Aboriginal Culture

Vancouver has a long and enduring First Nations culture, a fact that was cele-brated at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games when local Indige-nous peoples were recognized as official hosting partners for the first time in Olympic history. When visiting Vancouver, there are several ways to immerse yourself in the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage and traditions:

 

  • The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art opened in May 2008. The gallery houses a permanent collection of work by Reid (one of Canada’s most celebrated Aboriginal artists) as well as a collection of art created by a new generation of First Nations artists along the Northwest Coast (http://www.billreidgallery.ca.

  • The BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place Stadium has a dedicated Aboriginal Sports Gallery. The only gallery of its kind in Canada, it celebrates the contributions Aboriginal peoples have made to the province's sporting history (www.bcsportshalloffame.com).

  • The BC Sports Hall of Fame at BC Place Stadium has a dedicated Aboriginal Sports Gallery. The only gallery of its kind in Canada, it celebrates the contributions Aboriginal peoples have made to the province's sporting history (www.bcsportshalloffame.com).

  • The recently revamped UBC Museum of Anthropology features an extensive collection of First Nations artefacts, including towering totem poles and Bill Reid’s acclaimed The Raven and the First Men sculpture (www.moa.ubc.ca).

  • Takaya Tours in North Vancouver takes visitors out for a paddle through Indian Arm in 13-metre cedar canoes. Coast Salish guides sing traditional songs, tell stories and point out ancient village sites. Note that Takaya Tours only operates during summer months (www.takayatours.com).

  • Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery and Inuit Gallery are private galleries where visitors can peruse and purchase top-quality First Nations art works. Both galleries are recognized for showcasing the work of a new generation of talented Aboriginal artists who push the boundaries of their ancestral art forms. (http://www.coastalpeoples.com/, http://www.inuit.com/).

  • Aboriginal Tourism BC’s website offers and excellent introduction to B.C.’s First Nations, suggesting various Aboriginal itineraries throughout the province. It also lists restaurants, attractions and accommodations for visitors seeking an authentic local Aboriginal experience (www.aboriginalbc.com).