First Nations and Culture

Photographer
Dax Justin

First Nations and Culture

Canada’s First Nations culture and the heritage of the people who make our country so unique can be explored anywhere you’re travelling in Canada’s west. Stay at lodges run by First Nations communities who will happily share their oral history, their food, music, dance and art. Festivals like the Kamloopa PowWow will leave you wondering why you haven’t been to one before, while a visit to the sacred lands of the Haida G’waii will leave you entranced. 

The rushing waters of the St. Mary River pass a circle of Ktunaxa tipis erected proudly on its banks while Fisher Peak keeps a watchful eye in the distance. You could imagine this very scene 10,000 years ago when the first Ktunaxa (Kootenay) people called this land home.

#OkanaganExploring Ogopogo is B.C.’s very own Loch Ness Monster, turned friendly water creature, the legend hunters have been trying to capture on film for the past half century. It’s seemingly a part of our heritage, until you find out the true meaning behind the serpent-turned-cartoon-statue and you become, as the kids say, woke - with a sudden understanding of the spirit of Ogopogo truly means.

The project’s premise was simple: one tree equals one sea-worthy canoe built by many hands, some more experienced than others.

Reconciliation with the Indigenous People of Canada is an important conversation happening today in our country, but we may wonder how it applies to us or how we can get involved.Reconciliation with the Indigenous People of Canada is an important conversation happening today in our country, but we may wonder how it applies to us or how we can get involved.

There is something I felt while exploring Sonoma in the Arizona heat that I did not expect to experience once again in the Pacific Northwest.

Mesmerized by the powerful and hypnotic beat of the ancient drums, we pull ourselves away from the fire-warmed trapper's cabin (after a delicious bannock and beef stew feast, a Métis favourite!) and hop on the wagon for the short ride to the main stage.

Landing in Sandspit, the main airport to access the village of Queen Charlotte in Haida Gwaii, gave me the same anxious butterflies I felt on the first day of school.

As dusk descends, an explosion of violence shatters the tranquility of the world’s largest remaining tract of unspoiled ancient temperate rainforest. The chase is on.