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Local Voices: Métis Crossing

While Canada is known for its breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife and vibrant cities, exploring the rich history and heritage of Indigenous cultures in Canada can make your trip truly unique. With over 630 First Nations communities representing more than 50 Nations, there are ample opportunities to learn about Indigenous culture and enrich your Canadian vacation through art, cuisine and shared experiences. 

Métis Crossing is the first Métis cultural centre in Alberta. This one-of-a-kind destination features accommodations, sky-watching domes, fine dining, interactive activities and exhibits, and guided tours. It’s a place to discover Métis culture and traditions, connect with nature, and elevate your Canadian travel experience. 

Fresh Tracks Canada spoke to Leon Boychuk-Hunter, Director of Business Development at Métis Crossing, about all the reasons why you should add this destination to your trip.

The Lodge at Métis Crossing

What makes Métis Crossing a unique destination for those looking to explore Canada? 

Leon Boychuk-Hunter: Métis Crossing is a treasure trove of Métis culture and history, offering visitors an authentic glimpse into the vibrant traditions of the Métis people and an important part of Canada’s history. Nestled along the North Saskatchewan River, it's a place where the past comes alive through stories, crafts, and community. Visitors can actively participate in a journey that blends European and Indigenous influences, creating a rich, unique experience that truly sets us apart. If you’re looking to connect deeply with Canada’s heritage, Métis Crossing is a great place to do so. 

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What is the advantage of staying at Métis Crossing versus a shorter visit? 

Leon Boychuk-Hunter: Staying overnight gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in ways that go beyond a shorter visit. Guests can enjoy the comfort of our luxurious accommodations, enjoy delicious Métis cuisine at the on-site Bistro, and participate in stargazing and cultural programs like "Whispers from the Stars." With accommodation options like a boutique lodge, traditional trapper’s tents, and sky-watching domes, an overnight stay offers a deeper connection to the Métis way of life. This longer stay allows for a more comprehensive and enriching engagement with the culture, history, and traditions of the Métis people. 

Couple watching Northern Lights from Sky Watching Pod at Metis Crossing

Can you describe some of the hands-on activities or immersive programs offered to help visitors learn about Métis culture and the opportunities to engage with Métis community members? 

Leon Boychuk-Hunter: We have a variety of immersive experiences that bring Métis culture and history to life. Our daily exhibits and art installations allow visitors to explore at their own pace, while our signature experiences (trapper walk, canoeing, stargazing) offer guided, interactive sessions led by our knowledgeable cultural team. These experiences go deeper into Métis history, traditions, and our relationship with the land, wildlife, and the night sky. Led by our knowledgeable cultural team and knowledge-holders, these experiences offer authentic and engaging encounters with our Métis community. 

The journey from fighting to be recognized in the Canadian constitution as a distinct Indigenous People to being able to tell our story at an iconic cultural destination is reconciliation in action.
Couple sawing a log at Metis Crossing

What makes Fall a great time to visit? 

Leon Boychuk-Hunter: Fall at Métis Crossing is absolutely stunning. As the leaves turn, it creates an incredible display of colours, making it a perfect time for hiking and photography. The cooler weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and we have seasonal programs and events like traditional harvest celebrations and the Smoky Lake Pumpkin Festival. It's an incredible time that combines the natural splendour of the season with some of our favorite activities.

Two people playing musical instruments by an outdoor fire at Métis Crossing in fall

What makes Winter a great time to visit? 

Leon Boychuk-Hunter: The snow-covered landscape and unique activities on offer make Métis Crossing the perfect place to spend a winter weekend. You can try snowshoeing, traditional crafts, or signature experiences, all while learning about how the Métis people thrived in the winter months. After a day of adventure, you can warm up by the fire in our cozy lodges, listening to stories and enjoying hot drinks. Winter also brings special events like our traditional Christmas celebrations and the chance to see the Northern Lights. It's a really special season here. 

People sitting around a fire talking at Metis Crossing

What has been your most memorable experience at Métis Crossing and why does it stand out to you? 

Leon Boychuk-Hunter: At National Indigenous Peoples Day a young Metis girl walked up to our knowledge holder embraced her and proclaimed “I love this Place!” Witnessing the pride and contributions of the Métis community as Métis Crossing emerges as a cultural destination in the heart of the Métis homeland is inspiring. This pride is seen in our elders, youth, and families who practice sharing and exploring their culture through the community at Métis Crossing. The journey from fighting to be recognized in the Canadian constitution as a distinct Indigenous People to being able to tell our story at an iconic cultural destination is reconciliation in action. 

What would you like visitors to take away after their experience at Métis Crossing? 

Our aim is for every visitor to leave with a stronger appreciation and understanding of Métis culture, history, and traditions. Whether they stay for a day or a week, we want visitors to have the opportunity to engage with important aspects of our past while seeing how they still connect to daily life today. Overall, we strive to provide an educational and enriching experience that fosters a deep respect for the Métis way of life. 

Feeling inspired to learn more about Indigenous culture? Check out our History, Culture, and Starry Skies of the West trip that includes an immersive two-night experience at Métis Crossing. 

Or Schedule a Call with one or our Canadian Insiders. 

About the author: Samantha Edwards is the Content and Social Media Coordinator at Fresh Tracks Canada. A creative storyteller, she enjoys sharing her local expertise with visitors. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, her favourite Canadian destination is Sooke on Vancouver... Read more

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