A wooden eagel sits on top of the totem pole in Canada

Exploring Canada - National Indigenous History Month

  • 31st May 2023
  • 8 min read

National Indigenous History Month is a valuable time to remember and recognize the rich history and culture of Indigenous peoples living in Canada. From ancient artifacts to thriving communities, this month gives us a unique opportunity to learn about Canada's diverse first peoples - past and present.

In honour of National Indigenous History Month, let us explore some of the most interesting sites across the country which help tell their stories. From archaeological ruins in British Columbia to traditional villages in Newfoundland and Labrador, each destination offers something special for visitors looking for an authentic experience of First Nations culture.

Throughout June we will travel from coast-to-coast, learning more about why it is important that we continue to celebrate National Indigenous History Month every year – both now and into the future!

Introducing National Indigenous History Month

National Indigenous History Month is a time to honour and celebrate the contributions, culture, and resilience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. This month-long celebration provides a platform for Indigenous stories, traditions, and history to be shared and acknowledged.

Through events, workshops, and educational resources, Canadians are given the opportunity to learn and engage with Indigenous history and its impact on our country. It is essential to recognise and honour the unique history and experiences of Indigenous peoples, and National Indigenous History Month presents an opportunity to do so.

This month serves as a reminder of the ongoing journey towards reconciliation and the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the diverse cultures and contributions of Indigenous communities.

Two teepees sit under the Northern Lights in Canada.

Exploring Places to Visit in Canada to Experience Indigenous History

Canada is a treasure trove of Indigenous history and culture just waiting to be discovered. From the rugged coastlines of British Columbia to the rolling hills of Quebec, there are countless places to visit and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the First Nations peoples.

One such place is the Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatchewan, where visitors can learn about the Plains Cree and how they lived on the land for thousands of years. The park offers interactive exhibits, archaeological sites, and guided tours.

Another stop on this journey would be the Kluane National Park and Reserve in Yukon, where you can experience the traditions of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations through cultural programming and guided hikes.

Canada’s Indigenous history is not only fascinating but also crucial to understanding the country's past, present, and future.

Fand drawn Petroglyphs mark the walls of caves in Canada

Indigenous History in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador, is rich in Indigenous history and culture, making it a wonderful place to celebrate National Indigenous History Month. You can visit the Labrador Interpretation Centre in North West River, which highlights the history and culture of the Innu and Inuit peoples of Labrador.

Or why not head over to Beothuk Interpretation Centre in Boyd's Cove? The Centre displays the history and culture of the Beothuk, the Indigenous people who inhabited the island of Newfoundland before the arrival of Europeans.

If you would rather be on the move, you could take a guided tour to explore historic Indigenous sites such as the Pinware River Petroglyphs, which feature ancient rock carvings by the Maritime Archaic people. Or take part in a traditional feast, such as a salmon boil or a caribou barbecue, which are often held during National Indigenous History Month.

You could even learn a new skill, by attending a workshop or class to learn traditional skills such as basket weaving, moccasin making, or quillwork.

Vancouver Art Gallery lit up in orange lights

Experiencing a guided tour of an archaeological site on Vancouver Island

The lush greenery and vast mountain ranges of Vancouver Island have always been a huge draw for tourists and locals alike. But what lies beneath the surface is also something to marvel at—the rich and diverse history of the First Nations people who have inhabited the island for thousands of years.

One of the best ways to experience this history is through a guided tour of an archaeological site. Imagine wandering through a truly ancient village, seeing the remains of longhouses and totem poles that tell stories of the past. Guided by knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts, you will gain a unique insight into the lives of those who came before us.

It is a truly magical experience that will leave you with a newfound respect for the rich cultural heritage of Vancouver Island.

Museum For Human Rights in Winnipeg

Visiting the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Canada's history and the ongoing fight for human rights around the world. From its visually stunning architecture to the interactive exhibits inside, the museum offers a powerful and thought-provoking experience that leaves an impression on visitors.

Highlights include the exhibit on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report on the impact of residential schools on Indigenous peoples, as well as the display of the struggle for 2SLGBTQ+ rights in Canada.

The museum's mission to promote understanding and respect for human rights is truly embodied in every aspect of this incredible institution.

A lake running throuhg the Boreal Forest in Canada

Exploring the Boreal Forest in Northern Canada

The Boreal Forest in Northern Canada is a wonderland for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Covering approximately 3 million square kilometres, the Boreal Forest is home to a plethora of natural wonders such as hundreds of lakes, thousands of rivers, mountains, dense forests, and an abundance of wildlife.

One of the best ways to explore the area is by embarking on a canoe trip, navigating through the winding waterways, and enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Take a hike along one of the many trails and discover hidden waterfalls, serene lakes, and stunning rock formations.

Keep an eye out for native wildlife such as elk, moose, lynx, and grizzly bears. The Boreal Forest is truly a unique and unforgettable destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

Rows of Totem poles that can be found in Vancouver Canada

Celebrating at the annual powwow in Vancouver

The annual powwow in Vancouver is a vibrant celebration that brings together Indigenous communities from across North America. The powwow is a time to honour traditions, language, and culture through dance and song.

It is a chance to see colourful regalia and hear the beat of the drum, which is the heart of the powwow. The atmosphere is electric as participants share stories, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones. The powwow is an open and inclusive event that encourages everyone to enjoy the festivities.

If you are looking for an authentic cultural experience, then the annual powwow in Vancouver is not to be missed.

In conclusion, National Indigenous History Month is a way to remember, learn and celebrate Indigenous culture from around Canada. It offers experiences that help discover the past, learn more about yourself and develop further connections to the land. Visit places such as Vancouver Island and northern Canada to experience the majesty of Boreal forests.

Take in the unique history of Winnipeg while visiting the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, listen closely to an annual powwow or take a guided tour of an archaeological site on Vancouver Island.

May this National Indigenous History Month be a time to commemorate and honour all cultures and peoples who comprise this beautiful country we call home.

Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, having worked with some of the worlds largest insurers. Tommy’s primary focus has been developing the best possible online experience for travellers looking to compare travel insurance rates. Music and travel are two of Tommy's greatest interests, and even better when he can combine the two together!


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