Explore Indigenous culture and heritage in Alberta

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Explore Indigenous culture and heritage in Alberta

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by ahnationtalk on October 19, 2020132 Views

This year, take a staycation and explore one of the many Indigenous tourism experiences in your own backyard.

Alberta includes the territories of Treaties 6, 7 and 8, as well as the homeland of the Métis people. This gives Albertans the unique opportunity to engage in authentic, sustainable and culturally rich Indigenous tourism.

Indigenous tourism in Alberta was worth an estimated $166.2 million in gross domestic product pre-COVID while creating 3,000 jobs provincewide.

Currently, one in four domestic travellers want an Indigenous experience as part of their travel plans, which brings a unique opportunity for Indigenous Tourism Alberta to share offerings from across the province. Whether it is a hotel, restaurant, casino, outdoor adventure, art gallery or store, Indigenous tourism is a critical piece of the economic recovery across Alberta.

“This winter, I encourage all Albertans to explore the rich culture and history of the Indigenous people whose ancestors walked these lands. By sharing stories, food and authentic cultural offerings, the Indigenous tourism industry helps create jobs that fuel economic growth in Alberta. There are many unique experiences for the whole family to enjoy and learn from!”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“Our government is proud to support Indigenous tourism in Alberta. This growing industry is creating jobs and giving Indigenous communities a way to grow, flourish and share their stories. While your travel options outside of Alberta are limited this year, I encourage you to use this time to explore the many Indigenous tourism experiences available here in Alberta.”

Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for small business and tourism

“For our industry to remain competitive, it’s vital that significant and comprehensive actions and supports for all sectors of the tourism industry are put in place now and over the long term to enable the visitor economy – and in turn, the Indigenous tourism economy – to accelerate its recovery and contribute to the diversification of our provincial economy.”

Shae Bird, executive director, Indigenous Tourism Alberta

Winter Indigenous tourism experiences

Métis Crossing

  • Built on the original river lots of Métis settlers to this region in the late 1800s, Métis Crossing is home to Alberta’s first Métis cultural interpretive centre. Drop in for a cultural tour or camp in a replica fur trapper tent. For an immersive Indigenous journey, book the Victoria Trail Voyageur Experience. You’ll take an interactive tour of Métis Crossing, including learning to set a beaver trap, sampling dried bison and dancing a Red River jig (it’s not a real Métis party until the jigging starts). Your costumed interpreters will walk you through the historical village, and teach you to weave a Métis sash at a loom.

Warrior Women

  • Warrior Women is composed of Matricia and Mackenzie Brown, a dynamic mother-daughter duo whose haunting melodies and harmonious songwriting will give you an experience of a lifetime. Warrior Women write and perform songs in both English and Cree. Matricia and Mackenzie offer a variety of experiences from fireside chats, to drumming and singing performances and medicine walks. Currently, Warrior Women resides in the beautiful mountain town of Jasper.

Painted Warriors

  • Painted Warriors Indigenous Outdoor Experience is now open! Experience the traditional and modern lifestyle of the Cree and Saulteaux, skills such as animal tracking and snowshoeing, horse riding, archery and many others. Painted Warriors is an Indigenous outdoor adventure company located one hour northwest of Calgary. The facility is on an 82-acre ranch on pristine forestland in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. There are one-day to multiple-day tours with accommodation available. Spend the night in authentic Métis style trappers’ tents, and wake up to the extraordinary view of the Rocky Mountains.

Blackfoot Crossing

  • The site of the signing of Treaty 7, Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is a designated national historic site. Situated less than an hour’s drive south of Calgary, the park is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Siksika Nation’s language, culture and traditions. Inside the facility is a stunning eco-friendly museum, where visitors can learn how Siksika Nation culture developed through interactive exhibits. Traditional Indigenous foods can be tasted at the on-site restaurant, and the gift shop features locally made products. Dance and craft demonstrations take place frequently, and indoor guided tours with a local Siksika interpreter can be booked in advance.

Janvier Gallery

  • Born of Dene, Suline and Saulteaux descent in 1935, Alex Janvier devotes his time to what he loves: painting. His work contains a vibrant spirituality, often exploring culture and history. In 2012, the new Janvier Gallery opened on Cold Lake, which is located north of the City of Cold Lake. At this gallery, you will find a great assortment of original works of art, art products and some Alex Janvier prints.

Little Chief Restaurant

  • Little Chief Restaurant is located in the Grey Eagle Resort Hotel on the Tsuut’ina First Nation. The world-renowned restaurant has taken on an exciting objective: to modernize without losing its Indigenous tradition. With so many wonderfully unique menu options to choose from, we know you will find everything you are looking for at Little Chief Restaurant.

Related information

Media inquiries
Justin Brattinga
Press Secretary, Jobs, Economy and Innovation


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