Welcome to Snuneymuxw First Nation


Experience the Indigenous culture of Snuneymuxw First Nation

Nanaimo has many layers, and the Indigenous culture layer is one you don’t want to miss if you’re a boater. You haven’t really experienced Nanaimo until you’ve walked in the shoes of some of the first people, visiting their sacred places and experiencing their traditional ways of life by the sea. 

This harbour city is home to the Snuneymuxw people, a First Nation of the Coast Salish People who have long navigated the waters of the Salish Sea.

Their songs, artwork and stories honour the salmon, animals, cedar trees and so much more that has sustained them physically and spiritually since they first established seaside villages here in Departure Bay, along the Nanaimo River and on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island Provincial Marine) Park.

Cruise the waters they first paddled. Walk the trails they blazed. You’ll find several captivating opportunities to immerse in Indigenous culture in Nanaimo. 

There are carved petroglyphs, welcome poles, portals, and a canoe to touch and see. You can walk through the forest of Saysutshun with an Indigenous cultural tour guide and learn about the medicinal qualities of plants. Observe the cultural practices that show a deep, respectful relationship with the natural world. Or visit Indigenous-run shops, meet the artists, and take home earrings, scarves, and books they created. 

Click on the tabs above to find out where to go and what to see. 

When visiting traditional territories

Thank you for respecting the land and traditions of First Nations’ peoples. Before you go, we suggest that you read Ahoy BC’s Travel in First Nations’ Traditional Territories, with insight from an Indigenous kayaker and tour guide born and raised on the BC Sunshine Coast.

Indigenous experiences in other regions

To learn about Indigenous cultural experiences in other regions and include them in your trip planning, visit Indigenous Tourism BC. There you will see maps showing places of interest and descriptions of what you will find there.

Learn more

Go to cedarboxexperience.com to learn more about the native plants, animals, ecosystems, seasonal teachings, and culture of the region’s Coast Salish People.