Experience Indigenous Culture in Vancouver

The city of Vancouver was founded in 1886, but it has been home to the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations since time immemorial. Discover a new perspective as you experience Indigenous history and culture in Vancouver. #thisisvancouver


Visit the Bill Reid Gallery

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is one of the best places to experience Indigenous art in Vancouver. Located in downtown Vancouver, the gallery includes bronze sculptures, gold and silver jewellery, and wood carvings. It also showcases the work of emerging Indigenous artists.

Interior of the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver

Photo: Sama Jim Canzian/Bill Reid Gallery


Paddle with Takaya Tours

Experience the culture, history, and tradition of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation in a 35-foot traditional style ocean-going canoe with Takaya Tours. You’ll paddle the waters of Indian Arm while your guides sing songs, tell stories, and point out ancient village sites. You can also book a combined walking and paddling tour that includes medicinal plant identification and harvesting.

Photo: Destination BC/Albert Normandin


Visit the Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Head to the Brockton Point area of Stanely Park to see nine totem poles from First Nations around British Columbia. Be sure to wander around the site to discover three carved red cedar gateways, created by Coast Salish artist Susan Point.

Photo: Tourism Vancouver/Kazutoish Yoshimura


Take a Walking Tour in Stanley Park with Talaysay Tours

Explore Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park with Talaysay Tours. A guide from the Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations will help you learn how Indigenous people harvest local plants for food, medicine, and technology. Your guide will also share stories and Indigenous culture.

Photo: Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout


Stay at the Skwachàys Lodge

Book a room at the Skwachàys Lodge in downtown Vancouver, to immerse yourself in Indigenous culture. The property combines an 18-room boutique hotel, a street-front art gallery, and on-site live-work spaces for 24 Indigenous artists-in-residence.

Photo: Craig Minielly/Aura Photographics


Visit the Museum of Anthropology

Home to one of the largest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations art, the Museum of Anthropology is housed in a beautiful glass and concrete Arthur Erickson-designed building. Don’t miss the works of Haida artist Bill Reid, including the spectacular cedar sculpture, The Raven and the First Man.

Bill Reid sculpture at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver

Photo: Museum of Anthropology/Goh Iromoto


Eat at Salmon ‘n Bannock Bistro

Founded in 2010, Indigenous-owned Salmon ‘n Bannock Bistro creates contemporary West Coast food with a First Nations influence. Unsurprisingly, bannock bread and salmon feature heavily in many dishes, but they also offer bison, game meats, and desserts made with fresh local berries.

A salmon dish at Salmon 'n Bannock Bistro in Vancouver

Photo: Salmon ‘n Bannock/Facebook


Visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Learn about the culture, art, and tradition of the local Indigenous people at Whistler’s Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre located a 2-hour drive from Vancouver. Your experience begins with a welcome song accompanied by a hand-drum. Follow a Squamish or Lil’wat cultural ambassador through the galleries to learn about their way of life.

Photo: Destination BC/Indigenous Tourism BC

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