To Aboriginal Adventures Canada

Captain Tom SewidI was raised to be a commercial fisherman, and I spent most of my life doing just this, while exploring the British Columbia coast in depth. In the 1990s I would lose my command of a commercial salmon seine vessel, due to a crash in the stocks. Instead of trying to continue with the futility of trying to eek out a living from this depressed industry, I would set my sights on sharing what I knew with eco-tourists coming to my traditional territories.

Captain Tom SewidTraveling to our Bands’ (Tribes’) abandoned Indian village located off the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, I would start to conduct eco-cultural tours at Mamalalacolla, “Village of the Last Potlatch.” Here I would wear full traditional regalia in front of ancient big house beams and take people on a journey of discovery, from the dawn of our People’s creation, through to the present day, all on a positive step. Use of stream of conscious narration, legends and stories belonging to my family, while sharing my life’s experiences, Village Island Tours was born.

Captain Tom SewidMany years I would conduct these tours to yachters, sea kayak enthusiasts, and for clients of numerous eco-tourism operations. The word spread fast that a First Nations individual was taking people through this famous abandoned Indian village, sharing the stories about the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) way of life, while also explaining about the great totems laying about the village. Village Island had now become my revenue generator, instead of commercial fishing during the summer months.

2003 to 2006 would see my operations build to where I had a dock, British Columbia’s only floating First Nations gift store, and a new 12 passenger aluminum tour vessel. I was still doing the tours, but now I also conducted grizzly bear viewing adventures, whale watching tours, and First Nations Marine tours. I had also purchased a fleet of new Seaward sea kayaks, and had built 5 cedar cabins designed like traditional big house structures, with aboriginal orca designs painted across the fronts. I had learned that incorporating my rich First Nations culture and heritage into my products, was exactly what the tourists to the region desired.

Captain Tom Sewid

Tourists from around the world used my operations, and all found that the incorporation of my aboriginal cultural component made my products more interesting. They informed me that the enjoyment they found with my unique adventures, was second to none. Due to the life I had led to date doing things that most would never do, enabled me to share a way of life that is very hard to find in this modern world.

Captain Tom Sewid

It had seemed as though I had made the right choice of creating a new path in life that was not focused around commercial fishing? I had become the Chairman of Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia, and was director for Vancouver Island North representing our members from that region. The organization I was so proud to be a part of was mandated to assist other First Nations better their tourism ventures.

I now had a family, and I was supporting them through my efforts in the tourism industry of the region we lived in. One of my greatest achievements was having a career where I was able to bring my children out into the bush/water world that I so loved. I was able to allow them, when they were not in school, to experience and learn all that I had. Being around family that was so bound by tradition, allowed my children to learn their aboriginal ways. My goal was for them to possibly share their unique life with visitors to our region in the future, in order to help put them through University, or build a career?

Captain Tom Sewid

In 2007 it all came to a halt, as I was sued by two sea kayak companies for defamation of character. This is why Village Island Tours is no longer operating. I would lose everything, ending up in Haida Gwaii, for the mother of my children had to take a job there to ensure enough revenue was coming into our family, for the needs of our children.

Be that as it may, I took responsibility for my mistake and excepted the consequences' of my actions, and then moved on. During my time in Haida Gwaii it became apparent that numerous tourists were coming to the archipelago, but the Haida Nation as a whole was not really involved with the tourism industry of the region, other than being service suppli-ers. I helped some Haida entrepreneurs develop their tourism ventures in their homeland, and still continue to this day.

Due to the trials and financial crush from being sued, my family dissolved in the spring of 2008. Leaving Haida Gwaii, I journeyed south to where I knew I could rebuild all that I had lost-my traditional territories in and around Village Island. A few months had passed and I was well on my way to recovery. I was assisting numerous First Nations develop their tourism ventures, and working for a re-tired U.S.M.C. Major at his private resort, known as Semper Fi Lodge.

I now also work with Aboriginal Adventures Canada, so that I can once again share my rich culture and heritage, through tourism ventures with the world! I am working with Discovery Marine Safari’s based out of Campbell River, and I am captain and tour guide for their Aboriginal Safari. I am working with other tourism ventures of the region to supply the cultural component for their operations. Regardless of what I do, visitors once again get to experience the professionally delivered products I conduct with authenticity and integrity.

My focus is to conduct my operations, but my passion is to see more First Nations being involved with tourism throughout Canada, so that they too can better their way of life on a socio-economic and cultural level as I have. One of the greatest aspects of allowing us to be your guides during your eco-cultural adventures, is we must showcase our cultures, so that means that a legacy is created where we continually have to train our youth. Deliver-ing professional tourism products for years to come, is in essence the passing of the cultural torch of who we are, that is instilled forever. As was the case for thousands of years around our fires - the tourism industry allows us to continue on with the cycle we have followed since the dawn of our creations.

So if you want to book with the real deal when it comes to exploring our homelands, then you will want to journey with an aboriginal tour company. Aboriginal Adventures Canada is the place that is going to allow the world to know who exactly these companies are throughout Canada, so a day shall come when the tide has changed, and First Nations are the major stakeholders in the fastest growing industry within our lands. Throughout Canada, from sea to sea to sea, and from the polar ice pack south to the border we share with the U.S.A., a day shall come where “True Indian guides within this modern world” shall be there for you in larger numbers than at present.

In closing, by using of any of my products, or other First Nations that are listed on this web site, we thank you for supporting our business ventures, while helping to keep our culture and heritage lasting forever. It’s your efforts first and foremost that help sustain our com-munities, but most of all it’s an act of respect that shall not go unnoticed. So in speaking for the ones that have joined the A.A.C. team, “Yes. The doors of our long house’s, big house’s, pit homes, tepees, Tulle Huts, are open in welcome for you, and we do wish that you come and sit by our fires, and let us share our way of life with you.”

Halla Kas La (Go In Peace)
Thomas Sewid