Yukon River.
Today, Indigenous communities are embracing tourism as a platform for sharing their traditions, culture, and stories. The increasing number of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences across Canada offers the important opportunity to understand their traditions and hear their stories.
Photo credit: Destination BC
Home to Authentic and Inspiring Indigenous Experiences
Discover how in today’s society, First Nations people have preserved a unique balance of their traditional culture. Come experience their rich history, whether at a museum, in the untamed Rockies, across the interior, or out on the rugged pacific coastline, to learn the culture and traditions of Indigenous People throughout BC and Alberta.
Interpretive Forest Walk in Whistler, BC
Across British Columbia and Alberta, First Nations operators have joined the Yervana community to share their culture through varied adventures from the rugged peaks in the Rockies to the pacific coastline, here are their adventures.
Learn the shared culture and stories of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. Both have coexisted respectfully as neighbors since time immemorial. They have thrived on the bounty of the ocean, the rivers, and the land. Learn the rich ancient traditions, and how these nations continue to grow and evolve in a modern world.
Experience their culture firsthand on an Interpretive Forest Walk, participate in a Holistic Tour & Indigenous Tea Offering, or be welcomed by a traditional drum ceremony on the What We Treasure Tour.
Winter Plant Medicine Walk in Sundre, AB
Learn the fascinating historical medicines of the boreal forest from a Cree lineage.
This eye-opening experience will take you through a mountain meadow or forest with a knowledgeable guide who will identify plants, trees or bushes and tell you how it can be used to make something crucial to survival – a fire cider for a flu or cold, a food source, or a fire starter.
Bow River Float in Calgary, AB
If you’re looking to experience the excitement of fly fishing on a world-renowned river, Quinn is your go-to! Regardless of whether you’re an experienced angler or you’ve never held a fly rod, your guide, Quinn, will ensure that your fishing trip is memorable.
Bimojige Hunting & Gathering Archery Adventure in Mountain View County, AB
This unique adventure provides the opportunity for you to immerse yourself in learning traditional Indigenous methods of cooking using traditional plants for flavour and medicinal use followed by a traditional archery lesson where you’ll get to practise your stills aiming at foam animal props!
Backcountry Horseback Riding Boot Camp Adventure in Cremona, AB
Spend four days learning the basics of recreational trail riding and end the camp feeling more comfortable for mountain riding or longer trail rides. Woven into this adventure, learn about the unique Indigenous perspective and cultural stories throughout the journey.
Great Bears of Bute Adventure in Campbell River, BC
Your Indigenous guide will take you through the Salish Sea and lands of First Peoples into Bute Inlet where you’ll engage in respectful wildlife viewing while discovering the people, land and waters of this truly spectacular part of Canada. Along the way, guides will share knowledge about the bears, salmon, Homalco people and their ties to the land.
People Water Land Adventure in Campbell River, BC
Explore the best of marine wildlife and First Nations culture in an immersive, hands-on experience. The journey to Orford Bay in Bute Inlet takes you to the traditional home of the χwe̓malhkwu (Homalco) First Peoples. The water and land of Bute provided the Homalco with transportation, food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Search for Qw̓ənɛs (whales) and uncover the stories of ǰɛnxw (Salmon), the χwe̓malhkwu people and much more. You may even see χawgəs (Grizzly Bear) or Mexaɬ (Black Bear) from a wildlife viewing tower overlooking a picturesque estuary.
Whales, Wildlife & Culture Adventure in Campbell River, BC
Embark on a Whales (Qw̓ənɛs), Wildlife and Culture excursion filled with discovery focused on large marine mammals combined with a fascinating view into the world of local First Nations. Campbell River, BC ranks among the most sought-after destinations for viewing some of the world’s most magnificent marine mammals. Your journey is complimented with a unique Indigenous perspective, Campbell River and the Discovery Islands contain a rich First Nations history with millennia of occupation by the people of Homalco, Klahoose, Tla’amin, K’ómoks, Wei Wai Kum, We Wai Kai and more.
Photo credit: Destination BC
Take part in the authentic and inspiring Indigenous activities throughout the country. From hearing about the Indigenous culture over warm bannock to witnessing traditional dances, and learning traditional hunting and gathering skills, feel the vibrant energy amid ancient forests, coastlines, and the diverse lands across Canada.
Yervana acknowledges and celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ traditional and contemporary ties to their lands, we are grateful to have opportunities for adventures on the lands originally inhabited by Indigenous Peoples. We appreciate the Indigenous tourism providers who have joined the Yervana community and who trust our platform as a place to share their stories, culture, and experience with explorers.