From more traditional classes to immersive experiences, there is something for everyone wanting to expand their knowledge of Indigenous cultures and history.
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta offers a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) from their Faculty of Native Studies called Indigenous Canada. This 12-week online course covers historical and cultural issues from an Indigenous perspective. It is simple to enroll and get started at the University of Alberta’s website.
Indigenous Canada has recently been made famous when actor Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) invited his social media followers to discuss the course with him every Sunday afternoon. You can catch up on this conversation on Levy’s YouTube page.
For a more hands-on learning experience, visit the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park south of Calgary in Siksika, Alberta. This designated National Historical Site was the site of the signing of Treaty No. 7 and is devoted to the preservation of the Siksika Nation’s culture and language. It features interactive exhibits, a restaurant showcasing Indigenous food and the opportunity to camp overnight in a tipi.
If you enjoy outdoor, physical activities, Edmonton-based Talking Rock Tours offers eco-educational sightseeing excursions for small groups. Through traditional storytelling, each tour is focused on teaching about Indigenous culture and earth sciences in a meaningful way. They offer a variety of tours from easier ¼ day hikes in the Edmonton River Valley to more challenging two-day adventures in the Badlands near Drumheller or the Nordegg region. Talking Rock Tours also books custom tours in Alberta.
Métis Crossing is a cultural interpretive centre north-east of Edmonton near Smokey Lake that invites visitors to learn about the rich history and culture of the Alberta Métis people. Visitors can experience beading, music, dance and traditional food. Camping is also available on the beautiful land that Métis Crossing occupies.
Learning at Home
To further your understanding of history from an Indigenous perspective from the comfort of your own home, check out CBC’s podcast Secret Life of Canada. Get a better understanding of The Indian Act, the history of Banff and the historic relationships between Indigenous people and the Hudson Bay Company with this entertaining and informative podcast.
The Government of Canada has curated a substantial reading list called #IndigenousReads, which is a great way to discover Indigenous voices through poetry, fiction and non-fiction for all ages. The website is separated by age groups to include children, youth and adults.
To find out more about how you can enhance your knowledge of Indigenous cultures, languages and history, visit the Indigenous Tourism Alberta website. They are a non-profit organization committed to making authentic Alberta Indigenous tourism experiences more accessible.