Indigenous Tourism Experiences – Celebrating Canada’s Indigenous Peoples
As a country and as a destination area, we are learning and growing the ways we work to honour the cultures, traditions and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. If you are looking to learn more about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, the Cypress Hills Destination Area has many opportunities. Below are just a few, but keep watch on our Events and Attraction pages to learn of new and upcoming experiences as added.
Fort Walsh National Historic Site
Fort Walsh National Historic Site, located in the West Block of Cypress Hills, has a number of events and experiences that celebrate Indigenous culture and the impact it had on the history of the Cypress Hills. From daily to weekly, to special events here are just a few:
Cypress Hills Massacre Site Tours
Travel through the heart of the majestic Cypress Hills to the original sites of Farwell and Solomon’s trading posts on this guided bus tour. Hear the story of the Cypress Hills Massacre, where 23 First Nation’s people were murdered, and learn of its effect on the history of the area. (Tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis, space is limited).
Every Saturday in July and August
Uncover stories of the many peoples who called this area home in the late 1800s. Experience the sight of North West Mounted Police horsemanship, discover stories at the First Nations camp and taste flavours of the past at the cook tent. Don’t miss the historic weapons demonstration! hear Métis legends handed down through generations and learn traditional crafts and skills. You’ll also learn the history of Canada’s part in the aftermath of the Battle of Little Big Horn.
July 2nd – “Moving Forward with Reconciliation”
Clayton McIain Memorial Museum, Little Pine First Nation, Luckyman Cree Nation, and Parks Canada invite you to Celebrate 140 years since Treaty signing at Fort Walsh National Historic Site. Featuring a pipe ceremony, breakfast at the Fort, a reenactment of Treaty Signing, lunch, and Traditional Feast, as well as dance demonstration and mini pow wow.
Grasslands National Park
Grasslands National Park, located an hour south of Swift Current, offers a number of Indigenous inspired programming both in the East and West Blocks.
Where the Buffalo Roam | West Block
Explore the history of the Plains Bison and their remarkable comeback with a tour of the handling facility, followed by a hike featuring the importance of the bison to the Indigenous Peoples. Approx 3 hrs. 4km
Metis Connections | West Block
Join local Metis heritage presenters and learn about the special connections to this landscape through storytelling, interpretation, music and art. Approx. 2hrs. FREE 2:00pm
Circling Back: A Story of Archaeology
Take an exclusive journey to the Turkey Track Ridge and witness the secrets of the land unfold before you through the eyes of an archaeologist. Approx. 3 hours 4 km. 6:00pm $14.70/person Pre-Registration Required.
Watch the canvas come alive as Lakota First Nations artist and storyteller, Kim Soo Goodtrack, illustrates the Star Nation in pastel as she speaks. Following the presentation, create your own artwork in Lakota Design. FREE 1pm East Block – Rock Creek Campground.
Guided Hike – Eagle View
Mother Earth presents the glory of the mixed grass prairie. 1.5 hrs
July 4th – Indigenous Cultural Tour | Grasslands National Park West Block
Join renowned interdisciplinary artist, and master storyteller, Joseph Naytowhow for a guided indigenous cultural experience in Grasslands National Park. Registrants will be introduced to indigenous culture and the ways of the land according to nehiyo/Cree worldview. The session will include traditional music, local and Saskatchewan history, traditional smudge, and of course, ‘season appropriate’ stories!
Town of Maple Creek
July 6th – Heritage Festival
Mark your calendars for the annual Heritage Festival on July 6, 2019! Enjoy a day filled with art, history, music, dance, drumming and food in Maple Creek’s historic downtown. There’s also a parade!
Learn more: http://www.visitcypresshills.ca/events/heritage/
July 18th – Showdown in Cowtown
This event is a celebration of our First Nations people, as teams of four all decked out in Native regalia,(1 catcher, 1 exchange holder, 1 back holder, and one rider, who must ride 3 thoroughbred horses (horses are adorned in traditional war paint and medicine feathers) in a mad race at break neck speed around the track against 2 other teams in each heat!
The sights and sounds will be reminiscent of the beauty, skill and daring of the Warriors of our Indigenous People of yesteryear, all the while embracing the traditions of our First Nations People and celebrating the sacred horse culture.
Learn More: http://www.visitcypresshills.ca/events/showdown/
Feb 2020 – The Battle of the Little Big Puck
This Hockey Game is truly “Maple Creek”. Locals from the Nekaneet First Nation and local cowboys who are, or have been, members of a rodeo association, play hockey against one another in this epic hockey game that has been thirty-eight years running! The third period is well worth waiting for, as that is when the “cowboys” and the “Indians” finish the game in full cowboy gear or Pow Wow Regalia!