Add an experience of traditional lifestyles, art and culture to your journey

The British Columbia coast has been home to several First Nations since time immemorial. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal peoples lived in permanent and seasonal communities on the mainland, Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and many of the other coastal islands. Canada and British Columbia recognize First Nation’s claims to traditional territories and to natural resources. In some places, First Nations communities are part of non-aboriginal communities. In other places, especially in the north, First Nations communities are independent, located where they have always been, and traditional ways of life and livelihood are still practised.

A visit to BC’s coast is not complete without an experience of Aboriginal culture. From a visit to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art (Vancouver) to the crafts, dancing and carvers of Haida Gwaii, all along the way you will find opportunities to experience Aboriginal Culture. There are opportunities to learn about traditional knowledge of the natural world and traditional ways of life.

As you explore BC’s coastal regions on this website, you will find references to where you can experience First Nations’ cultures. We hope this whets your appetite. To learn about Aboriginal culture experiences and include them in your trip, visit Aboriginal Tourism BC. There you will find maps showing places of interest and descriptions of what you will find there.

We know that you will wish to respect the land and traditions of First Nations’ peoples. Before you go, we suggest that you read our Travel in First Nations’ Traditional Territories.

Main image at top of page: Haida Heritage Centre and Museum in Haida Gwaii, credit Aboriginal Tourism BC