7 Indigenous Businesses you can Support this Summer

əyʔ skʷéčəl (“good day”)!

Explore Songhees

Explore Songhees is a highly recommended, highly meaningful Indigenous attraction you should be sure to include in your next Victoria visit. The Songhees Nation invites you to engage with their culture through intricate storytelling, beautiful sightseeing, and traditional cuisine. Visit their kiosk at Ship Point at the Inner Harbour to meet with Indigenous artists, book a tour, and munch on traditionally inspired snacks. Here, you can embark on their moving ‘7 Signs of the Lekwungen’ tour, held on foot. Explore Songhees also leads canoe tours departing from Ship Point. Led by a cultural guide, learn about the history of the land where the Songhees peoples have thrived since time immemorial.  
On June 21st at 3:30, Explore Songhees is celebrating at their location at their Ship Point kiosk with a day of traditional Bannock, cold drinks, orange shirts for sale and speeches honouring their Nation’s exemplary leadership and vision.

Explore Songhees Canoe Tour

Canoe Tour with Explore Songhees

The Songhees Food Truck

The Songhees Food Truck, operated by Explore Songhees, is a one-of-a-kind foodie experience. Chef David Roger cooks up a versatile menu sourcing fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, incorporating these into his menu in a Coast Salish way. Bite into their famous Salmon Bannock Burger or try a ‘Songwich’ with a bison sausage add-on. If at most you’re feeling snack-ish, order a stand-alone Bannock – a form of fry-bread that served as a staple in the diets of many First Nations, savoured for its high carb-content. Their food truck is normally located at 1502 Admirals Road – but we recommend checking their website for up-to-date information before you go.  

Leaf Modern Gallery

Turning a new leaf on Indigenous contemporary art is Leaf Modern Gallery. New to Victoria’s art scene, this art gallery and workshop is where West Coast Kwakwaka’wakw artist Rande Cook creates and features stunning, often functional pieces. While browsing his gallery, you can really feel Rande’s resonating message of connection – connection to the land, to one another, to his art, to his passion. Many of his piece’s themes promote the message of respecting the land upon which we live and learning to treat nature as we would another friend or neighbour. The gallery is located 2624 Bridge St. Victoria, BC – a highly recommended activity for those wanting to browse high-quality creative works.


Sasquatch Trading

Sasquatch Trading is a locally owned Victorian business that carries handcrafted pieces by Indigenous artists, sculptors, and carvers, along with jewelry by British Columbian artists. If you’re looking for souvenirs to take back home – this one-stop shop carries a wide selection of Indigenous and Canadian souvenirs and clothing, and is conveniently located five minutes from the Inner Harbour. Find a unique and cultural take-away to remember your visit to Victoria! 

Sasquatch Trading storefront

Just some of the intricate handcrafted pieces at Sasquatch Trading.

Mark Loria Gallery

One of the leading Indigenous art galleries in the world, Mark Loria Gallery specializes in contemporary, fine Indigenous art. A distinctive setting, browse through the gallery’s extensive collection of paintings, carvings, sculptures, wearable art, ceramics, and textiles who’s bold colours dance across the gallery walls from floor-to-ceiling. Interested in taking home a piece? You know your money will be spent ethically – the Mark Loria Gallery holds a long-time commitment of donating back to communities in ongoing efforts to preserve and protect Indigenous culture. Owner Mark Loria, often on-site, is knowledgeable and humble, and loves to educate visitors on local history. 


Cowichan Trading

Serving Victoria for more than 50 years, Cowichan Trading is one of Victoria’s oldest and most unique shopping experiences and souvenir shops. Jointly owned along with Sasquatch Trading, Cowichan Trading also sells an impressive array of handcrafted Cowichan sweaters and knits, authentic Indigenous jewelry, masks, carvings, and art. Their store has a great selection of moccasins, clothing, giftware, and souvenirs all crediting and supporting the original Indigenous artist or creator. 

Cowichan Trading

The one-of-a-kind products at Cowichan Trading.

National Indigenous People’s Day at Royal Roads University

Located on the elegant Hatley Castle grounds, Royal Roads University has long worked closely with Indigenous peoples to drive positive change academically, economically, and socially. Their National Indigenous People’s Day celebrations are Greater Victoria’s largest, inviting thousands on campus to witness the Canoe Landing Protocol and welcoming ceremony, Lekwungen performances and song, and a canoe challenge where 15 teams go oar-to-oar navigating tight turns to return to shores safely. Activities include children’s field games, a craft tent, vendors market, an interactive Métis showcase, and storytelling in Tipi. There will be an Elders’ tent and educational plant walks along Charlie’s Trail with Cowichan Elder Kenneth Elliott. There will also be food trucks on site. Everyone is welcome to view and experience these special celebrations!

Other ways you can immerse yourself in Indigenous culture in Victoria:

  • Walk the Songhees Walkway. Located in Victoria West, the Songhees Walkway is home to one of the most stunning waterfront walkways that runs through our city. Runners, walkers, joggers, and sightseers unite on the walkway to unwind, traversing past the Johnson Street Bridge, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Ocean Pointe Resort, Boom + Batten, and the Songhees residential neighbourhood. Keep an eye for totems!  
  • Visit Meegan. Meegan is the traditional name the Songhees gave to what is now known is Beacon Hill Park, meaning “warmed by the sun”. The Songhees Nation would come here in the spring to gather the edible bulbs of the flowering camas and to play qoqwialls in the meadows, a game similar to modern-day cricket. Meegan is also home to what was once the tallest totem pole in the world, the Story Pole. Erected in 1956 by Mungo Martin, Kwakiutl chief and carver, the totem stands almost 39 meters high.
  • Walk Ogden Point Breakwater – and pay attention to the mural! This fascinating and free art installation is called the “Unity Wall”, and it spans the entire 1km stretch of the Breakwater. The mural was created by a small team led by professional painter Darlene Gait of the Esquimalt Nation and carver/painter Butch Dick of the Songhees Nation. As one of the first things visitors see when arriving at the Victoria Cruise Terminal, the piece is a perfect first introduction to the city’s incredible Coast Salish presence.

əyʔ skʷéčəl (“good day”)!

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Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.