British Columbia

Embrace the arts and culture of B.C.’s First Nations communities

Visit these locations in British Columbia, and learn more about local First Nations history

A group of people in First Nations traditional clothing
The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre offers many opportunities to learn about local First Nations culture. — Photo courtesy the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

There are 198 First Nations in the province of British Columbia, each with its own traditions and culture. These communities have preserved their history through a variety of artistic media, including beadwork, painting, carving, fibre arts, song, poetry, dance and more.

This summer, we encourage B.C. visitors to check out these important points of interest, and help us celebrate our province’s rich First Nations heritage.   

- Photo courtesy Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery

Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery, Comox Valley, B.C.

Spirits of the West Coast offers a curation of art pieces that include Haida art, Kwakwaka´wakw or Kwakiutl art, Coast Salish art, masks, carvings, jewellery, sculptures and more. 

This gallery is located between Comox and East Courtenay, an area surrounded by local artists and artisans.

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos, B.C.

The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos is a special place to visit for so many reasons. Here you can learn about the land, its people and their legends. There is a state-of-the-art interpretive centre, where guests can take in two multi-sensory theatre experiences, interact with hands-on displays and take a walk through the Living Lands outdoor exhibit and sculpture gallery. There are walking trails, a reconstructed village and photo opportunities to be enjoyed from the Chief's lookout viewpoint.

Tems Swiya Museum, Sunshine Coast, B.C.

The Tems Swiya Museum has an impressive collection of artifacts, including cedar baskets, stone tools and a mortuary stone that dates back 3,500 years.

Call to book tours of the museum, long house and totems.

- Photo courtesy the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Whistler, B.C.

The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre is an expansive museum dedicated to the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. There are regular events and workshops held here, as well as a variety of exhibits. 

Museum of Northern BC, Prince Rupert, B.C.

Learn about Northwest Coast history, by viewing the extensive exhibits in this regional museum. Sign up for the Seasons of Change tour, offered daily during the summer months. If you're coming by in winter, check out the Winter Feast performance with Tsimshian storytelling and song. There is also a gift shop that specializes in First Nations art, jewellery, books and souvenirs.

'Ksan Historical Village and Museum, Hazelton, B.C.

The 'Ksan Historical Village and Museum is situated near the ancient village of Gitanmaax, in the community of Hazelton. Home to the Gitxsan people for more than 8,000 years, 'Ksan is a fantastic place to bring the family for a history lesson and intriguing tour.

To learn about more sites of interest, visit B.C.’s Guide to Arts and Culture.

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