Experience warmth, authenticity, and inspiration from Alberta’ indigenous communities and bounty of unique activities, which provide travelers opportunities to learn the customs, history, and perspectives of over forty-five First Nations tribes, some of which have resided for thousands of years in the region that is modern-day Alberta. Across Alberta, numerous First Nations operators are eager to share the intimate traditions and history of their cultures with visitors through varied experiences taking place throughout the province – from the rugged peaks of the Canadian Rockies’ to the southern prairies and the vast northern boreal forest.
- Plan a visit to The Royal Alberta Museum, the largest museum in western Canada and one of the top museums in Canada. Located in Edmonton, many of the objects and stories presented in RAM’s galleries focus on the province’s indigenous peoples. The museum currently cares for over 18,000 objects of indigenous origin dating from the mid-1800s to present and continues to work with cultural knowledge holders to ensure the collection is cared for in an authentic and respectful manner.
- A refuge for wildlife and people alike, Elk Island National Park is an oasis of calm. Hundreds of indigenous archaeological sites, such as former campsites and tool-making sites, mark the landscape of the park. Bison roam the lands freely and are protected by Parks Canada conservation projects to honor the animal’s cultural significance and legacy to indigenous communities. Be sure to stop by the Elk Island National Park’s visitor center to find products crafted by surrounding tribes and urban artisans.
- Walk in a mountain meadow and through alpine forests with indigenous guides in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains with Mahikan Trails. This outdoor experience offers several workshops designed to educate people about how the First Nations survived off of the land for thousands of years. Discover ancient survival skills such as how to identify a variety of plants and how to make simple medicines. New to Mahikan Trails is the Grotto Canyon tour where guides will point out ancient pictographs and tell indigenous ghost legends and make pemmican in the wild.
- Visit Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary, a rescue organization located in southern Alberta dedicated to the rehabilitation and rehoming of displaced wolfdogs. The sanctuary’s primary mission is to educate the world on what wolfdogs are, what it takes to properly care for them and the importance of preserving these beautiful animals in their natural environment. Learn about the wolfdog’s long history in Canada with indigenous and non-indigenous people alike, particularly in terms of dog-sledding and outdoor survival.
- Listen to the haunting melodies and harmonious songwriting from the members of Warrior Women, comprised of dynamic mother-daughter duo Matricia and Mackenzie Brown. These indigenous women write and perform songs written in English as well as their native language, Cree. Residing in Jasper, the Browns strive to enlighten locals and visitors about their heritage and culture through a range of offerings including traditional crafting classes, dark sky presentations, educational concerts in schools for students, as well as relaxing atmospheric drumming displays perfect for all ages.
- Embark on horseback through the spectacular beauty of the Kananaskis Valley, an area indigenous peoples have inhabited for more than 10,000 years since the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. Boundary Ranch is an exceptional location within the Valley to discover the adventure and serenity of the Canadian Rockies. Explore backcountry trails immersed in nature and take in captivating mountain views on guided rides suitable for ages six years and older.