7 incredible Indigenous-led tours and workshops that you need to experience in Manitoba

Posted July 23, 2019

When you visit Manitoba, you are also visiting Treaties 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 - the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. Get to know these rich Indigenous cultures by supporting a local, Indigenous-led tour or workshop.

1. Bannock Point Petroforms Tour

Whiteshell Provincial Park

The Bannock Point Petroforms are a must-see in Whiteshell Provincial Park - but you'll get so much more out of this incredible site with a tour from Diane Maytwayashing of Whiteshell Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom. Known to the Anishinaabe as Manitouabee (where the spirit sits), Diane Maytwayashing offers an in-depth workshop of this sacred site that goes beyond the surface. The tours are donation-based with 100% of money collected going to the preservation and protection of the site. The recommended tour fee is $25/per person. Tours can be scheduled by emailing giizhigookwelodge@gmail.com or by calling 204-205-1777.

2. Sub-Arctic Explorers


If you're lucky enough to be heading to the northern port of Churchill, Manitoba on a DIY trip this summer, be sure to book a tour or excursion with Sub-Arctic Explorers. This Inuit-owned company offers full and half day tours of the region which cover everything from wildlife viewing, Cape Merry, the M.V. Ithaca shipwreck and the Itsanitaq Museum.

3. Wapusk Adventures


Meet the team and get ready for an epic ride through the boreal forest with Wapusk Adventures. Wapusk Adventures is co-owned and operated by Dave Daley, an accomplished Métis musher whose ancestry provides a cultural framework for the business. And while the real dogsledding season gears up when there is snow on the ground - there is still plenty of opportunity to go for a run in the summer in the form of dog carting.

4. Clear Paths

Winnipeg + beyond

See the province's cycling trails in a new light with a Clear Paths tour. Led by Adrian Alphonso (who is Anishinaabe/Guyanese), the objective of Clear Paths is twofold: first, to provide an inclusive and accessible entrance to the sport of cycling and second, to honour reconciliation by doing it all from an Indigenous perspective. On a typical Winnipeg cycling tour, you can expect interpretation of public art and landmarks that celebrate the city’s Indigenous identity. There are a number of rides lined up for the summer - message the Clear Paths Instagram account to join the adventure.

5. Riding Mountain National Park Guided Experiences

Riding Mountain National Park

There are a number of ways to get an Indigenous perspective in Riding Mountain National Park, with guided experiences happening throughout the summer. Gudoochiigeh – The Sounds of the Anishinabe Fiddle runs every Sunday at 7:00 pm and is free to attend. The event begs the question: can you "guh-DOO-chii-GEH" (play an instrument)? You will dance, learn and listen as a local Anishinaabe musician tells the forgotten history of how the Anishinaabe discovered the fiddle.

On Wednesdays, head to the Lake Audy Bison Enclosure at 7:30 pm to learn about "meh-wen-ZHA" (a time from long ago). A Parks Canada Anishinaabe interpreter will tell the story of how the Anishinaabe co-existed with the bison. The cost for this tour is $7.30, pre-registration required.

If you find yourself in the park on Thursdays, head to the Visitor Centre Tipi for a free seminar on traditional craftwork. Watch and learn as Indigenous interpreters "oo-zhi-TOON" (create an object). This is a come-and-go event between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.

6. Fort la Reine Workshops

Portage la Prairie

Don't miss the opportunity take part in Fort la Reine's Anishinaabe Cultural Workshop Series, happening on select dates throughout the summer. Led by local elders, workshops include a panel discussion on reconciliation (July 17), a traditional Anishinaabe skirt sewing lesson (July 31), a traditional dance demonstration (August 17) and a sharing circle (August 28). All are welcome to attend these free seminars and workshops!

7. Metis Beading Workshops

Le Musee de Saint Boniface Museum, Winnipeg

The ever-popular beading workshops at Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum are back for another season. If you didn't get into the summer session - fear not - registration is still open for the fall workshop. At the helm of this creative endeavor is Métis artisan Julie Desrochers who aims to teach both traditional techniques and cultural connection. No sewing or crafting experience is necessary.