Indigenous Canada

10 of the most sacred Indigenous sites across Canada

Sacred Indigenous sites in Canada range from moss-covered rainforests to mountainous national parks. Understanding the heritage of the land means truly connecting with the beautiful natural landscape, and also gaining a full new respect for the first inhabitants of the country's breathtaking scenery. 

Here are some sacred Indigenous sites across Canada that are definitely worth a visit. 

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

This national park and the only Dark Sky Preserve in Nova Scotia is known for its starry skies, old growth forest, and traditional Mi’kmaq waterways. Petroglyph rock engravings and traditional encampments attest to the presence of the Mi'kmaw people who travelled along the area's canoe routes thousands of years ago.  

You can canoe the same routes they did and explore the fascinating markings they left behind that tell of their way of life, with images of hunting, wildlife and fishing. 

Haida Gwaii, B.C.

The incredible centuries-old totem pole and longhouse remains that are found on this remote island are some of the oldest authentic examples of coastal First Nations villages. Haida people have lived on this land for 13,000 years, and still today, make up more than half of the island's population. 

Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon 

Tombstone Territorial Park protects this 2,200 kilometres of vast wilderness and its rich First Nations heritage. The area is one of the most important cultural and hunting sites traditionally used by Indigenous tribes. Archeological evidence in the park shows that human activity in the area dates all the way back to 8,000 years. 

The Interpretive Centre offers interpretive programs, special events and guided walks if you're interested in learning more about the land and its original inhabitants. 

Radium Hot Springs, B.C. 

Nestled in Kootenay National Park, these hot springs were treasured as a spiritual site by First Nation communities. The water was used as a source of healing for Indigenous people travelling through the mountain passes until the hot springs were bought by a settler in the late 1800's and later turned into the popular tourist spot it is today. 

The Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. 

This remote expanse is the largest intact temperate rainforest left in the world, and is still home to many First Nations communities. There is also abundant wildlife. The Spirit Bear, a rare subspecies of the black bear that roams the rainforest, can't be found anywhere else. 

You can stay at the Spirit Bear Lodge in the community of Klemtu, and be led by a local Indigenous guide into the ancient forest in search of this revered bear that is considered sacred by the T'simshian people. 

Aurora Village, Northwest Territories 

Located just outside of Yellowknife, Aurora Village is considered the top place to experience the magic of the Northern Lights. This teepee village is entirely Aboriginal-owned and is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the rich heritage and traditions of the land. 

Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario 

Over 260 painted images or pictographs can be found along the base of the massive 330-foot high Mazinaw Rock in Bon Echo Provincial Park. The native art earned this spot the title of a world heritage site for being the only major pictograph site in Southern Ontario. 

Interpretive boat tours are available that bring you right up the rock face. You can also canoe or kayak the base of the cliff. 

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta 

This large expanse of protected prairie is a nature preserve and hub for First Nations rock carvings and paintings. This heritage site is sacred to the Blackfoot, as well as many other Indigenous tribes. Home to over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of ancient drawings, this park contains the greatest concentration of rock art on the Great Plains. 

Manitoulin Island, Ontario 

Located in northern Ontario, Manitoulin Island has stuck close to its Indigenous roots. The Great Spirit Circle Trail is a great way to learn about the heritage of the surrounding land, which is home to eight different First Nations. The experience offers overnight teepee camps, interpretive tours and canoe adventures on Manitou Lake. 

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, Alberta 

In the Alberta Badlands lies Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, that for generations before was a place of significance for the Siksika Nation. Today, it's home to an Interpretation Centre that shares the history of the site and its importance for the Indigenous people who live there. 

Lead photo by

jessiethechang at Bon Echo Provincial Park


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