Indigenous connections

Banff National Park

Parks Canada acknowledges that Banff National Park is within the present-day territories of the Treaty 6, 7, and 8, First Nations as well as the Métis Homeland. The lands and waters of Banff have been used for millennia by Indigenous Peoples for sustenance, ceremony, trade and travel.  We thank them for their continuous stewardship and for sharing the land with us.

Parks Canada is working with Indigenous groups with longstanding connection to Banff National Park to strengthen connections with traditionally used lands and waters, and expand the authentic presentation and commemoration of Indigenous histories and cultures within the park.

Park Access:
Indigenous people are always welcome in Banff National Park. Parks Canada is committed to maintaining a system of national heritage places that respects traditional use and recognizes the roles of Indigenous people in stewardship of these special places.

A Short-Term Access Pass for Banff National Park is available to Indigenous people upon request from the Banff National Park East, Niblock, and David Thompson gates, visitor centres, mobile gates, campgrounds, and the national historic sites located within Banff. This pass is also valid for entry to the Banff Park Museum, the Cave and Basin, and the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Sites. Service fees for campgrounds and the hot springs continue to apply. 

Should an Indigenous group have a long standing connection to the Banff area, to make future access to Banff National Park easier, we encourage the group’s leadership to contact park Indigenous Relations to request nation-specific Indigenous Access Passes. With nation-specific Indigenous Access Passes, there is no expiry date, and you will no longer have to stop at the gate. For eligibility requirements and for more information: 403-431-2318.

Cultural Use:
Cultural use agreements are available for members of Indigenous groups with long standing connection to the Banff area. If you are interested in learning more, please contact the Banff National Park Indigenous Relations Advisor, at 403-431-2318.

Indigenous Advisory Circle:
The Indigenous Advisory Circle for Banff National Park, established in 2018, is an important means to better understand Indigenous perspectives and priorities for their relationship with Parks Canada. The Circle, made up of the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney First Nations, the Siksika, Kainai and Piikani First Nations, the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Métis Nation of Alberta – Region 3, shares knowledge and provides input, advice and recommendations to park superintendents on topics, issues and opportunities related to Banff National Park.

Indigenous Advisory Circle for Banff National Park, January 2023

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