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Medicinal Tours

Your visit to the Xeni Gwet’in Caretaker Area offers a rare glimpse into a land where people have trod lightly, in harmony with nature and in keeping with Xeni tradition.  This is a land where you will be both humbled and inspired by massive mountain ranges, high alpine lakes and mighty carnivores; where a sense of freedom reigns and you meet each day with excitement and wonder.

This is the land of natural medicine. An important source of herbs, plants and natural foods for the Xeni people for thousands of years, this region is so rich in traditional resources that it can support life through all seasons.  The Xeni also pass on their cultural heritage by teaching younger generations and others to gather and use the natural gifts of this land. You could be one if you choose to engage the services of a local Xeni guide.


Cultural Medicinal Plant Hiking Tour
7 nights for 2 (min) - 4 persons (max)


Hosted by people who have inhabited the area for generations and know it well, you will be accommodated in a comfortable tent camp with three meals a day and hike out into the area to mountaintops, through lush meadows learning about the traditional ways of the Xeni people.  The scenery is spectacular as you hike along the ridges with Red and Tsylo’s Mountains off in the distance. You will learn about the traditional foods, medicinal plants, how they were prepared and their ancient stories and legends. 

You might also visit the Traditional Village on the shores of Chilko Lake and sit in the earth lodge that was used as winter shelter and talk about days gone by. 

Walk the trails or ride a horse as you explore the areas diverse eco-system. Your guide will share the knowledge and wisdom of the ancestors. The tour will speak to the ancestors struggles to survive and overcome the harsh winters while living off this rugged land. Tsilhqot’in traditional medicines are used today to promote and enhance a healthier lifestyle for the Xeni Gwet’in community and future generations.

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Healing with the Xeni

A Special Connection to the Land – Healing with the Xeni Gwet'in

The Xeni Gwet'in community has attracted healers from all over the world to develop its vision for a local healing lodge. Working with aboriginal people from eastern Canada and Mexico, the rustic lodge was constructed by hand and represents years of dedication and hard labour to establish an international healing community here.

Accompanied by traditional songs, flutes and drumming, traditional healers invoke powers to expel negative energies from the body, mind and spirit using ancient aboriginal practices that promote optimum healing
and balance. Blending Tsilhqot'in and international medicines the following treatments are offered:

  • Smudging Ceremony
    Smudging is a purification ceremony that is practiced among many First Nation peoples in North America. Similar to the sweat lodge ceremony, smudging is a healing ritual and cleanses the body, mind and soul. However the actual practice of the smudging ceremony is simpler than that of a sweat lodge and therefore it is commonly practiced by oneself or in a collective with other ceremonies, gatherings, serious discussions or just to start the day. Traditional medicines which represent the earth element and when lit represent the element of fire, are used. A feather is also used to maintain a sufficient stream of smoke and represents the element of wind.
  • Tobacco Treatment
    For many First Nations people, tobacco was an important component of Native cultures in two main aspects: Ceremonial and Medicinal. For thousands of years Traditional tobacco has been used by many First Nations people to pray, give thanks to the Creator and Mother Earth, pray for a good harvest or better fish catch, rites of passage ceremonies (birth, weddings, funerals) and to seal peace with enemies (peace pipe). As a medicine traditional tobacco is used to treat earaches and snakebites.
  • Medicinal Bath
    Using a variety of medicines and the clean pure water of Chilko Lake, a medicinal bath is an immersion in the environment to nuture your body, soul and mind. The heat of the bath moves out the impurities while herbal tea, singing, drumming and flute music relaxes the mind.
  • Massage
    Massage is given to promote relaxation, improve circulation, relieve tension and expand a range of motion. In combination with the medicinal bath or as a separate treatment the massage offers a harmonization of energy to achieve radiant health and vitality.
  • Sweat Lodge
    The Sweat Lodge, also known as the purification lodge is a traditional cleansing and healing ceremony practiced by most Aboriginal nations. It requires the combination of all the natural elements: water, fire, air and earth. It is one of the many ancient traditions that survived through years of prohibition, ridicule and denunciation. It is one of the most frequently performed ceremonies, playing a large role in contemporary native culture.

Only a one hour charter flight from Vancouver to a private air strip, the best way to visit the Medicinal Village is to book a stay at one of several Xeni approved lodges in the area. These lodges offer healing of another sort with their incredible experiences in nature -- a perfect complement to the Medicinal Village – guests enjoy alpine hiking, horse pack trips, world class fly fishing, wildlife viewing, kayaking and canoeing. Be sure to choose a lodge that has signed the Sustainable Tourism Protocol with the Xeni Gwet'in in support of environmental protection and the development of sustainable tourism.