Skwachays Lodge in Vancouver B.C. will have you feeling tribal
The Skwachays Lodge near Vancouver's Gastown neighborhood is Canada's first indigenous art and culture hotel.
In the same building where tourists pay $200 or more per night, are low income apartments that house First Nation artists. And a studio where they create art, along with a gallery where they can sell it. It's all self sustaining.
It has 18 rooms designed by First Nations artists.
Each unique room tells a story. Like the Water suite. Where a whale sculpture greets you in the entrance, and furnishings come from the forest.
Or the Sea Kingdom suite with an otter, cedar carvings and underwater colors.
The artwork also serves a functional purpose within the hotel.
You will walk the halls and see paintings like this hanging all around.
Gillian Thompson is a songwriter/storyteller with Haida ancestry who fronts the band Sister Says. She lives in one of the apartments at Skwachays Lodge.
"The thing that I love most about this place is that it's all indigenous designed rooms, it's a social enterprise, so it's not money from the government, it's all the money that subsidized the artists living is made from sales in the gallery."
The mashup of art - enterprise - and shelter is truly a self sustaining success story. Make sure to visit Skwachays Lodge next time you visit Vancouver B.C.