Indigenous History Month

June is Indigenous History Month.

With summer season on the horizon, and there’s open travel, we at the Indigenous Tourism Association of New Brunswick (ITANB) would like to highlight the exciting Indigenous Tourism experiences offered in New Brunswick. A recent research project, The Indigenous Tourism Development in Atlantic Canada funded by ACOA, found that tourism is the most important type of economic development to First Nations communities in New Brunswick. Recent tourism endeavors in Indigenous communities have placed a focus on cultural authenticity and integrity – tourism can be a way for Indigenous people to share and cultivate their history, traditions, and stories with the rest of the world.  

This summer Atlantic Canadians can experience authentic Indigenous cultural attractions such as Wabanaki Tree Spirit, where Cecelia Brooks and her son Anthony take visitors on a walk through the old growth forest of Fredericton’s Odell Park, sharing knowledge of local flora and fauna and their culinary, medicinal and ceremonial uses. Visit the Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Cultural Centre and take part in the Heritage Path Tour, try traditional Mi’kmaq Basket Making, and peruse handmade First Nations artwork. Experience 3000 years of Mi’kmaq history at the Metepenagiag Heritage Park, a community home to two National Historic sites – where Mi’kmaq artists are hard at work creating a replica of the famous outfit given to Captain Henry Dunn O’Halloran.  

 Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) has opened its art studio since last December with its grand opening that features a beautiful round construction and a custom hand-carved cedar door and is home for creativity in the community, with Wolastoqey artists creating, sharing, and selling art.  

Are you somewhat of a foodie? Try Indigenous foods and participate in culinary traditions.  Learn how to make a traveller’s bannock and sampling of traditional snacks at Metepenagiag Heritage Park’s Ookdotaan Experience, and enjoy traditional Mi’kmaq cuisine at the Red Bank Lodge along the Miramichi River with Stephen Paul’s First Nations Tourism and his Culinary Fishing package. For those with more of a thirst for adventure, First Nations Tourism also offers kayaking and canoe tours.  

Further up north North Shore Adventures offers a father and son guided fishing tours in the picturesque Baie des Chaleurs at Eel River Bar First Nation.  

These and more await you here in New Brunswick. As restrictions begin to lift and while the focus remains on domestic tourism, there has never been a better time to visit, learn about and experience Indigenous communities in New Brunswick. We have added an interactive tourism map to our website where you can view information about these tourism operators, with contact information and links so that visitors can go straight from visiting to booking their dates.  


Karen Narvey, Executive Director 

Patricia Dunnett, Chair 

Tourism,Truth and Reconciliation

The nature of tourism in the 19th century and its close ties to our distinctive Wabanaki way of living were historically exploited by non-Indigenous settlers. The land and relations were expropriated, access to critical infrastructure such as land and water harvesting have been restricted and our material culture appropriated by settlers interested in controlling the emerging global economy. Colonialism and imperialism transformed into an incredibly inequitable system of world trade and made western economies feel justified in their dominate relation to power and resources. The Wabanaki peoples always welcomed our visitors as equals by embracing their differences and forming helpful relationships which brought about the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1725. In the Age of Healing and Revival we are now in the Mi’kmaq, Peskotomuhkati and Wolastoqiyik, nations are regaining control over their stories and rebuilding sustainable economies. 

The Indigenous Tourism Association of New Brunswick positions itself here to represent, support, and grow a stable Indigenous tourism industry. In partnership with other Indigenous organizations such as the Joint Economic Development Initutive, Indigenous Women in Business and Aboriginal Affairs New Brunswick we seek to create a network to support the growth of Indigenous tourism.

Indigenous Tourism is reconciliation in action!

Read Indigenous Tourism is Reconciliation in Action 2022-2023 Action Plan.

Oxbow Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation

The Unceded Traditional Territory We Serve

Indigenous tourism in New Brunswick attracted just over $71 million in revenues in 2018. According to the Atlantic Canada Indigenous Tourism Study of 2020 many travelers see Indigenous tourism as an unanticipated side benefit of a broader proposed vacation. Engagement in Indigenous tourism experiences is quickly growing into more than an ‘add-on’ to a broader trip but is coming to represent its’ own significant part of tourism GDP in our Wabanaki territory. The Indigenous tourism industry represented 5% of the Atlantic region’s overall tourism GDP based on 2018 Statistics Canada data and is steadily growing. Our network serves to support Indigenous operators as they grow to export tourism to readiness in our communities, and create sustainable futures!

Sweetgrass bundles Elsipogtog Cultural Center

National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) June 21st 

The National Indigenous Peoples Day was announced in 1996 by then Governor-General Romeo Leblanc as the result of consultation and statements of support made by various First Nations, Non-status, Metis and Inuit to celebrate Indigenous culture in their own way. NIPD was born on June 21st, the summer solstice and longest day of the year, to represent the traditional time when Indigenous peoples celebrate their vibrant culture and communities. Now this statutory holiday serves to create a bridge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; and open a window of cultural immersion, and healing that can have the capacity to transform how we relate to each other and co-exist on this land. 

Heritage Path Tour Elsipogtog First Nation

Getting to Know Indigenous Culture in Wabanaki Territory Through Tourism

Join this growing wave of Indigenous tourism when planning your vacations this summer! Tourism under the right circumstances, in a climate of Indigenous self-determination, can facilitate Indigenous empowerment. Telling stories in our own voices, being governed in our own ways, creating immersion in our traditional territory, this will be part of reconciliation between non-Indigenous Canadian’s and Indigenous peoples. 

Indigenous History Month (June) 2022:

2022 Indigenous Experiences 

Metepenagiag Heritage Park – Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation, (25 kilometres West of Miramichi, Highway 420) 

Metepenagiag Heritage Park is a center of authentic Mi’kmaw culture, host to two National Hisotric Sites, and over 3000 years of heritage. Offering day excursions such as A Taste of Metepenagiag Ookdotaan Experience, or the Tipi Retreats where you will stay in traditional accommodations and enjoy the park.

Red Bank Lodge – Metepenagiag  Mi’kmaq Nation, Highway 420 (25 kilometres West of Miramichi, Highway 420) 

Surrounded by nature with stunning views of the beautiful river, this year-round operation offers accommodations, dining and conference room facilities on the high banks of the Miramiachi river – it’s where hospitality was invented over 3000 years ago!

SP First Nations Outdoor Tourism – Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation, (25 kilometres West of Miramichi, Highway 420).  

Authentic outdoor tour packages, offering immersion in Mi’kmaq cultural tastes, sounds, and experiences that are knowledgeable and memorable.

Bullmasters (Outfitter Hunting, and Fishing) – Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation,(25 kilometres West of Miramichi Highway 420). 

Outdoor experiences that share genuine Mi’kmaq knowledge and understandings of hunting and fishing while providing visitors with a connection to the sounds, taste, smells and feel of Mi’kma’ki. 


Elsipogtog Heritage Path Tour – Elsipogtog First Nation, (8 kilometres Southwest of Rexton off Highway 11) 

Guests are immersed in Mi’kmaq culture at Elsipogtog First Nation for 2.25 hours with this one-of-a-kind experience! 

First Nation’s Story Tellers – Saint John and Greater Bay of Fundy area  

Engaging authentic Indigenous experiences for visitors and residents of the Bay of Fundy that include tours of the Fundy Trail Parkway, Place Fort La Tour, Uptown Saint John and Rockwood Park which foster an understanding of Indigenous culture through storytelling.  


Mi’kmaq Art Experience – L’nui Menikuk First Nation, (11 kilometres Northeast of Rexton off Highway 11). 

The studio of Ashley Sanipass from L’nui Menikuk ‘Indian Island’ offers a variety of do-it-yourself arts and heritage kits that provide authentic language and cultural lessons.

IndigenEAST – Shediac New Brunswick (Highway 13) 

The studio of Tara Francis serves the vision of uplifting the traditional motifs and symbols of the Wabanaki Territories and elevating our arts and artists to a national level of recognition, by teaching workshops, hosting artist residencies, and selling do-it-yourself kits.

Fort Folly Medicine Walking Trail – Fort Folly First Nation, (2 kilometres South of Dorchester off Highway 106) 

A walking trail system developed to enhance the benefit of visitor’ and community members’ health, to add beauty to the local landscape, and to highlight local plants which promote Indigenous traditional knowledge and culture.

Neqotkuk Artist Studio – Tobique First Nation, (20 kilometers Northeast of the town of Perth.) 

A space for making, trading, and learning about authentic Indigenous art which fosters deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures by sharing the story of their communities in their voices.

North Shore Adventures – Eel River Bar First Nation, (10 kilometers South of Dalhousie) 

Tim Caplin along with his father provide guided fishing on the Bay of Chaleur

Wabanaki Tree Spirit – Fredericton, New Brunswick 

Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Indigenous values through cultural experiences like walking tours and other interactions to create a more harmonious world.

Silver limoscene service Wolastoq Boat Tours – City of Fredericton, New Brunswick 

Wolastoqiyik have enjoyed the flow of the Wolastoqiyik since time immemorial for transportation, food, and entertainment; get to know the river yourself and have a bit of fun with a public and private charter boat tour complete with a licensed bar, snacks, sandwiches and desserts.


Things to do National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21st, 2022:

Thursday June 16th

Indigenous Drum Building Workshop – 1713 Principale St. Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, 6:00 PM. 

Indigenous drum making workshop all material is provided for the cost of 65 – 130 depending on the size of the drum. Workshop is done in one night.  

Friday June 17th 

Indigenous Drum Building Workshop – 165 Boul. Hébert, Edmundston, 6:00 PM 

Indigenous drum making workshop all material is provided for the cost of 65 – 130 depending on the size of the drum. Workshop is done in one night. 

Mini Drum Concert – 165 Boul. Hébert, Edmundston, 7:30 PM 

The Madawaska Maliseet First Nation Drumming circle will be practicing during the drumming workshops all are welcome.  

Tuesday June 21st  

National Indigenous Peoples Day: Celebrating our Youth  the Lawn of the New Brunswick Legislature City of Fredericton, 11 AM 

Organized by Mawiw, JEDI and the Wolastoqey Tribal Council this event will encourage all to join the celebration of Indigenous Peoples. Proceedings to include Opening Prayers, Welcome by Sakom Allan Polchies, Drumming by Glenn Bernard and Neqotkuk Drummer, Storytelling with Elder Dr. Imelda Perley followed by more music with Matt Comeau and Algonquin group Sister’s of the Drum ended by a Closing Ceremony.  

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National Indigenous Peoples Day Kayak Tour – 712 Dominion Park Rd Saint John, New Brunswick.  

Go Fundy Events and First Nations Storytellers will come together on National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21st to lead a special kayaking tour from Dominion Park Beach to celebrate the Wolastoq and its’ history. Additionally, you can enjoy Bannock cooked on an open fire and a Sturgeon sampling on the riverbanks.

National Indigenous Peoples Day – Centennial Park Qonasqamkuk ‘St. Andrews’ N.B. 9AM- 1PM 

Come join in celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day with the Peskotomuhkati Nation at Stukik, the Town of St. Andrews, and Canada Heritage, with an opening ceremony, educational, cultural and informational booths as well as traditional foods and refreshments.  

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Call 506 529 5120 

Opening Smudging Ceremony – 165 Boul. Hébert, Edmundston, 11:00 AM  

Official smudging ceremony to signify Indigenous Peoples Day. 

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Indigenous Peoples Day Talking Circle – 165 Boul. Hébert, Edmundston, 1:30 PM 

Virtual talking circle with themes covering restorative justice, racism, healing, projection of identity and knowledge.  

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Kwey Cusine Dinner – 165 Boul. Hébert, Edmundston, 4:30 PM 

Amy Pelletier from Kwey Cuisine will prepare her famous Three Sisters and fiddlehead Soups. Served with bannock! 

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Movie Night – 165 Boul. Hébert, Edmundston, 6:30 PM 

Organized in collaboration with JEDI, MawiwThere will be a screening of short films by Indigenous directors playing at Louis-a-Lebel Pavillion Ampitheater 

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Aboriginal Day Celebration Buctouche First Nation Nukimis House, 9AM- 9PM 

Opening Ceremony and tea with Elder Bill Sappier, Bouncy castle, BBQ, scavenger hunt, mini-maiomi ‘powwow’, medicine walk, stories around a campfire, and finish with a big bang watching the fireworks. 

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Call 506-743-2520 

Further reading:  

Joint Economic Development Inituative

Aboriginal Affairs New Brunswick  

National Indigenous Peoples Day  

Atlantic Indigenous Tourism Study 2020  

Peace and Friendship Treaties  

Indigenous Tourism is Reconciliation in Action 2022-2023 Action Plan

35 books to read for National Indigenous History Month