There’s so much to love about travel in Canada. You can particularly appreciate the beauty of the natural environments – from the mountains we love to ski all the way through to the lakes, valleys and national parks.

In an ideal world, we’ll continue to enjoy these environments for many years to come. With an increasing focus on the importance of responsible travel, Indigenous tourism operators are highly recognised for their ability to share the most spectacular places while treading lightly on the lands they’ve been protecting for thousands of years.

Big White Sunset, ©Sue Thorley
Big White Sunset, ©Sue Thorley

By signing up for an Indigenous tourism experience as part of your Canadian adventure, it ensures you come to understand the true nature of the culture while appreciating the unique ecosystems, species and habitats that surround you.

Here are some of the best Indigenous tourism experiences to be found across Canada. This is close to the most popular ski destinations, so you can easily tack on a wonderful experience for your next snow holiday.


If you’re skiing Big White or SilverStar in British Columbia, it’s just a short trip to Indigenous activities located around the hub of Kelowna.

Berry Picker Gate House, ©Sncewips Heritage Museum
Berry Picker Gate House, ©Sncewips Heritage Museum

There are many ways to learn more about the Syilx people, the Indigenous first peoples of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. Sncewips Heritage Museum in West Kelowna is a great start.

The museum collects, preserves, restores and interprets art and artefact collections that reflect the heritage and natural history of the Syilx people. Via a museum tour, you’ll see and learn about a variety of artefacts and cultural practices, including traditional tools and dwellings, storytelling, the impact of colonisation, Westbank First Nations self-government and more.

Then head onto a delicious Indigenous-inspired lunch at Kekuli Café. Named for a traditional Indigenous winter dwelling, the cafe is famous for bannock – an Indigenous bread made fresh daily, with a variety of toppings. Our pick is the wild sockeye salmon on bannock with scrambled egg, melted Havarti cheese and house-made sage mayo.

©Indigenous World Winery
©Indigenous World Winery

Of course, it wouldn’t be a visit to Kelowna without a stop by a winery or two. Indigenous World Winery merges modern culture with Indigenous history by combining the unique terroir of the valley with the Syilx people’s stewardship of the land.

It’s a great opportunity to understand how world-class wines can be produced in a way that is respectful to the environment and its people. And you’ll even enjoy a history lesson along the way, with an explanation of the agriculture of the local land and what made them so special.


The Coast Salish peoples have inhabited the land around Whistler for many thousands of years, with the area so rich in wildlife and resources that it was a trading route between the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. Even some of the modern-day hiking trails are the same ancient routes.

Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, ©whistlerlakeplacid and gowhistler
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, ©whistlerlakeplacid and gowhistler

If you’re skiing Whistler, the perfect place to learn about the history of the area is The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC).

It’s located on the shared, traditional territories of the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation, and right in the heart of the village. This area is the result of two nations coming together to celebrate and share their cultures with the world.

There’s a guided tour offered on the hour, every hour, which includes a traditional welcome song, film and exhibit tour. The tour features live demonstrations of weaving, carving, cedar prepping, and other cultural regenerative activities. You also get to experience outdoor exhibits and an interpretive forest walk. There’s something for everyone in the family.

You can also participate in hands-on activities on offer – such as making your medicine bag, dream catcher, drum, and other traditional crafts. After that, you can explore the large gift shop offering products unique to the Squamish and Lil’wat peoples of Canada.


If you’re skiing Banff Sunshine, Mt. Norquay or Lake Louise, it’s an easy stop by the Buffalo Nations Museum in the town of Banff. You can learn about the Indigenous peoples who inhabited the area around present-day Banff for more than 10,000 years.

There’s a fascinating history of the town, with it having been a trading centre and winter village for the Stoney Nakoda people. The museum goes through it all and is housed in a log fortress, it also makes for some amazing photos of the Bow River.

From innovative technology to the gift shop and reading area, the museum serves as a hub for Indigenous Canadians and uses traditional knowledge to conserve and restore language, culture and ecology.


Skiing Marmot Basin, it’s inevitable to be awestruck by the surrounding scenery and national park. The Jasper area is rich in Indigenous tourism opportunities, making the most of the local area. The Rockies have long been known to the Indigenous people in Alberta as the ‘Shining Mountains’ or the ‘Backbone of the World.’

Jasper Tour Company offers winter wildlife tours to see the animals and birds that stick around for the snowy season. Owned and guided by Joe Urie, Joe comes from a proud Métis family who has been living and guiding along the Athabasca River for a very long time.

Jasper is also home to the Warrior Women, mother and daughter Matricia and Mackenzie Brown. They drum and teach around Alberta for a huge range of festivities, and often perform in locations around Jasper such as Jasper Park Lodge.

Wapakwanis Plant Walk, Make & Take, ©Warrior Women
Wapakwanis Plant Walk, Make & Take, ©Warrior Women

A great option is the fireside chat held on most Wednesday nights. Join Matricia by the fire and engage in conversation about Indigenous culture, with stories, drumming, and songs – she even teaches some beautiful phrases in Cree.

If you’re joining from afar, you can even log in for a free virtual medicine walk, with Matricia demonstrating foraging, collecting, and then processing plant material to create an evergreen pine salve.


Throughout any tourism activities, it’s important to consider local Indigenous rights along with local ecosystems and natural resources.

Travelling with Indigenous hosts and consulting local Indigenous communities where possible is a great way to support Indigenous laws and the protection of biodiversity.


©Indigenous Tourism BC Facebook
©Indigenous Tourism BC Facebook

To find out more about Indigenous tourism experiences in British Columbia, you can click here to find the Indigenous BC Trip Planner App.

Click here to discover more about Indigenous tourism in Alberta.

You’re also welcome to get in touch with our travel experts and we can recommend the best Indigenous tourism experience to suit your ski trip. Book a chat with us here.