8 Indigenous Tourism Experiences To Book in 2024
With a ton of experiences on offer for every taste and skill set, it's never been easier to book your next sustainable adventure with an Indigenous-owned operator in Ontario. We've rounded up some amazing spots to add to your bucket list in 2024. Visit Indigenous Experiences to discover more and help plan your vacation.
For the ATV Lover
A vast network of ATV trails spanning thousands of kilometres weaves through the scenic landscapes of Northern Ontario. Mukwa Adventures, an Indigenous-owned ATV tour operator situated in Spanish, Ontario, along Lake Huron's North Channel, serves as your key to navigating this labyrinth. Led by owner-operator Arthur Trudeau, a proud member of the First Nations community with a deep passion for backcountry exploration, Mukwa, which means "bear" in Anishinaabemowin, offers half-day, full-day, and weekend ATV trips tailored to enthusiasts of all skill levels. Custom tours are also available—just ask!
For the Glamper
Minaki Yurt Adventures provides waterfront accommodations and outdoor activities in the wilderness of northwestern Ontario’s Sunset Country, near Kenora. Five yurts are available, ranging from small and intimate to the palatial 260-square-metre Mee-naa-kee yurt for families and groups. The company also maintains 20 kilometres of trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing, and offers kayaking, canoeing, and standup paddleboarding.
3. Thrive Tours
For the Paddler
Indigenous-owned and operated Thrive Tours provides visitors with an immersive experience in the culture, history, and landscapes of Baawaating, the place by the rapids, and the surrounding wilderness of Algoma. Thrive Tours offers guided paddling experiences on the historic St. Marys River from the Sault College Waterfront Adventure Centre, providing a unique glimpse of natural oases on the urban waterfront. The company also leads guided hikes for individuals and families of all levels, in all seasons.
For the Adventurer
Situated on Voyageur Island within Nym Lake, Northwestern Ontario, this eco-tourism enterprise, run by a Métis family, has been offering immersive cultural tours of the region since its inception. With its roots in the French Canadian voyageurs of the fur trade era, the business, under the Savoie family's stewardship since 1986, remains dedicated to upholding environmentally sustainable practices.
A guided canoe expedition with Voyageur Wilderness offers an unforgettable experience in the Canadian wilderness. Choose from five- to nine-day excursions while enjoying comfortable accommodations in both cabins and backcountry settings. Alternatively, guests can opt for a cabin rental, allowing independent exploration—an excellent choice for those seeking a more solo Quetico canoe adventure. The company even has a massive replica Voyageur canoe, well-suited for group outings!
For the Knowledge Seeker
The Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung historical site, also known as the Manitou Mounds, is an important Indigenous burial ground located in Northwest Ontario, close to the Minnesota border. Under the stewardship of the Anishinaabeg of Rainy River First Nations, the National Historic Site is open to visitors and makes for a unique and meaningful destination on your next road trip. Walk the many scenic trails, explore the river terrace, and do some birdwatching—bicycle and snowshoe rentals are available depending on the season. The visitors centre offers a host of family-friendly exhibits and is home to more than 16,000 artefacts.
For the Luxury Lover
Set overlooking the North Channel of Lake Huron on the world’s largest freshwater island, this chic hotel taps into the island's Indigenous heritage, from the décor in its spacious rooms to the menu offerings at its on-site North46 Restaurant, to the tours and activities available here (including drumming sessions, interpretive walks, and a traditional Indigenous feast). But while the property is steeped in tradition, it offers all the modern comforts visitors might want, from flat-screen TVs and free high-speed wireless internet to well-appointed rooms view excellent views. Relax by the massive fireplace and enjoy a beverage in the chic lobby, play in the outdoor pool, or head out for the day to explore one of the many experiences that Manitoulin has on offer.
7. Wass Tours
For the Angler
Situated in Wiikwemikoong First Nation, Wasse-Giizhiik Tours offers top-notch fishing experiences with a profound appreciation for the natural wonders of Manitoulin Island. Operated by Luke Wassegijig, the experienced angler specializes in personalized guided fishing excursions targeting salmon, trout, walleye, northern pike, and muskie, both on Lake Huron and the inland lakes of Manitoulin Island. Benefit from local expertise to pinpoint prime fishing locations, and get ready to reel in the big one. For those seeking a less fish-forward experience, Wasse-Giizhiik also offers small-group guided boat tours to iconic destinations, such as the picturesque Georgian Bay village of Killarney and the scenic fjord of Baie Fine.
8. Oceah Oceah
For the Urban SUP Lover
This Indigenous-owned and operated spot offers urbanites the chance to yoga, SUP, and kayak with a view of the TO skyline. Classes run from June to September and are suitable for all ages and skill sets. Strike a pose and watch the sunrise or set with some like-minded city dwellers this summer or check the calendar for special events, workshops, and retreats.