British Columbia is immersed in a rich tapestry of indigenous culture, experiences, and heritage – and this richness is particularly present when you golf at BC’s indigenous golf courses & resorts. Just as golf in Scotland evokes an appreciation of the heritage and tradition of the game, so does golf in British Columbia evoke an appreciation of nature and our indigenous heritage.
Golfers are encouraged to embrace the spiritual and cultural side of the game, to pause and be present, and partake of one of British Columbia’s indigenous golf experiences.
Talking Rock Golf Resort & Quaaout Lodge & Spa, Chase, BC
Located on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc (“Se-KWEP-umk-wh”) people, Talking Rock Golf Resort & Quaaout Lodge & Spa nestles along the north shore of Little Shuswap Lake and offers a quiet piece of paradise.
Talking Rock’s 18 holes journey through lush forest, dramatic elevation changes and along the shores of Little Shuswap, with it’s natural and rugged character demanding strategy and thought. Take in the beautiful scenery, sample berries as the Secwepemc people gathered and notice nature’s incorporation into the course – like a bear in the sand trap.
Quaaout Lodge & Spa boasts views of Little Shuswap from every room, so guests can be ever-present with their natural surroundings. At Jack Sam’s Restaurant, the executive chef incorporates fruits of the land and traditional Secwepemc dishes into the menu, including corn fritters, bannock, steelhead trout, and rabbit.
Relax at Le7ke (“La (pause) Ka”) Spa, which means “I am good” in the Secwepemc (Shuswap) language while absorbing their traditionally-inspired First Nation’s design. Walk the lands with a cultural interpretive guide and learn about Shuswap traditional landmarks, make a drum or rattle, listen to the Secwepemc history of pictographs while painting your own, or visit the “c7istkten” or pit house, the traditional winter home of the Secwepemc people and hear stories of how their people lived before Europeans arrived up to the modern-day.
St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, Cranbrook, BC
The creation of St. Eugene Golf Resort by the Ktunaxa (“k-too-nah-ha”) Nation is a remarkable story of reclamation and healing. By refurbishing the former St. Eugene Mission School, a residential school for indigenous youth, and turning it into an economic positive for their people, the Ktunaxa have created a bridge to respect the past while celebrating a successful future.
St. Eugene’s golf course is simply breathtaking. With the Rocky Mountains as its’ most incredible backdrop, featuring Fisher Peak (the tallest of the Southern Rockies) it’s hard not to stop and appreciate the sheer beauty of this part of British Columbia. As you golf the course, take in the changing landscape and keep a lookout for bighorn sheep and bald eagles. You might even have the rare opportunity to view elk or black bears depending on the season.
The well-appointed rooms at St. Eugene Golf Resort offer staggering mountain and river views, will have you awestruck each time you gaze out the window and connect with nature. For sustenance, partake of classic Ktunaxa Nation fare including bison back ribs, ktunaxa osso (elk), and venison at The St. Eugene Smokehouse.
St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino provides a rare opportunity to truly understand the culture and history of the Ktunaxa people. The Speaking Earth Haqaⱡpaⱡniʔnam (Hackalth-palth-knee-nam) at St. Eugene allows you to choose from a series of immersive activities, including spending time in a traditional tipi, fireside with elders, and multiple cultural activities. In the process, you’ll learn about the Ktunaxa people, the history of the region and the lives of indigenous peoples who call the Ktunaxa nation their home.
Spirit Ridge, Nk’Mip, Oliver/Osoyoos, BC
Set in Canada’s only desert region, the Syilx people have created a spiritual haven on their Osoyoos Indian Band territory. Surrounded by lakes, vineyards and incredible vistas, it’s here that you’ll feel warm summer breezes while tasting and experience the delights offered at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip (“in-Ka-meep”) Resort.
Nestled in the valley alongside Tuc-El-Nuit Lake is Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course. The full length, championship course celebrates the beauty of the land while offering excellence of play. Here you’ll find that the naturally-occurring contours of the land have been respected to provide a course that incorporates Mother Nature’s own challenges.
Spirit Ridge is a luxury resort set amongst gently sloping vineyards, with glimpses of glittering Osoyoos Lake and the Cascade Mountains. Relax in your room at this all-suite resort and take in the surroundings. Sample the tastes of Spirit Ridge at one of their restaurants, offering patio seating with incredible views of the landscape. Nk’Mip Resort restaurants offer farm-to-table specialties created with traditional aboriginal culinary techniques for a unique dining experience.
At Nk’Mip Cellars, North America’s first indigenous-owned winery, you’ll embark on a tasting tour of authentic, award-winning wines that embrace the spirit and strength of indigenous culture. At Nk’Mip Cultural Centre, you’ll discover a state-of-the-art interpretive centre delicately constructed into the surrounding hillside that includes galleries, displays, and two multimedia theatre experiences. Here you’ll discover the story of the Okanagan people who live and thrive in Canada’s only true desert.
British Columbia indigenous golf experiences will leave you feeling especially connected to nature and appreciative of the history and culture of the first peoples of British Columbia. It’s enlightening, memorable, and highly recommended.
For more information on other indigenous experiences to be found in British Columbia, visit www.indigenousbc.com.
This article was originally published in 2018 and has since been updated.