This post by Dené Sinclair originally appeared on the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada blog.
The diversity across Canada stretches far beyond its rich and varied landscapes: our country is home to hundreds of ancient Indigenous communities that still thrive thousands of years later. Visitors can learn about many different and diverse Indigenous cultures by visiting various cultural centres and heritage parks across Canada, hearing the myriad of stories passed down over many generations, visiting prehistoric sites, and walking in the footsteps of Indigenous peoples.
Step back in time at Wanuskewin Heritage Park
A National Historic Site just outside Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Wanuskewin Heritage Park is home to more than 6,000 years of history and Canada’s longest-running archeological dig. This interpretive site features stories of the Northern Plains peoples through the exploration of ancient tipi rings, stone cairns, plant seeds, egg shell fragments, and animal bones. Take a guided walk on the Path of the People for a glimpse of what life was like in this once-thriving society on the prairie long ago.
Discover the First Nations myths and legends at Tourism Wendake
Just 14 minutes from the heart of Québec City, visitors can dive deep into Huron-Wendat culture at the on-site museum. In the evening, visit with the local storyteller, and spend the night at the traditional longhouse for an authentic Huron-Wendat experience.
Learn the living history of the Mi’kmaq people at Membertou Heritage Park
At the five-acre Membertou Heritage Park located right outside Sydney on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, get insights into this ancient culture by visiting the indoor exhibits. Visitors will hear how stories and history have been passed down orally over many generations, and visit the Petroglyphs gift shop for a chance to look at and buy locally made arts and crafts.
Celebrate the living culture of the Haida people at Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay
Designed to resemble the traditional oceanside village that once stood in its place, today the 50,000-square-foot Haida Heritage Centre showcases a museum, a performance house, a carving shed, a canoe house, a bistro, and two multipurpose classrooms. Located on British Columbia’s northwest coast, explore the language, art, and stories, and learn about the Haida people’s relationship with the land and sea.
Take in the culture at Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre
On a visit to the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, on the banks of the Yukon River, you’ll share in the stories, art, music, and traditional food of the Kwanlin Dün people who have lived within this traditional territory for thousands of years. Check out the carefully curated exhibits and the large corridor lined with interpretive displays. Don’t miss the Sun Moon Window piece by Mark Preston, a Tlingit artist.
Walk in the footsteps of Mi’kmaq elders at Metepenagiag Heritage Park
The Mi’kmaq culture thrived here in New Brunswick for over 30 centuries and at this state-of-the-art facility you can learn the story, share in the music, and listen to the oral history of the land. Wander the park’s walking trails and visit the archeological finds of this ancient village that has two National Historic Sites: the Augustine Mound and the Oxbow, a once prosperous Mi’kmaq fishing community.