In the Chinook Jargon of the Pacific Northwest, the word klahowya means “Welcome” and “How are you?” So it comes as little surprise that a warm welcome is exactly what visitors experience when they step into Klahowya Village, the interactive First Nations exhibit in Stanley Park just reopened for its second season.
Located at Stanley Park’s Miniature Train Plaza, the Village offers a fun immersion into the cultures of Vancouver’s original inhabitants. The site features a unique combination of cultural displays and demonstrations, interactive activities sure to please the kids and – perhaps most important of all – authentic aboriginal cuisine.
The big draw at Klahowya Village is the Spirit Catcher Train, a 13-minute journey ($10 for adults; $8 for kids) aboard Stanley Park’s miniature rail line that takes visits deep into the forests of Stanley Park, while also exploring the Aboriginal history of British Columbia.
But the train ride is really just part of the experience. Inside the Village itself ($5 for adults; $3 for kids), the contemporary and traditional culture of First Nations peoples is recreated. Two dance performances are staged daily on the main stage, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Nearby a 40-foot-tall teepee provides a space for learning Aboriginal crafts. Wood-carvers and weavers are also on site, actively working on new creations.
There are also unique opportunities to connect on a human level with individual members of B.C.’s First Nations. Guests are invited to visit with tribal elders, who are eager to share their wisdom and life experiences. And you can also listen to Aboriginal stories and legends being retold in the story telling circle.
Finally, no introduction to First Nations culture would be complete without experiencing the food. Authentic Aboriginal cuisine will be served by Raven’s Landing. I haven’t heard anything yet about this year’s menu, but last year fire-roasted salmon, bannock bread and beverages made from pemmican and soapberry were featured.
Klahowya Village is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., from May 16-Sept. 11. Special combo packs for guests visiting the village and train are available, as well as discounts for family groups. Check out the Klahowya Village website for more information.
Has anyone visited Klahowya this year? Please share your feedback below.