Connect as a Family through An Immersive Indigenous Tourism Experience this Long Weekend
Experience Indigenous cultures and stories.
Treaty 6, Métis Region 4, Edmonton, Alberta (February 1, 2022) - This Family Day long weekend, Alberta families are encouraged to look for ways to authentically educate their children on Indigenous culture and the true history of Canada outside of a formal classroom setting by engaging with Indigneous tourism operators across the province.
This Family Day long weekend is an opportunity for Albertans to experience Indigenous cultures and stories through authentic, sustainable and culturally rich land-based experiences in both cities and rural regions with one of Indigenous Tourism Alberta’s (ITA)150 members.
Land-based learning activities provide the opportunity to both physically and spiritually connect to the land through tourism experiences such as plant walks, fireside chats, stargazing and more. Urban experiences can include visits to art galleries, restaurants or a cultural centre. Although each experience may be vastly different, Indigenous tour operators collectively aim to create a connection to both place and culture.
“This Family Day long weekend is an amazing opportunity to experience the land now known as Alberta and the Peoples that have inhabited it since time immemorial. We hope that the next generation of children is raised with a deeper understanding and respect for Indigenous Peoples and their unique cultures” said Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta. “Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in interest in Albertans furthering their knowledge of Indigenous cultures through tourism and we hope that in 2022 that interest can be extended to children and teens.”
For families that are looking to explore the Rockies, Joe Urie, Owner of Jasper Tour Company, offers guided tours that teach children about the connection that Métis People have to the land now known as Jasper National Park. In Kananaskis Provincial Park, Heather Black, owner of Buffalo Stone Woman, guides families along a short, kid-friendly hike while incorporating a traditional smudging ceremony, fresh herbal tea and stories from her family’s history.
Located just an hour from Edmonton, Alberta’s first interpretive Métis centre, Métis Crossing is running a series of family-friendly land-based learning activities including stargazing lead by ITA members Painted Warriors and Mahikan Trails, hide-tanning demonstrations led by the Alberta Trappers Association and Elder-lead storytelling sessions. The Family Day weekend programming is an extension of Métis Crossing’s regular winter programs that includes traditional art workshops, wagon rides, skating, cross country skiing and wildlife tours through the new Vision, Hopes and Dreams Wildlife Park that is home to a rare herd or white bison.
Explore the full list of ITA members and their travel stories at IndigenousTourismAlberta.ca.
About Indigenous Tourism Alberta
Driven by the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Strategy 2020-2024, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) encourages and promotes authentic Indigenous tourism that showcases the unique and immersive experiences offered by its members throughout Alberta. This strategy is industry-driven, industry-lead and directed by Indigenous People. Through a unified industry voice, Indigenous Tourism Alberta focuses on creating and nurturing partnerships between associations, organizations, governments and industry leaders from across Alberta to support the stability and growth of Indigenous tourism. Further to this, ITA’s goal is to create a resilient Indigenous tourism industry that can weather future economic instability while also enhancing economic viability and further supporting Indigenous people throughout the province by sharing stories, culture and experiences with a global audience.
In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge Moh’kinstsis and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations, Indigenous and non, who live, work and play and help us steward this land, honour and celebrate this territory.
This sacred gathering place provides us with an opportunity to engage in and demonstrate leadership on reconciliation. Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment to join our team on the lands of Treaty 7 territory.