Immerse yourself in the traditions of the First Peoples

Immerse yourself in the traditions of the First Peoples

Road Trips February 11, 2019
Immerse yourself in the traditions of the First Peoples

Open your heart to an authentic experience steeped in symbolism and spirituality. You are invited to connect with Indigenous culture, to see history from a new perspective and to make time to appreciate Mother Nature. Take a closer look at the dress, dance, music, traditions and cuisine and witness the pride of the First Peoples in Quebec.

See amazing exhibitions at the museums

The totems at the Canadian Museum of History
The totems at the Canadian Museum of History

Discover the remarkable achievements of the First Peoples and the collection of totems at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. The exhibition at the First Peoples Hall celebrates the diversity, creativity, resourcefulness and endurance of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples through artifacts, images and historical and contemporary documents.

Your next stop is in Montreal at the McCord Museum to see the permanent exhibition Wearing our Identity – The First Peoples Collection, which focuses on the importance of dress and its intrinsic connection to the identity of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The dress presented demonstrates the creativity and vitality of Aboriginal peoples. Continue your discovery at the shop, where you’ll find various crafts that complement the exhibition.

Head to Nicolet-Yamaska to visit the Musée des Abénakis, the first Aboriginal museum in Quebec. The cultural and spiritual universe of the Abenakis, preserved through oral tradition, is revealed by way of a multimedia show, exhibitions and educational activities. If you have the chance to visit in early July, don’t miss the Pow Wow of Odanak, where you can admire the regalia of performers at this moving, festive gathering.

The Huron Onhoüa Chetek8e Traditional Site offers many activities
The Huron Onhoüa Chetek8e Traditional Site offers many activities

Visit traditional Indigenous sites in Mauricie and Québec City

Cross the St. Lawrence River to reach the Mauricie region. Domaine Notcimik offers a program of activities and events about Aboriginal culture, mainly that of the Atikamekw. Visitors are welcomed in a spirit of truth and reconciliation and can choose from various packages to plan a vacation that promises to be authentic.

In the Québec City region, 20 minutes from downtown, the Huron Onhoüa Chetek8e Traditional Site tells the story of the Huron-Wendat nation past and present and offers many activities, such as canoeing, telling of stories and legends, craft-making and archery workshops. After a guided tour, have a meal at the Nek8arre restaurant, which cooks game meat and fish specialties as well as traditional bannock bread.

The heritage of the First Nations in the North

Follow the river eastward and take the Tadoussac ferry to the Innu Essipit lands. In addition to offering whale-watching cruises, this formerly nomadic nation offers a complete experience focused on nature and welcomes tourists from all over the world. Plan a stay at one of the two campgrounds or at an outfitter and enjoy the outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery!

The epitome of nature's splendour in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region
The epitome of nature's splendour in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region

Drive to Mashteuiatsh in the Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean region to learn more about Pekuakamiulnuatsh cultural heritage. See the exhibitions at the museum and meet Indigenous artisans who will be proud to show you their traditions and ancestral craft-making methods. There are also many special events that take place during the summer.

Get ready for a drive that will be long but rewarding! After 8 hours on the road from Mashteuiatsh, you’ll get to the amazing Eeyou Istchee James Bay region, known for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, caribou-watching and ecotourism, not to mention the spectacular Aurora Borealis! Visit the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, a public space where visitors learn about, experience and celebrate Cree culture, and admire the magnificent views that remind us of the importance of nature all around us.

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Discovering the culture of the First Peoples is a privilege. See our suggestions to plan a trip that's sure to be awe-inspiring.

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