British Columbia is home to 204 Indigenous communities in six diverse regions encompassing a variety of coastal, desert, and mountainous landscapes that offer authentic Indigenous experiences. To celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, here are a few must-see Indigenous resorts, activities and immersive experiences set in some of BC’s most spectacular, rugged and beautiful environments.
Klahoose Wilderness Resort, Desolation Sound
Klahoose Wilderness Resort believes in developing intentional eco-tourism efforts by investing in nature conservation. A two hour float plane ride from Vancouver takes you to Desolation Sound where guests are greeted with an abundance of nature and tropical-like warm ocean temperatures. Here Klahoose Wilderness Resort offers an opportunity to observe and experience the rich, diverse landscapes of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, and Homalco Nations through eco adventures such as marine tours and grizzly bear viewing to Indigeneous story telling. Recently opened in August 2021, the wilderness resort is both a stunning retreat and a beacon to travellers looking for one-of-a-kind, culturally rich experiences.
Nemiah Valley Lodge, Chilcotin Region
The Nemiah Valley Lodge presents a unique opportunity to visit one of Northern BC’s ranching communities and learn about the living culture and traditions of the Xeni Gwet’in and Tŝilhqot’in people. The lodge offers curated, all-inclusive packages featuring educational experiences led by local Elders within the community, including guided tours through the shores of Chilko Lake, hiking to Cardiff Mountain, and foraging walks alongside a Tŝilhqot’in Guide. Back at the lodge, an Indigenous-inspired menu continues the exploration into the Xeni Gwet’in and Tŝilhqot’in culture with traditional menu items like fire-cooked bannock, fresh fish, and roasted root vegetables.
Ocean House, Haida Gwaii
The remarkable Ocean House is set to open its first land-based location this fall, with new opportunities for eco-adventure tours, local art exploration and Haida culture education. Raised in Haida Gwaii with extensive experience in Vancouver’s top restaurants, Ocean House’s Executive Chef, Brodie Swanson is passionate about sharing his culture through food, using locally sourced ingredients like salmon, halibut, razor clams, and scallops creating a true tide-to-table experience. Visitors can indulge in the carefully curated menu by Chef Swanson and unwind at an all-inclusive spa featuring all-natural treatments to relax the mind, body, and soul.
Shearwater Resort & Marina, Denny Island
Newly owned and operated by the Heiltsuk Nation, Shearwater Resort is introducing new eco-tours this year. Travellers can learn about the history and culture of the Heiltsuk people and the land they call home during guided walks in the temperate rainforest. For those who want to explore BC by boat, their full-service marina is open throughout the summer, with float house lodging and accommodations available on the doorstep of The Great Bear Rainforest.
Walters Cove, Kyuquot
Reopening this June with new and expansive floating accommodations, guests at Walters Cove Resort can relax and unwind after a long day of adventures around BC’s Gulf Islands. Walters Cove is a unique ecotourism experience for those who enjoy sport fishing with a sustainable and ethical focus.
Known locally as the “Salmon Highway,” the mix of coastal inlets, bays, and islands of Kyuquot Sound make it the premiere spot for recreational and professional fishing alike. Alongside offering salmon and halibut specialty trips and charters, old-growth forests and beaches allow visitors to enjoy the coast’s natural beauty and venture out on a paddleboard or kayak.