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visit to Indian reserve

rsa
australia
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780 posts
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visit to Indian reserve

Hi, We are trying to locate a living Historical Indian Village. One where we can visit, learn about the History, housing (Tipi).clothing, food hunting etc.Would probably be more of a tourist spot. Does anyone know of one that is near Vancouver or around the Banff Jasper areas.Appreciate any thoughts. Many thanks RSA

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: visit to Indian reserve

I'm an amateur historian with a keen interest in living history. I don't think there are many First Nations historic & cultural sites that have a living history component large enough to be called a village, but there are many with great living history and historical components. Since there are a variety of traditional aboriginal lifeways, not all will have tipis; they may have long houses or earth lodges instead. Here are some places in Western Canada to check out:

Duncan, BC (Vancouver Island):

Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre

http://www.quwutsun.ca/

Chase, BC (interior of British Columbia, near Trans-Canada Hwy): Quaaout Lodge and Conference Centre

www.quaaout.com/activities_at_lodge.html

Kamloops, BC (interior of British Columbia, near Trans-Canada Hwy): Secwepemc (Shuswap) Museum & Heritage Park

http://www.secwepemc.org/museum

Fort Macleod, AB: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (offers tipi camping)

http://www.head-smashed-in.com/

Gleichen, AB (eastern Alberta, near Trans-Canada Hwy): Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park (has a tipi village and offers tipi sleepovers)

http://blackfootcrossing.ca/

Saskatoon, SK: Wanuskewin Heritage Park (tipi village with sleepovers)

http://www.wanuskewin.com/

By far the largest tipi villages are the ones which are set up for First Nations powwows and for the Indian Village at the Calgary Stampede. Do not expect a strong historical focus here, though. Some people will have a very strong historical/traditional/educational component in their personal tipis, others will have a melding of modern and traditional aboriginal culture (very much as you would see at similar amateur events with non-Natives). Also, if you do go to a powwow, make sure that you familiarize yourself with powwow etiquette first; there are some definite do's and don'ts.

Edmonton, AB
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2. Re: visit to Indian reserve

There is a brand new historical park that opened near Calgary called Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. It's on the Siksika Nation land about 100 km east of Calgary, or about 250 km from Banff.

I haven't been there yet, but it sounds like just the kind of thing that you are looking for, with historical exhibits and interpreters. A real plus is the fact that it is owned and operated by the Siksika people, so I imagine evertyhing is very authentic. The website is www.blackfootcrossing.com.

If you are interested in Native culture, you would probably really enjoy a stop at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump near Fort MacLeod, about 160 km south of Calgary. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site where Native hunters killed buffalo by herding them over a cliff. It has an excellent and informative interpretive centre, and is well worth a visit.

Edmonton, AB
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3. Re: visit to Indian reserve

Sorry to duplicate some information - Country Wife and I must have been typing at the same time.

Kamloops, Canada
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4. Re: visit to Indian reserve

Two must not miss spots regarding BC First Nations people are museums. One in Vancouver and one in Victoria.

http://www.moa.ubc.ca/

www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/MainSite/default.aspx

Both have mainly coastal native themes. The Kamloops native site deals with mainly the southern interior native culture which is quite different.

Hope this helps :)

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: visit to Indian reserve

Chucklebelly,

No problem! I think TA forum members benefit from hearing from a variety of different viewpoints, and certainly it doesn't hurt to have a number of different people recommend the same thing.

If I had to pick only one place to visit on my list, I think it would definitely be Head-Smashed-In, because it's very strong with both formal museum interpretation and also has good cultural programs.

None of the tipi sleepovers would be a strong living history experience, since you're sleeping with modern comforts (buffalo robes are just too expensive to use for the historical touch). Rsa, if the tipi camping idea intrigues you, there is another spot or two in the Rockies that also offers that as just a straight camping experience.

6. Re: visit to Indian reserve

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