With its impressive beauty and natural abundance, it’s no surprise that the Sunshine Coast has been inhabited since time immemorial. The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, shíshálh, Tla’amin, Klahoose, and Homalco Nations have all called this area home for thousands upon thousands of years.
This blog will highlight some of our favourite Indigenous-led businesses to support in and around Gibsons. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature or take a leisurely drive North along the Salish Sea coastline to Sechelt, we’ve got recommendations for you.
House of héwhíwus (House of Chiefs) Complex
5555 Sunshine Coast Highway, Sechelt
The House of héwhíwus Complex is a must-visit destination on the Sunshine Coast. This local shíshálh Nation-led complex includes a number of both contemporary and historical indigenous places to visit. Whether you enjoy a show at the theatre, shop for the newest handmade art at the gift shop, or expand your knowledge at the museum, you will surely enjoy your time here.
Raven’s Cry Theatre
Raven’s Cry Theatre brings you storytelling in a variety of formats, including movies, plays, concerts and dance. Adorned with artwork throughout, this theatre is a hub for local entertainment. Check out their movie and event listings here.
Tsain-Ko Gift Shop
Tsain-Ko Gift Shop is a First Nations-owned gift shop and features handmade Indigenous art, jewellery, and clothing from local artists. They also offer traditional medicines, including teas and tinctures. Tsain-Ko Gift Shop is a great place to find unique gifts and support local Indigenous artists. Find them on Facebook here.
shíshálh Nation tems swiya Museum
Tems swiya, the museum’s name, means “Our World” in the shíshálh language. This museum is an essential visit for those looking to take in the traditional artifacts and cultural materials of the local shíshálh Nation. During a visit to Tems swiya Museum, you’ll find a collection of cedar baskets, art, photographs, audio recordings, and archaeological findings, including stone tools and sculptures.
A highlight of the museum is an exhibit featuring the digital face reconstruction of a shíshálh family, estimated to be 4,000 years old. The ‘kw’enusitsht tems stutula exhibit means Face to Face with our ancestors.
Learn more here.
Five Totems at Tsain-Ko Village
5500 Sunshine Coast Highway, Sechelt
As you enter Sechelt from its southern side, you’re greeted by several distinctive totem poles. The Tsain-Ko Village Shopping Centre highlights an impressive collection of artwork throughout, including the five totems poles. Created by First Nations artists, these totem poles incorporate designs featuring the thunderbird, eagle, raven and more. Set in front of the bustling 100,000 sq ft Tsain-Ko Village Shopping Centre, the totem poles, along with landscape features and other art pieces make this a worthwhile stop.
To learn about the cultural artwork featured at the Tsain-Ko Village Shopping Centre, click here.
Led by members of the Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nations, Talaysay Tours offers a variety of walking tours guided by an Indigenous cultural ambassador.
If you’re looking for an authentic cultural and ecological experience where you can take in the beauty of this beautiful area, we’re sure you’ll enjoy Talaysay Tours. For the ultimate experience, try the Land, Sea and Air Audio tour. Hop on a Sunshine Coast Air light and explore the Sechelt Inlet and Hotham Sound while you listen to the stories, songs and history of the Shishalh peoples.
Book your tour here.
The Sunshine Coast is home to amazing Indigenous-led businesses just an easy drive from Touchstone in Gibsons. However you plan to your activities, we hope that you enjoy the unique products and services!