Xatśūll Heritage Village
Xatśūll Heritage Village
3.5
About
The Xatśūll community invites you to visit and experience our spiritual, cultural and traditional way of life; we're open from mid-May to mid-October. We offer guided tours and cultural workshops where you take part in a variety of educational and recreational activities. We are situated on a sunny plateau overlooking the Fraser River. Meet our friendly, knowledgeable guides who will take you on a memorable journey through the history of the Northern Secwepemc people. You can earn to cook a traditional meal, listen to stories around an open fire and fall asleep to the beautiful sound of the Fraser River in the distance.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3.5
15 reviews
Excellent
6
Very good
4
Average
1
Poor
2
Terrible
2

Laurie C
Kelowna, Canada64 contributions
Aug 2014 • Solo
I've visited most of British Columbia's Aboriginal tourism sites and the range is very broad from multi-million dollar glitz to more humble local offerings. What I've learned from this experience is that the real benefit is in the people you meet. It doesn't take fancy interpretive signage, slick interactive displays or polished videos to impart knowledge and greater understanding. One young person, like our guide today, Brandi, can do it all on her own - especially if you dig a little deeper and listen to more than the scripted presentation.

I was interested in what Brandi had to say about the dietary and medicinal use of various plants, but what meant even more, was the little tid bits she added about what her grandmother has taught her, such as specifically what to do and not to do with rose hips.

It was very cool to stand on the fishing spot on the rocky bank of the Fraser River (terrifying when you see what the river can do to round and smooth solid boulders), but again, the experience was far more meaningful because Brandi showed us the spot where she, as a kid, was allowed to swim while her mom fished - and that she was never allowed to go beyond "that rock."

When we went into one of the pit houses, she told us the traditional uses and how extended families shared the space, then we sat on a bench and talked more about extended families - then and now - and how they impact on people's lives.

Details like this made the tour so much more personal, more real, and made a greater connection between past and present, culture and culture - for me, at least.

One thing I found a little jarring, was the teepees; I guess those are for the European visitors.

On first sight, you won't think this is the most impressive Aboriginal tourism site around, but dig deeper and be prepared to learn more. I'm very glad I took the time to visit and am only disappointed that I was unable to attend a pit cooking demonstration. I'm sure that would have been excellent.

As for housekeeping details, the washrooms were clean and I was astonished to find one of the pit houses wheelchair accessible. Be prepared for a surprisingly steep drive down from the highway, about four kilometres on a decent gravel road (a little washboardy in places and dusty). Take time to stop at the lookout for a fine view up and down the Fraser and an overview of the camp.
Written August 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carmen22
British Columbia20 contributions
If you can try the pit cooking while you are there it's a taste of delicious that you will not soon forget! I loved talking with the elders and hearing the stories about the fishing spots and the cultural identity! Such an amazing learning experience for both non first nations and first nations like myself!!! I will be visiting again soon :)
Written March 10, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Getphoto
Williams Lake, Canada108 contributions
Jun 2012
I go to Xatsull Heritage about once a year. This last summer I visited in June and was pleasantly surprised by new structural aditions on the grounds.
Written November 1, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suzy
3 contributions
May 2022 • Solo
The highlight of my trip! This place is beautiful in its natural environment, but touches you in the deepest part when you understand the vision of the original founders and how the place got started and what this place represents.

I had the privilege of participating in putting up the tee pees and witnessing the interweaving of older and younger generations. What an honour it was to listen to their heartfelt stories! It gave me an appreciation of the struggles and triumphs and how there is so much hope for the youngest generation.

In addition, Roxanne was so personable, warm, and approachable. Not only was she a fantastic guide, but she embodies what this sacred place represents. She spent so much time with me showing me around and answering all my questions with patience. Every landmark became alive with her explanations!

The hospitality I received made my visit so memorable. (Loved the little camp fire btw!) I left transformed in my understanding and deep respect of the Xatsull people and culture.
Written June 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MJM809
Vancouver, Canada1 contribution
Jul 2014 • Solo
My stay at Xatsull Heritage Village this summer has been incredible. I've been fortunate to get to know the staff and other community members who lead workshops, and they genuinely love what they do. The site is small, and if you drop by on any given day you most likely will have the place to yourself. Take advantage of this and request your own private tour, or chat with the elder who works there--he has so much to offer! You will learn not only about traditional Secwepemc ways of life, but also about modern-day life on the Soda Creek reserve, as well as the sobering history of colonization.

If you have the time, make a weekend out of your visit--I loved camping there. On my last night I made a campfire and watched the full moon rise over the river. It was really special. The site is absolutely gorgeous, and you can set up your tent or stay in one of the teepees or the pit house. You aren't roughing it too much--the washrooms are really nice, with good hot showers, and there is large covered picnic area for meals and shelter from the sun.

Please be aware, though, that because the site is small and there are only a few staff members, if you want to participate in any special activities (craft workshops, ethnobotany hikes, pit cooking demonstrations, etc.) it's a good idea to call ahead and find out if there are any prescheduled activities, or to schedule your own. The staff are flexible and will work with you to do pretty much whatever you'd like.

I highly recommend checking it out!
Written August 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deb B
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada19 contributions
Oct 2012
This is one of the most beautiful, peaceful places in the Cariboo. The sound of the river, singing of the birds and the fresh air is so relaxing. Rarely has the weather been inclement. Usually sunny with blue skies. The welcome from the young folk is refreshing. Watching the elders skillfully fillet the salmon or demonstrate how the pit oven operates was a wonderful experience.
Written October 22, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathi K
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada9 contributions
Sep 2012 • Friends
I took part in one of the village's cultural events this past saturday, and it was an over-all great experience. All the natives where more than happy to tell us about their culture, their struggles and their past. The heritage village is made in a wonderful way, with lots of exciting stuff to check out! The guides and all people attending were lovely!

We got a little special treatment, as we could spend the night on our own in one of the teepees! A crackling fire beside us, and a fluffy bearskin underneath - and the low temperatures at night were forgotten!

Definitely a place I wanna see again, and can recommend to anybody!
Written September 24, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tineke Z
Quesnel, Canada2 contributions
Jul 2014 • Business
Unfortunately, the visit we had to this village was nothing like the website and brochure showed it would be. There were no activities going on and the people were not well informed of their own culture. They were unable to answer many of our questions. The pit cooking demo was neat to see and the food was delicious. The guided tour was very poorly done and barely covered anything the website said it would. If you go, do not have high expectations of learning much about the culture. The river look out is gorgeous and highly recommended.
Written July 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melissa H
Vancouver, Canada15 contributions
Jun 2016 • Couples
We originally were coming for a beading workshop, guided tour, and dinner, but the person who does the beading workshop is also the chef, and she had a family emergency. They let us know as soon as possible and we decided to just come out for the tour. I am very glad we did. Our tour guide was refreshingly honest about both the history of oppression and racism in Canada, the ongoing effects of colonialism, and about his hopes and fears about the future of his community. He also shared personal stories and was very interesting to talk with.

Visiting the site without the guided tour wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Though the recreated pit house was beautiful, it wouldn't mean much without understanding that it is an inadequate recreation in several ways and why it had to be built the way it was for the heritage village. There isn't a lot of signage around the site; you really need to listen to someone talk about it.

We hope to go back one day for the full experience: workshop, dinner, overnight in a pit house. In the meantime, we would recommend booking a tour and taking the opportunity to learn about this piece of history and about this living culture. Our fellow BC residents would find it particularly valuable; those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
Written June 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Glad to hear you enjoyed your Guided Tour, Melissa. Hope to see you again soon and wishing you the best for the rest of your trip!
Written June 13, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eric G
Maple Ridge, Canada35 contributions
Aug 2014
This location is wonderful place see several key features which Soda Creek and McLeese Lake are all about. The location was a natural settlement location and it was settled... thousands of years before European arrival. This point on the Fraser River is one of the narrowest. A good arm can throw a rock to the other side. The River is a geographic and geologic boundary. The Cariboo is to the east and the Chilcotin lies west. Soda Creek and nearby Fort Alexandria were the first regional North West Company fur trade post sites...relocated several times. Soda Creek marked the end of viable river navigation for southbound Prince George paddle wheelers. The Fraser River from here, Soda Creek, to Yale represents the Grand Canyon of the Fraser River. Xatsull is also to be marveled for the hand built seasonal foot-bridge over the Fraser River. There are house pit villages nearby and the archaeological resource is to be appreciated by those with a trained eye.
Written December 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for visiting, 502ericg. Glad to hear you enjoyed the pit house and the beautiful view of the Fraser River. Hope to see you again soon.
Written December 8, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Xatśūll Heritage Village - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Xatśūll Heritage Village Information

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