Skip to content

National Indigenous History Month in Vancouver 2024

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada! It’s a time to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of Indigenous peoples. Did you know that British Columbia is home to over 200 different Indigenous communities? Each community has its own traditions, languages, and history. In fact, there are more than 30 different languages spoken by Indigenous peoples in British Columbia alone!

This month, why not explore some activities that honor Indigenous culture? You could visit an Indigenous art gallery in Vancouver, where you can see beautiful carvings, paintings, and textiles created by Indigenous artists. Or, take a guided tour of a traditional Indigenous village to learn about the history and customs of the local First Nations peoples.

For those interested in nature, consider joining a guided hike led by Indigenous guides. They can share their knowledge of the land, including traditional uses of plants and animals, and how Indigenous communities are working to protect the environment for future generations.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for special events happening this month, such as cultural festivals, storytelling sessions, and workshops on Indigenous history and traditions. Below are some suggestions on things and activities to do this month:

Learn about First Nations in Vancouver

Explore Stanley Park

With the arrival of summer weather, Stanley Park emerges as an ideal destination to delve into Indigenous culture in Vancouver! Stanley Park holds the ancestral heritage of the Coast Salish people.

Within this picturesque setting, you’ll encounter the nine totem poles at Brockton Point, marking BC’s most frequented tourist attraction. Originating in the 1920s, this collection has grown over time, with the most recent addition in 2009. Additionally, three intricately carved red cedar portals warmly greet visitors at the Brockton Point Visitor Centre, symbolizing the entrance to the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people. Join us for a bike ride at Stanley Park on June 18, 2024!

Students in front of Stanley Parks totem pole

Guided Tours in Stanley Park 

If you want to learn more about the park’s history and Indigenous practices you can join Talking Trees, one of the Indigenous guided tours of Stanley Park. Guided by a local First Nations cultural ambassador, you can learn about local plants that were harvested by Coast Salish people for food, medicine and other purposes like for building materials or dyes. You will also learn about Indigenous ecological practices, ancient and contemporary history, stories and legends. 

Museum of Anthropology at UBC 

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is Canada’s largest teaching museum and is home to more than 535,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects from around the world. 7,100 of those are from BC’s First Nations.

The museum showcases a large collection of First Nations art and artifacts such as hunting tools, masks, figurines and hand-woven baskets. The exhibitions and programs emphasize artistic diversity and the links between art, community and the contemporary social and political context in which youth, artists and communities are communicating their cultural traditions.  You can take a guided tour through the museum and learn about indigenous cultures throughout North America.

After an 18-month closure, the museum is thrilled to welcome visitors again. Join them for their MOA Reopening Weekend Celebrations from June 16-18 2024, educate yourself on Canada’s indigenous history and enjoy half-priced admission all weekend long.

6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 /

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Totem poles stand tall at the entrance to Kia'palano on a sunny morning at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, showcasing vibrant colors and intricate carvings, welcoming visitors to explore indigenous culture and heritage

Photo Credits:

Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions.  You can walk the 137m long Suspension Bridge above the Capilano River and enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Northwest rainforest. Not many people know that the park is rooted in Indigenous history. The name “Capilano” comes from the Squamish nation word “Kia’palano”, which means beautiful river. The park also features a Kia’palano exhibition as well as a collection of colourful totem poles. 

3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1 /

Art Galleries

Photo Credit:

There are plenty of galleries in Vancouver that showcase Indigenous artwork. One of the most famous galleries is the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, located in downtown Vancouver. Bill Reid was a master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer and spokesman and was well known for his monumental artwork that infused Haida traditions with a modern aesthetic. The gallery features Reid’s artwork as well as the work of up-and-coming contemporary First Nations artists. 

639 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3

Other galleries to check out are the Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery and the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery

Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro

If you’d like to experience Indigenous cuisine, you can visit the First Nations restaurant Salmon n’ Bannock. It showcases Aboriginal cuisine with a variety of nationwide inspired culinary delights using fresh seasonal ingredients. The team is composed of members of different Nations. The bistro also features First Nations art from upcoming artists.

7 – 1128 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6H 1G5 /

Other Events in Metro Vancouver for National Indigenous History Month 2024

New West Craft Indigenous Market

  • June 8 @ 11am-5pm | River Market New West | Free
  • Join Arts New West and Shop First Nations on June 8 for this third annual event celebrating Indigenous artists, makers, business owners and performers!
    Shop over 60 vendors, indulge in delicious food and enjoy a series of live performances.

Live & Local artist session: Norine Braun

  • June 6 @ 6-7 PM | Seylynn Community Recreation Centre North Vancouver | Free | No registration required
  • Vancouver singer-songwriter and recording artist Norine Braun’s latest album ‘Songs For Trees’ is dedicated to the forests and the spirits within the trees. Norine is set to release her 14th studio album in May, which explores her journey as an adoptee and her recent connection with her Metis heritage. Norine will be performing as a duo with Alice Fraser on keys.

Dreamcatchers workshops

  • June 9, June 16 @ 2-4pm | Adult workshop | Sun, June 9 | 2-4pm | Delbrook Community Recreation Centre North Vancouver | Free
  • Registration ID #00287616 (June 9) / Registration ID #00287618 (June 16)
  • Join Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) artist Cheximiya Allison Burns Joseph for this hands-on workshop. Create a beautiful dreamcatcher to take home and learn more about its significance in First Nations culture.

Red cedar mat weaving workshop

  • Thu, June 13 @ 6-7pm | Lions Gate Plaza North Vancouver | Free
  • Registration ID #00288333
  • MONOVA’s Indigenous Cultural Programmer, Jordan Dawson, from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation will lead participants through a hands-on Coast Salish wool weaving workshop. Learn to weave a simple yet beautiful wool bracelet while learning about Coast Salish wool weaving teachings. The workshop is suitable for ages 8+, although with patience and adult support, younger children may participate. Supplies will be provided.

Beaded keychain workshops 

  • June 27 @ 4-5:15pm | Lynn Valley Village Community Room North Vancouver | Free
  • Registration ID #00279493 (June 27 4-5:15pm) / Registration ID #00279495 (7-8pm)
  • Janelle is a proud Secwépemc (Shuswap) woman from T’exelc (Williams Lake Indian Band). Her father is former chief Willie Alphonse Jr, and her mother is Cree from Horse Lake. She will be doing a dance performance from 6-7pm (see below).

Live & Local concert: Bitterly Divine

  • June 28 @ 6-8pm | Edgemont Village North Vancouver | Free | No registration required
  • Bitterly Divine is a Vancouver-based rock band whose roots trace back to the Squamish Nation. Hard driving with a swaggering sense of fun, they sing about Aboriginal issues, troubled journeys, lost girls and youth. They have quickly established themselves as a must-see Vancouver band, playing more than a 400 shows over the last ten years.


Follow @gcindigenous on Instagram. This is the official Government of Canada account for & about First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada.