The moments that move us most are those that open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world we live in. Enhance your travel experience by immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of our indigenous people. Explore the landmarks and traditional ways of life of the Interior Salish against the staggering backdrop of our region.
Route 97 is an ancestral trail running through Washington and British Columbia. First Nations used this trail for thousands of years, unencumbered by the political borders that exist today. Throughout the Columbia Cascades of Route 97, you’ll find three Nations: Nlaka’pamux, Okanagan (Syilx), and Secwepemc, each with their own unique dialects, traditions, history, and story.
The Nlaka’pamux people commonly express themselves artistically, through clothing, face-painting, and jewellery. It is here that you’ll find an exhibit of their experience and dreams, paying homage to the land that they call home. Check out the Kekuli Cafe in Merritt for traditional cuisine and cultural ambience, and Nlaka’pamux Creations next door for indigenous art and gifts.
The Secwepemc people have a strong understanding of the way plants are used for food, medicine, and tools. Take it all in at the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park in Kamloops, or unwind at Quaaout Lodge and Spa in the Shuswap.
Every summer, the Kamloopa Pow Wow takes place at the Secwepemc Pow Wow Grounds near Kamloops. One of the largest in Western Canada, the celebration is a vibrant expression of heritage through song, dance, and traditional regalia. All are welcome to watch, enjoy, and celebrate.
A Common Ground
Though independently varied, the three Nations all have one thing in common: A deep and profound connection with the elements; the mountains, the forests, the rivers, and the wildlife that call the region home. Embrace the ancient art forms that tell the stories of generations past. Tour the native kekulis (pit houses) and sweat lodges, and enjoy delicious wine. Immerse yourself in a culture deeply woven into the fabric of the region. Lose yourself in an unforgettable travel experience.