Today is National Aboriginal Day in Canada or National Indigenous Peoples Day as it was newly renamed. Boy do I feel reflective. For more than a decade I’ve had the privilege to work with and for a variety of organizations that work with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. I’ve traveled from the inland prairies of British Columbia’s Peace country to learn about caribou. I’ve sailed through parts of Great Bear Rainforest to hear about the importance of old growth trees, wolves and bears. I’ve learned about ranching and birds in the desert of the South Okanagan.
The entire time, I count my lucky stars that I get to travel to these places, learn about their original people and come back with new perspectives on Canada. Whether I’m in the Yukon for solstice or attending a Tsawout seafood feast in Saanich, in each Indigenous community I’ve visited my welcome has included open arms, ready smiles, a cup of coffee and very real conversations…
Growing up in a place like Merritt, British Columbia, where Nklakampux culture was front and centre, I learned early on the importance of salmon, sunshine and elders from a young age. Now raising my kiddo on Haida Gwaii, I continue to feel so blessed that he gets to learn similar lessons about Haida culture from our new friends and his pre-school (cue tears now).
Since today is meant to celebrate and recognize the Indigenous peoples of Canada, I thought I’d share some of my past articles and posts that highlight some of my travels to Canada’s Indigenous destinations. I’ve also included some additional articles by other journalists I admire. Happy reading!
Haaw’a, Meegwich, Musi Choo and Kookshem for continuing to read and travel along with me on this little slice of the inter webs.
Where do you like to go to learn about First Nations or Indigenous cultures? Feel free to share in the comments below.