From the heart of the rainforest to the wild open spaces of the prairies and everything in between, take the path that’s lightly trodden
After closing for two years to protect their small community, Spirit Bear Lodge will once again welcome guests back to British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest this year. A true ‘bucketlist’ destination, visitors have the rare chance to explore the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world in the company of its traditional stewards, the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. From grizzly bears and spirit bears to orcas and humpback whales, no matter when you visit, you’re sure to be enchanted by the abundant wildlife and beauty of the towering rainforest and cascading waterfalls. Sleep in comfort in the stunning waterfront lodge, enjoy delicious Indigenous-influenced cuisine and learn about the fascinating history and thriving Culture of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais People.
Immerse in Métis Culture on the banks of history overlooking the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta at the newly built luxury boutique Lodge at Métis Crossing. Dive into Indigenous experiences year-round and learn about life for those resilient Métis fur traders: learn about winter traditions on the trapline, strap on snowshoes, set a snare, and build a survival shelter; enjoy the rare beauty of near-zero light pollution stars, and look to the skies after dinner in the company of a Métis Knowledge Holder and learn how Métis used the stars and sky as a clock, calendar and guide to planting, hunting and working the land. At night, relax on your deck before enjoying fresh, seasonal Métis-inspired cuisine in the Lodge Bistro.
A 20-minute cab ride from Quebec City to the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations from the only remaining walled city in North America may not sound far from the beaten path, but once you leave European contact behind, you’ll discover an older civilization. Indulge at the on-site Nation spa and Nordic Baths, and First Nations-inspired La Traite restaurant. Visit the neighboring museum and fascinating Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse to hear storytellers share some of the history, Culture, and stories of the Huron-Wendat Nation. Combine your stay with a craft workshop led by Indigenous artisans or head out on a guided Discovery tour to explore Wendake’s treasures from the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Church to the natural wonders of the Kabir Kouba Falls.
Unforgettable vacations in Whitehorse, Yukon begin with Who What Where Tours, whether it’s snacking on bison smokies by the campfire, joining an interpretive hike through the subalpine forest, or relaxing in natural hot springs they have the tour for you! Visit the picturesque village of Carcross Commons and uncover the rich heritage of the Inland Tlingit and the Carcross/Tagish First Nations. Explore Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in territory with Fishwheel Tours, throughout summer cruise the Yukon River on a voyage of discovery through fur trade and gold rush days, in winter snowmobile under the Northern Lights. Live life on the edge of Kluane National Park at the Shakat Tun Wilderness Camp soaking up the Culture, and hospitality of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.
By land and water experience the wilderness of Wiikwemkoong, Manitoulin Island Ontario, home to the people of Three Fires Confederacy. Paddle out with an Anishanabek guide and hear local legends; visit the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, a learning centre created to preserve and revitalize the language, culture, arts, spirituality, and traditions of the Anishinaabe People of the Mnidoo Mnising. Enjoy a luxury stay with the Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre, where the traditional Culture shines through art and textiles. Feast on Anishinaabe tacos at the North46 restaurant overlooking the LaCloche Mountain range. Travel west to the pristine shores of the Zhiibaahaasing First Nation and snap a selfie with the world’s largest peace pipe, dream catcher and drum.
Ringed by wild nature the Red Bank Lodge in New Brunswick is perched on a high bank overlooking the river in the peace of the forest. Offering some of the best salmon and fly fishing around, cast your line with a local Mi’kmak guide before tucking into an Indigenous fusion dinner with treats such as Three Sisters salmon cacciatore and a decadent apple cake with a wintergreen-infused cream. Tread softly and spy moose and bears along the river’s edge or explore the walking trails watching out for the hundred or more bird species which thrive in these woods. Visit the neighboring Metepenagiag Heritage Park and learn about the Mi’kmaq community and Culture that has existed along the Miramichi river for over 30 centuries.
Explore Indigenous travel ideas at destinationindigenous.ca
Next Up: Canada for All Seasons