Indigenous Experiential Education Day in Vancouver for Family Day

Canoe tours. Photo: @takayatours / Instagram

The following photo essay was contributed by Darian Kovacs, Indigenous Business Leader in Marketing, Communications, & PR.

5 authentic Indigenous experiences right here in Vancouver where you can have fun and learn about Indigenous cultures on Family Day 2022.

Family Day is just around the corner, and if you’re like many of us, you are tired of the typical staycations or visits to the indoor pool. Looking for a day trip that will educate, engage, and inspire kids of any age and parents alike? These five authentic Indigenous experiences don’t require you to venture out of the city but instead leave you feeling like you’ve done something special.

1. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Leave the car at home and hop on the Skytrain to visit the Bill Reid Gallery. Since opening in 2008, it has remained the only public art gallery in Canada devoted to contemporary Indigenous art of the Northwest Coast.

The gallery is home to the Simon Fraser University Bill Reid Art Collection and features special exhibitions of contemporary Indigenous art from the Northwest Coast of North America.

Bill Reid’s legacies include infusing Haida artistic traditions with modern forms of expression and building lasting relationships between First Nations and other peoples.

The current exhibition, A Well-Made Object, is on until May 8, 2022, and features works by Bill Reid and 16 other artists.

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is located at 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver. For hours and more info, visit



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2. Aboriginal Eco Tours

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing. Not perturbed by potential rain? Book an excursion with Aboriginal Eco Tours, one of Vancouver’s best-kept secrets.

Since 2002, they have been offering authentic cultural and eco experiences in the Vancouver, Squamish and Sunshine Coast areas. Their renowned guides and cultural ambassadors are keen to share their knowledge through Spoken Treasures walks, Indigenous Forest Wellness Tours and their signature Talking Trees Tour in Stanley Park.

Keen for more? Be sure to book again in the spring for the Talaysay Kayak Tour.

Aboriginal Eco Tours’ head office is located at 334 Skawshen Road, West Vancouver. Call 1-800-605-4643 or visit to book.

3. Takaya Tours

If you have older kids or teens and are seeking a local Family Day adventure, head to North Vancouver for a day on the water with Takaya Tours. You’re sure to renew your spirit and exhaust your arms.

Takaya Tours grew out of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s desire to create an economically, environmentally sustainable adventure company to develop youth leadership skills and provide a greater understanding of First Nations history in the Vancouver area.

Head into the lush rainforest fjord of the North Shore’s Indian Arm, paddling back in time in a 10-metre replica of an ocean-going First Nations canoe while guides share legends, songs, myths and legends that will help you create lifelong memories.

Takaya Tours is located at 3178 Alder Court, North Vancouver. Email or visit to book.


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4. Salmon n Bannock Bistro

After a busy day of walking, paddling, or taking in Indigenous art, you’ll surely have worked up an appetite! What better way to culminate your Indigenous Experiential Family Day than by enjoying dinner at Salmon n’ Bannock?

Vancouver’s only Indigenous-owned and operated restaurant, Salmon n’ Bannock chefs use traditional ingredients and authentic flavours to create wonderfully delicious modern dishes.

Feed your spirit and your stomach with mouth-watering candied salmon, bison pot roast with gravy “good enough to drink out of a wine glass” or fun and casual bannock tacos. No dinner is complete without ice cream and fresh berries for the kids or a boozy sundae with maple whisky for mom and dad.

Salmon n’ Bannock is located at 7-1128 West Broadway, Vancouver. For the full menu or to order online, visit Call 604-568-8971 to book.

5. Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery

Cap off that Family Day staycation experience (or stop by to purchase Indigenous art) at the innovative Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery.

More than a critically acclaimed hotel and gallery, Skwachàys is also a social enterprise, housing Indigenous artists in residence. Each room at the lodge is unique, designed by pairs of Vancouver’s top hotel designers and Indigenous artists, including Corrine Hunt, co-creator of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games medals.

Skwachàys’ affordable rates will be a treat to your wallet, while rooms like the Moon Suite and the Drum Circle Suite will be a feast for your eyes. Guests at Skwachàys can even experience a traditional sweat lodge.

Too close to home to stay overnight? Visit the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery, where you can meet with artists in residence and shop for unique art.

Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery is located at 31 West Pender Street, Vancouver. Visit to learn more and book your stay.

Darian Kovacs is the Metis founder of Vancouver based SEO company Jelly Digital Marketing & PR and digital marketing school, Jelly Academy.  He is the host of the podcast Marketing News Canada and on the board of NPower Canada.  Darian lives in Fort Langley, BC with his wife and four children and likes to mountain bike, tour Vancouver, watercolour, and read in his free time.

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