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Hideaway Adventure Grounds keeping Indigenous culture alive

Bianca Mazziotti August 6, 2020

Hideaway Adventure Grounds and Family Retreat in Kikino aims to provide a one-of-a-kind camping experience that involves getting back to Indigenous roots.  John Ritchie, the Owner and Operator of Hideaway Adventure Grounds, opened the campsite in 2018, with the goal of creating a rustic camping experience while also sharing the Metis culture.

“Hideaway was created to provide a platform for knowledge to be shared like language, art, and spiritual teachings,” said Ritchie. Campers can sleep in canvas wall tents, enjoy the walking trails through the 160-acre aspen forest, or take one of the arts and culture workshops offered through their partnership with Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre.  “We can offer different programming depending on what time of year it is. Certain seasons are best suited for different kinds of teachings,” said Ritchie.  “Right now I am offering leather pouch crafting, and I have arrangements with other knowledge holders to offer plant workshops and hand drum making.”

Growing up, Ritchie’s mother didn’t teach him her Native language Cree because she didn’t want her children to experience the same discrimination she had when she was younger. Now, Ritchie uses Hideaway Adventure Grounds as a way to reconnect to his culture.

“As children, my mother didn’t want us to learn our language so that we would be better accepted by mainstream society. She thought she was doing us a favor,” said Ritchie. 

“I believe language is so important, language intends to bring us back to ourselves. It’s bringing us back to our culture and our elders, and when we can speak it it brings us back to who we are.”

Through being immersed in nature, and getting to be around other prominent Native teachers in the area, Ritchie has developed a deeper understanding of himself and his heritage.  “Indigenous people need to connect with the land, the spirit with who we once were and that’s what I’m learning about being outside all the time. The land will heal us, if we allow it,” said Ritchie.  “As I learn about myself, it’s what’s making me so proud to share my culture, and the more I share the more I learn.”

Hideaway Adventure Grounds is a way for me to reconnect to my culture and share the rich heritage of my Metis Identity as in Indigenous Person.

John Ritchie (La Blanc)

International Traveller Packages Available

Nestled within the breathtaking boreal forest of Northeast Alberta lies an invitation to immerse yourself in the vibrant heritage of the Indigenous peoples of this land. Allow the wisdom of the land to enrich your journey as we lead you through our backyard! Are you drawn to the wilderness lifestyle? Whether you opt for a traditional canvas tent or a cozy cabin, you can prepare your meals outdoors, with all our essential cooking provisions.

Escape the Ordinary bookable year-round: $810.00 based on double occupancy.

Indigenous communities in Alberta view themselves not as owners of the land, but as stewards entrusted with its care for future generations. Our languages are intertwined with the land, our sustenance springs from it, and even in death, we return to its embrace. EarthBound Essentials offers an immersive journey through the four seasons, revealing how each cycle shapes our lives and traditions.

EarthBound Essentials is offered on scheduled dates four times a year: $6499.00 based on double occupancy.

Escape the Ordinary
  • Double Occupancy includes: lodgings & bedding, activities.
EarthBound Essentials
  • Double Occupancy includes: lodgings & bedding, activities, and meals.

Rates do not include taxes or gratuity. All pricing in Canadian Dollars (CDN)

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