The Best Indigenous Tourism Experiences in Quebec City – Your 2024 Complete Guide

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Are you looking for the best Indigenous tourism experiences in Quebec City?

Immersing yourself in an Indigenous tourism experience is an educational and inspiring way to explore a region. For over 30 years Indigenous Tourism Quebec has been inviting guests to come to the region to gather on the land and visit one of 200+ Indigenous-owned businesses, which can be found throughout the whole province of Quebec. 

These businesses have a passion for sharing their history and stories from the past, innovative and new evolutions from the present, and dreams and aspirations for the future. Experiences are led with a level of intention and respect that I don’t often see in other travel experiences. Here you can first hand feel the respect and connection to the culture and a passion for sharing that with guests. 

As a Mom, as a Canadian, and as a global citizen I wish everyone could invest in taking part in these important types of transformational travel experiences as they were some of our highlights from our trips to Quebec City. This gives space where we learn from elders, can seek to understand and respect our Indigenous friends, and invest in their futures by supporting their businesses. In this article, we will focus on the Indigenous tourism experiences in Quebec City which are hosted by the Huron-Wendat nation.

Disclaimer: While I share my own thoughts and stories about these experiences, should you click on the affiliate links, I may receive a small commission on that sale which helps fund Adventure Awaits.

The Best Indigenous Tourism Experiences in Quebec City

Who are the Indigenous people who live in the Quebec City area?

As diverse as the rest of the city is, the Indigenous people who call Quebec home come from territories all across Canada. The Huron-Wendat people traveled along the St-Lawrence River and were mainly situated in the Great Lake (GTA) area. The Indigenous community known as Wendake today was founded in 1760 but tracks back to the first colonial settlements as old as 1608 on the Wendat land of Stadacona. Wendake is the only place in all of Canada where you will find a recognized Wendat community, making it a very special and sacred place. Through cultural preservation and innovation, they have worked hard to protect their culture and create a wide array of tourism experiences and educational facilities to protect and share their story with the world.

Where To Stay

For a fully immersive experience, it is best to base yourself at the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations, a Huron-Wendat-owned and operated hotel located in Wendake. This four-star Indigenous hotel invites you to go beyond a hotel room and embrace the educational experiences in and around the hotel.

Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations – Quebec City’s 4-star Indigenous Hotel and Resort Experience

front entrance of theHôtel-Musée Premières Nations in wendake, quebec
Photo Credit: Stephane Audet – Audet Photo (Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations)

A dramatic facade creates a grand welcome at the hotel entrance of Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations. Built in 2008, this hotel is designed to mix traditional Huron-Wendat art and culture with innovation creating a world-class experience. Staying at the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations truly is an incredible experience and I could feel that as soon as I walked through the front doors. 

a bar, fireplace and seating area inside the lobby at the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations

With the expressive museum on the left and the warm reception on the right, you’re drawn into an open-air lobby that is infused with Indigenous art and design. After you’ve checked in, you can head down to your room where more Indigenous infusion awaits.

a hotel room with a large bed, couch, chair and coffee table at the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations
Photo Credit: Stephane Audet – Audet Photo (Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations)

Walls are lined with beautiful Indigenous art, everything from arrowheads to paddles, to jewelry. Inside your room, you’ll find streamlined design, intentional elements, and a view out over the Akiawenrakh’ River. You can quickly draw a connection with the place you are visiting through a variety of mediums including art, design, smell, scenery, and food and beverages. 

This was my first time staying in an Indigenous hotel and it was on par with the other world-class experiences I have had. With a reputation for hospitality, modern amenities, and the four-star experience, I can wholeheartedly say not only did I have an incredible stay, but I was honoured to learn so much about the Huron-Wendat people and their culture. 

When you book this hotel I recommend that you treat it more like a resort. A place where you want to extend your visit, move intentionally, and take in the different services that are to be offered. This includes of course the pool and lobby bar, but also the incredible food and the First Nations experiences on site including the Museum as well as the Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse (which you can also book to sleep inside and expand your experience!). 

Book your stay at Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations here!

What To Do – 7 Indigenous Tourism Experiences in Quebec City

Visit the Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse

a person singing and playing a drum in front of a fire inside the longhouse at the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations, one of the Indigenous tourism experiences in quebec city

When you are staying at Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations you can book a storytelling experience inside the Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse that they have on-site. I had never been in a longhouse and this was my first time around a campfire with an Indigenous storyteller. Before the stories began we were encouraged to ask all of our questions, no matter how uneducated they may seem (I felt silly at first but I wanted to know so many things!). I appreciated the warm welcome and inviting atmosphere so that I could ask all my questions.

inside a longhouse in wendake, quebec, one of the Indigenous tourism experiences in quebec city
Photo Credit: Stephane Audet – Audet Photo / Tourisme Wendake

For this particular longhouse, we learned that it was quite small compared to the traditional one that we would have seen in the Indigenous villages. This longhouse was built for three families whereas a traditional longhouse would have been built for 6 – 10 families. With lots of artifacts around the longhouse, we could envision what it was like to cook, clean, sleep, and of course story tell in these beautiful and functional houses. 

And our storytelling experience was infused with a lot of education and passion with our host sharing two stories with us. Whether you choose a tour or a storytelling experience, a visit to the Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse is an absolute must while staying in the Quebec City area. 

Visitor Tip: When heading out to the longhouse, be sure to layer up and dress extra warm, I’m so glad I did. While there are propane firepits in the longhouse, I was grateful to have dressed with boots, gloves, and a toque! 

Explore the Huron-Wendat Museum

view of the exhibits inside the musee huron-wendat, one of the Indigenous tourism experiences in quebec city
Photo Credit: Stephane Audet – Audet Photo / Tourisme Wendake

For the first half of 2024, the Musée Huron-Wendat is undergoing a transformation and a new exhibit will be unveiled in June of this year. While that is ongoing, there is another exposition at the Tsawenhohi house (one of the oldest houses in Wendake) that is right across from the Musée Huron-Wendat and Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse. Dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Huron-Wendat people, the museum boasts interactive exhibits that help connect visitors with the stories, the memories from the past, and the knowledge shared by elders. Guests are welcome to explore the museum in a variety of ways including visiting the exhibits, taking part in the cultural activities & workshops, guided tours (available in six languages), or heading over to the longhouse for a storytelling experience.

Embrace Enchantment & Education at Onhwa’ Lumina

woman stands looking at the sign at Onhwa' Lumina, one of the Indigenous tourism experiences in quebec city

Under the darkness of the night, the forest in Wendake comes alive with the story of the Huron-Wendat people through a multimedia light and music show called Onhwa’ Lumina. Dedicated to the Indigenous people, Moment Factory worked to create an immersive experience that takes you through the forest and shares the stories of the past, insights from the present, and dreams for the future. Be sure to give yourself lots of time to take in the signage and learn about the significance of each story as it unfolds. 

a long house and fires in the forest at onhwa' lumina

Some of my favourite stops along the way included the Great Circle, where you were surrounded by sounds and storytelling. The longhouse was incredible to see, not only in structure but how it was a natural gathering place for everyone to come together.

a metal silhouette of a deer in the forest at the onhwa' lumina experience

On the outskirts of the longhouse were animals in the distance, their close relationship with the Indigenous people deeply recognized.

one of the picture visuals of indigenous people at the onhwa' lumina experience

Through the ancestral rhythms, songs, and stories I truly felt the connection with the land and the Huron-Wendat people. I made sure to soak in this moving immersive cultural experience as we walked the 1.2km trail through the forest. 

a movie being projected onto the palisade wall at onhwa' lumina, one of the Indigenous tourism experiences in quebec city

From firework-feeling light shows to storytelling illuminations across the front of a palisade (a structure used to protect villages) to projections of the past and connections to the future, this is an exceptional Indigenous experience that is a must-see when visiting Quebec City. 

Traveler Tip: This is an all-weather outdoor activity so be sure to dress warm and in layers. If you’re traveling with kids I recommend bringing a warm drink for your walk to keep them toasty from the inside out! And don’t forget your camera, there are a lot of magical moments worth capturing.

Explore The Traditional Huron-Wendat Onhoua Chetekbe Site

entrance area of The Traditional Huron-Wendat Onhoua Chetekbe Site
Photo Credit: Tourisme Autochtone Québec

Stewards of the land, the Huron-Wendat leaders invite you to come and walk their trails and experience the land firsthand. Here at the Traditional Onhoua Chetekbe Site you can take a guided tour, head out on a canoe ride, or go for a snowshoe tour, all while listening to the stories and legends from your Indigenous guides. Take a hand at archery or build your own Indigenous art in one of their workshops.

close up view of many dream catchers hanging on the wall inside an indigenous store in quebec city
Photo Credit: Mathieu Dupuis

They also have arts and crafts workshops including making a medicine wheel. Be sure to stop at the “Le Huron” boutique where you can feast your eyes on arts and crafts from the 11 different nations from Quebec. This is a place for more active adventure and those looking to connect mind and body to the Huron-Wendat land.

Discover the Best Indigenous Art Experiences in Quebec City

close up of 3 indigenous paddles in a canoe, each paddle is painted with a different pattern and colours
Photo Credit: Tourisme Autochtone Québec (Onquata – Aspen Paddles)

I’ve always been passionate about Indigenous art and traveling from the Westcoast it was interesting to see how different the Indigenous art in Wendake was. Here is a roundup of the best places to take workshops and where to purchase Indigenous art in and around Quebec City.

Onquata – Aspen Paddles

If you are looking for a beautiful gift to take home with you as a souvenir from your trip a stop at Onquata is a must. Lise and Lara are a mother-daughter team who are inspired by Indigenous art and nature and craft the most elegant Aspen paddles. With a passion for their ancestral utility, the paddles have offered a great way for guests to support local Indigenous tourism, one paddle at a time.

Bastien Industries – Traditional Wendat Moccasins

Moccasins have been manufactured by the Wendat people since 1878 with the utmost respect for the traditional craftsmanship and artistry that goes into every pair. If you are interested in purchasing a pair of these special shoes visit the team at Bastien Industries, who delicately craft these pieces, one tiny bead at a time.

Raquettes Et Artisanat Gros-Louis – Traditional & Aluminum Snowshoes

The art of crafting traditional and aluminum snowshoes has been handed down from one generation to the next at Raquettes Et Artisanat Gros-Louis. This Wendake shop invites you to come into their specialty store where you can shop for snowshoes and so much more including outerwear, jewelry, artwork, and spiritual items.

Attend the Best Indigenous Festivals in Quebec City

a large group of people are gathered outside at a pow wow in wendake, quebec
Photo Credit: Stephane Audet – Audet Photo / Tourisme Wendake

If you plan your trip around an Indigenous festival or event, that would be a great way to gain more experiences and insight into the traditions, culture, ceremonies, and storytelling that take place at gatherings. Here are a few for you to consider:

Kwe! Meet with Indigenous Peoples: June 14-16 & June 21, 2024

With the goal of promoting artists and artisans from the 11 Indigenous Nations in Quebec, visitors will get to walk through the Kwe! festival grounds soaking in the art, music, demonstrations, and discussions on traditional and contemporary Indigenous issues. Visitors can participate in workshops and help the important process that takes place when we gather, and learn from each other, and our cultures, creating a brighter future for us all.

International Pow Wow of Wendake: June 28-30, 2024

Embrace the powerful experience that is a traditional Pow Wow at this annual event. The Huron-Wendat people welcome you to immerse yourself in their culture and experience, drum and dance competitions, work from local artisans, and traditional food including roasted game on a stick. This open-air event takes place at the Carrefour Artistique de Wendake.

Traveler Tip: Expand your experience and follow the Pow Wow Trail. Plan a road trip itinerary that will take you throughout Quebec and to Pow Wow celebrations all over the province.

Indulge at the Best Indigenous First Nations Restaurants in Quebec City

inside view of the La Traite restaurants in Wendake, empty tables and chairs sit by a fireplace
Photo Credit: Stephane Audet – Audet Photo / Tourisme Wendake

If you’re looking for Indigenous-infused meals that cross the magic of tradition and innovation, I can assure you that the restaurants in Wendake will exceed your expectations. Start at La Traite and then continue through town indulging in Indigenous cuisine, one memorable experience at a time.

La Traite, Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations

close up of a deer steak on a plate at the La Traite restaurant, one of the best Indigenous Tourism experiences in Quebec City

Indigenous gastronomy is a term that is new to me but after indulging in my first meal at La Traite at Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations I started to understand the term. According to the “Google machine,” gastronomy is, “the art of selecting, preparing, serving, and enjoying fine food,” and at La Traite, it is an art and a science. My camera “ate first” as I was busy taking photos of the beautiful artwork that would soon become my meal. And what a meal it was. Inspired by local foods the menu showcases fresh local products from hunting, gathering, and fishing with a passion for fresh high-quality delectable ingredients. 

We were fortunate to indulge in their Table De Saison three-course meal and as each course was presented to us it appeared to be elevated over the last round, tantalizing our tastebuds with each bite. Here are a few more pictures to showcase the artistry that was on display before we indulged in the delicacy of the meal. 

close up view of an appetizer on a plate decorated with corn and beans at La Traite restaurant
close up view of a dessert on a plate at La Traite restaurant
close up view of an appetizer being served in a bowl at La Traite restaurant

One of the things I loved the most about the restaurant was the ambiance. A modern restaurant with a mix of traditional decor, La Traite created a warm welcome that invited you to come in and stay a while, not feel rushed, and enjoy all of the experiences that were happening at the table. This included the warm bannock welcoming appetizer, the unique mocktails and drinks, the meals, and most importantly, the company that the experience was shared with. 

La Sagamité, Wendake Restaurant

view of a meal on a plate at the Sagamite Vieux Quebec restaurant
Photo Credit: Sagamité Vieux-Québec – Stephane Audet – Audet Photo

This unique Indigenous dining experience will have you savouring the authentic Indigenous flavours under a canopy of suspended totem poles. Their house specialty is Yatista’, a metal structure mounted with a flaming game served right at your table. In 2023, they reopened after a 4-year closure, and look forward to welcoming guests and providing memorable experiences that await each patron at La Sagamité. Future plans include adding a pub and microbrewery that look out over the Kabir Kouba waterfall.

Yahwastsira’ Restaurant

close up of a meal at the Yahwastsira' restaurant, one of the Indigenous Tourism experiences in Quebec City
Photo Credit: Tourisme Autochtone Québec

Yahwastsira’ translates into “Family” and this restaurant epitomizes a family-run business. Owned and operated by 2 sisters and their sons, Yahwastsira’ invites you to indulge in their comfort foods. Enjoy their famous Yahwastsira’ burger which comes with a side of nothing other than poutine. Their diner-style menu features salmon tartare, shish taouk, Indian tacos, and more.

Books Worth Reading Before You Go

One way to create a deeper connection with the Indigenous people and places within Quebec is to read Indigenous literature before or during your trip. These three books have been recommended by Indigenous Quebec and they are all by Indigenous Quebec Authors:

Manikanetish by Naomi Fontaine

Now adapted into a play, this novel showcases a student’s perseverance and how they overcame difficulties.

Eveil A Kitchike by Louis-Karl Picard-Sioui

This book showcases fictional work that is based on ancient traditions. The author goes through a challenging journey showcasing how they went from rivalry to sorority, to solitary in a journey through the reality of an Indigenous community challenged by the passage of time.

Le Nord et le Sud – A novel for youth readers by Isabelle Picard

This book showcases the adventures of Indigenous twins, Leon and Eloise when their life is turned upside down after learning of their father’s illness.

Librairie Hannenorak – Only Bookstore Located In An Indigenous Community In Quebec

The best place to buy these and other Indigenous books is Librairie Hannenorak. Located in the Wendake community, this library has been open for over 15 years as an independent, accredited institution. They are proud to be the general bookstore for Wendake residents and visitors will especially appreciate their passion for promoting First Nations literature.

The First Nations Book Fair: November 1-17, 2024

If you are a bookworm and love a book fair (I remember it being one of my favorite parts about elementary school when the Scholastic book fair came to our school) then the First Nations Book Fair may be worth visiting. This is a unique event and the only one of its kind in all of Canada! The fair showcases Indigenous authors and invites you to discover new authors and storytelling from the Indigenous perspective. You can experience programming, round tables, interviews, workshops, poetry readings, children and youth activities, and showcases at the event.

Interesting Facts

Indigenous Language Protection

Did you know that across Canada there are major efforts in place to protect Indigenous languages? In the province of Quebec, the Anishinaabe language and culture are the priority and the Wendat people have been working hard to protect it as it has almost been lost. However, through working with the elders, researching, and with a new interest from the younger generation they are working hard to bring back their language and preserve it for future generations.

Indigenous Tourism Experiences in Quebec City

In conclusion, the Huron-Wendat people have crafted a wonderful network of tourism experiences for those wishing to connect with the Indigenous people, art, culture, and food while visiting the Quebec City Region. I was overwhelmed with the four-star luxury experience and wish that I would have had more time to go and visit all of the vendors and experiences that were available. From festivals to seasonal visits there are so many wonderful Indigenous experiences worth exploring in Wendake and Quebec City. If you have any that you think I should add to this list do let me know.

Be Sure to Check out these Indigenous Tourism Experiences

About The Author
Jami Savage
Jami Savage
Jami Savage is one of the top Family Travel Writers in Canada, and has been featured on CTV and Vancouver Sun, and more. Go here to read our families story about how we went from backyard adventurers to world travelers, and how you can do the same. If you want to send Jami a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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Jami Savage

Full Time Travel Writer, Mom who is passionate about empowering and educating travelers on how you can use your own tourism dollars as a catalyst for positive change worldwide. Click here to learn more about us, our family, and how we lead an adventure filled life!

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