Exploring VanIsle Like Never Before

Podcast uncovers Indigenous connections to place

Explore the cultures and lands of the Island’s First Peoples

Unearth hidden secrets of VanIsle with the new Indigenous Voices of Vancouver Island podcast series.

It’s bound to inspire exploration for residents and tourists alike.

This 5-part series is an entirely indigenous-led production, written by Trevor Jang from Witset First Nation and hosted by Tchadas Leo from Homalco First.

Get up close with VanIsle’s rich cultural tapestry as you follow their journey through artistry, stories passed down for generations and a deep connection to place spanning 500 kilometres across 50+ first nations who call it home.

Each of the five episodes is on a different theme and runs for about 20 minutes. Perfect for a quick podcast break!

The first episode, “Journey with our Ancestors,” shines a light on three Indigenous-guided cultural tours, Klahoose Wilderness Resort, West Coast Expeditions, and Kiiixin Tours.

Episode 2, “Food of Life,” focuses on traditional Indigenous cuisines with wild food forager Steve Dennis of the Ahousaht First Nation. You’ll also sample the menu at Port Alberni’s Bare Bones Fish House and Smokery with chef Lance Dodds of Qualicum First Nation.

Episode 3, “Destinations’” takes listeners north to the traditional territories of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples and Wei Wai Kum First Nation.

Leo explores the magnificent wilderness of the remote north end of Vancouver Island with Mike Willie of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw First Nation, the owner of Coastal Rainforest Safaris. Leo also boards a floatplane in Campbell River for a spectacular flight into the Great Bear Rainforest and Knight Inlet Lodge.

In Episode 4, “Culture,” your host embarks on a homecoming of sorts as he returns to the traditional territory of his people, the Homalco First Nation. Leo meets Homalco citizen Chayenne Trenholm as she shares the story of Homalco Wildlife and Cultural Tours. They blend culture, history, and grizzly bear conservation into a unique Indigenous-owned travel experience.

You’ll also learn about the I-Hos Gallery, home to a spectacular collection of traditional and contemporary Northwest Coast Native artwork. We meet the manager and K’omoks First Nation citizen Ramona Johnson.

In the final episode, “Adventures,” Leo taps into the outdoor spirit of Vancouver Island when he heads to Quadra Island to visit Wild Waterways Adventures. He talks with owner Jenefer Smalley, a member of The Métis Nation of BC.  

On the other side of the Island, he meets entrepreneur Gordon Taylor, of Ucluelet First Nation, at his family-owned T̓iick̓in (Thunderbird) Ebike Rentals, before taking an e-bike ride between Ucluelet and Tofino on a new trail that weaves through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Whether you’re a recent arrival or you’ve lived on the Island your whole life — or if you’re looking to wow first-time visitors — you’ll find suggestions galore in this podcast series.

Indigenous Voices of Vancouver Island is available at Apple Podcasts.