Daydream to an elder’s storytelling in Onhoua Chetek8e, a reconstructed traditional Huron village. Cycle, stroll or snowshoe along the Akiawenrahk’ River to the thundering Kabir Kouba Falls. Explore the contemporary Huron-Wendat Museum. Watch a dance circle in an amphitheatre. Dine on gourmet traditional meals featuring game meats, fish, seal, forest herbs and bannock. Then bed down in the chic luxury Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations, decorated with Aboriginal arts and crafts, with ceremonial pipes available in the boutique. Or sleep in a longhouse, which a fire-keeper keeps toasty until morning. Hard to believe, this immersion in nature and First Nations’ culture is less than 20 minutes from Quebec City.
Alongside Wendake Reserve and its historic town, the riverside museum, award-winning boutique hotel and La Traite Restaurant opened in 2008, supporting the longtime vision of the Huron-Wendat First Nations who first built the traditional village over 25 years ago. “They’re an entrepreneurial band with a vast collection of artifacts they wanted to share with visitors,” says Colombe Bourque, general manager of Wendake’s tourism industry.
The complex can be visited for a day (by shuttle from Quebec City), or for several days to experience everything from an annual powwow competition to adventuring along Quebec’s elaborate network of snowmobile trails (33,000 kilometres throughout the province). “The Huron-Wendat want to engage their people in sharing their culture. After all, they’ve been welcoming visitors since Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534,” says Bourque.