Aboriginal Culture
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Aboriginal Culture

For up to 10,000 years before the arrival of the first European explorers, current-day Vancouver and the surrounding region was home to members of the Coast Salish First Nations peoples.  The First Nations remain a vibrant part of Vancouver today, comprising nearly three percent of the population and making enormous contributions to artistic and cultural life. 

Perhaps the best way to understand the rich history of Vancouver's Aboriginal peoples is a visit to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.  Thousands of artifacts, from totem poles to canoes, blankets and carvings, tell the story of British Columbia's original inhabitants.  Meanwhile, contemporary aboriginal art and carvings are on display at galleries around the city, including the esteemed Bill Reid Gallery, which features the work of Canada's most famous First Nations sculptor. 

But Aboriginal culture certainly isn't confined to museums and galleries. Talking Stick, a 13-day citywide celebration of Aboriginal performance and art, is held each winter and features local and international musicians, dancers, performers and storytellers.  Also, a First Nations village is set up each summer in Stanley Park, complete with traditional food, crafts and cultural performances.

Finally, a range of more immersive experiences is available to visitors, from guided rides along the coast in traditional carved canoes to ceremonial salmon feasts and even bear-watching expeditions with first nations groups on nearby Vancouver Island.  

A complete listing of Aboriginal experiences is available at the Aboriginal Tourism BC website.
 
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27th Annual Squamish Nation PowWow

  • August 29 - August 31
  • Capilano Reserve Park
  • 100 Mathias Road
    West Vancouver, BC V7P 1P7
  • Admission: $5.00
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Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth

  • June 01 - January 04
  • UBC Museum of Anthropology, O'Brian Gallery
  • 6393 North West Marine Drive
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
  • Phone: 604-822-5087
  • Venue: UBC Museum of Anthropology
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Musqueam Tour: Witness it, Remember it, Tell it

  • July 27 - July 27
  • Vancouver Heritage Foundation
  • Bus Tour
    Vancouver, BC N/A
  • Admission: $40+tax
  • Contact: Vancouver Heritage Foundation
  • Phone: 604-264-9642
  • Venue: Vancouver Heritage Foundation
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The Cultch presents The Road Forward

  • February 05 - February 07
  • Cultch, The (Vancouver East Cultural Centre)
  • 1895 Venables Street
    Vancouver, BC V5L 2H6
  • Venue: The Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre)
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The Klahowya Village in Stanley Park

  • June 21 - September 01
  • Stanley Park Miniature Train
  • Stanley Park
    Vancouver, BC
  • Admission: Village Admission Price
  • Contact: Bree Crosby
  • Phone: 778-386-9713
  • Venue: Stanley Park Miniature Train
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Ts'msyen Transforming: Morgan Green

  • April 30 - September 14
  • Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
  • 639 Hornby Street
    Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3
  • Admission: included with admission
  • Venue: Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
Visit Website