National Truth and Reconciliation Day is just around the corner, and stopping by local south island Indigenous businesses is a wonderful way to show ongoing support.
Especially while we work and play on on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking Coast Salish peoples!
In case you’re not familiar, earlier in 2023, the City of Victoria launched a new Indigenous business directory—you can find businesses specializing in anything from construction to mural artistry.
- Related: There’s a brand new directory highlighting Indigenous owned businesses in Victoria
- You may also like: The South Island Powwow set to take place this month at Royal Athletic Park
This list that we’ve put together includes a few businesses we wanted to highlight as well as some additional noteworthy ones!
Discover something new, educate yourself on Indigenous history and culture, and find ways you can support our Indigenous friends, neighbours, and community members.
Without further delay, here’s 10 Indigenous businesses in and around Victoria:
Meet this powerful duo, Cowichan Trading and Sasquatch Trading!
Two locally owned small businesses in Victoria where you can browse and purchase authentic, handmade Indigenous artwork, jewelry, and clothing.
They invite you to take a look and to experience the richness of Indigenous culture with them!
They have two separate locations in downtown Victoria under their respective names but you can shop online on their combined website.
- Cowichan Trading: 1328 Government Street
- Sasquatch Trading: 1233 Government Street
- Cowichan Trading:
- Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sasquatch Trading: Hours vary
- Cowichan Trading:
Skʷati Sῤaƛ̓ǝŋ is the Songhees Edition of popular Cannabis retailer, Seed & Stone.
They use their retail experience to showcase Songhees culture, art, and tourism initiatives while incorporating regulated cannabis education and training for our budtenders and customers!
- Where: 1502 Admirals Road
- When: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Owned and operated by Michif (Métis) visual artist Jesse Campbell, he has worked on some of the largest projects in the region!
He has collaborated with many Indigenous and Metis artists since he began mural art in 2010 and is available for consultations if you’re looking for a quote on a big project—whatever it is, Jesse can handle it.
Campbell also spends a lot of time mentoring youth on the craft of mural painting and understanding the diverse forms of Indigenous art across North America!
Contact him via email if you wish to set up a consultation.
Definitely keep an eye on this one!
J.B. Williams, of Tsawout and Ahousat descent, is a creative and inspirational educator that works towards creating open spaces for everyone to learn and grow.
Services and workshop openings will regularly pop up on his Facebook page—including medicinal workshops, cedar weaving, canning workshops, and so much more!
Contact him directly at email@example.com if you have any questions about availability.
The Mark Loria Gallery is described as one of the finest Indigenous art galleries in the world!
They specialize in contemporary Indigenous art, particularly from artists along the Northwest Coast.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant beauty of history, traditional teachings, and symbolism at the gallery and grab yourself a print on the way out!
- Where: 621 Fort Street
- When: Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This has been marked as a must-do in Victoria!
Join the Songhees Nation on an educational “Signs of the Lekwungen” canoe or walking tour and engage with their culture through intricate storytelling, beautiful sightseeing, and traditional cuisine.
They begin and depart from Ship Point at Victoria’s Inner Harbour—you can find their kiosk tent there.
Tours will run until October 9th before they close for the season, or you can book a private tour with 6 to 15 group members at any point throughout the year!
They also operate a food truck called The Songhees Food Truck and can be found on 1502 Admirals Road.
- Where: Wharf Street
- When: Thursday to Sunday until October 9th (unless booking a private tour)
The Eagle Feather Gallery is First Nations owned and located in Victoria’s old town Nootka Court, across from the Empress Hotel.
At each entrance to the historical courtyard, four totem poles stand proud and visitors can expect to find local artists and quality hand made artworks including wood carvings, masks, serigraph prints, and more!
Custom works and commission inquires are accepted by the feature artists.
They are open by appointment and they offer curb side delivery and international shipping.
- Where: 633 Courtney Street
- When: Open by appointment
Brianna Bear, formally Brianna Dick, is from the Songhees/Lekwungen Nation and is a working artist—creating anything from custom graphics to elaborate murals!
Although Bear doesn’t have an official storefront, her website contains a wide variety of items available for purchase, including masks, handbags, prints, and Kwetlal clothing.
As described, Pacheedaht means “Children of the sea foam,” and the campground is a stunning refection of this.
It’s owned and operated by the Pacheedaht First Nation and is located near the Gordon River trailhead, an access point to the renowned West Coast Trail!
If you wish to check it out and see this oasis for yourself, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-250-647-0090.
- Where: Port Renfrew, close to the Gordon River trailhead
- When: Inquire for camping availability!
The Tsawout First Nation purchased Sidney Whale Watching Company in May, which had been locally operated for nearly 20 years.
Sidney Whale Watching a half dozen people during peak times, using two 12-passenger boats to tour the Salish Sea. With the acquisition, the company will offer new employment and cultural opportunities for youth in the Tsawout First Nation community.
- Where: 2537 Beacon Avenue in Sidney
- When: Daily, book online
- See also: What to know about Vancouver Island’s residential schools prior to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!