Tourism

Canoeing, walking tours: Songhees launch tourism program

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Songhi indigenous nation will launch its unique tourism initiatives next week with canoe trips, walking tours and storytelling.

“We are delighted that this season we can share our tradition of hospitality at the Lekwungen site,” said Cecilia Dick, Cultural Tourism Manager at Songhees Nation.

“With the city of Victoria built around us today, it is difficult for visitors to see evidence of our history and traditional land use. We look forward to sharing stories that bring our culture to life, past and present,” Dick said.

The season kicks off Tuesday with National Indigenous Day at 3:30 pm with the traditional canoe welcome at the Inner Harbour, followed by a seawall procession to Ship Point, where cultural events will take place until 6:00 pm. Bannock, soft drinks and orange shirts will be on sale at the Explore Songhees kiosk.

Starting Thursday, Songhees Tours will be offering indigenous cultural experiences at its Ship Point Kiosk.

• The 7 Signs of Lekvungen walking tour will continue in summer and autumn. This tour follows a route of cultural sites, each marked by a spindle sculpture by Songhees artist Butch Dick. From Thursday to Sunday, guides will share stories describing what each place means to the people of Lekwungen.

• Returning for the first time since 2018, Songhees Canoe Tours will offer cultural and sightseeing opportunities in the Inner Harbor aboard the Salish Sea Wolf. Guests can take part in rowing, learning about the Lekwungen people’s connection to the Inner Harbor, and hear stories about important cultural areas such as Protocol Corner and Pelases (Cradle Place). These tours will be available weekly from Thursday to Sunday.

• New this year is the Lekwungen reality tour. Hosted by Loremaster Mark Albany, the walking tour explores the history and impact of colonial settlements on the Lekwungen people and their lands, and encourages individual reflection on how Canada is grappling with its past and moving towards reconciliation. Tour dates will be announced on July 1st.

• The first row of folk artists will return to the south side of the Inner Harbor dike after a three-year hiatus.

• At its base at 1502 Admiral’s Road and elsewhere, Songhees Food Truck will serve Indigenous-inspired dishes, including new summer specials and crowd favorites such as creative bannocks and salmon burgers.

For more information or to book a tour, visit exploresonghees.com.

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