Chiniki Cultural Centre was an unexpected find we saw while en route to Banff. The glimpses of surrounding Tipi and snowfall made us immediately exit to get a closer look at what this establishment had to offer.
Upon entering we were warmly greeted by one of the waitresses and by another staff member who was behind a counter, which is the entrance to what we now know to be the exhibit area. She told us the center provides an experience that shares the food, art, history, and culture of her people, The Chiniki’s. She also invited us to dine for lunch at the center’s cultural restaurant, Stones Restaurant; Immediately we obliged.
The tables in the dining area were covered with linens and the overall environment was very clean with an aesthetic that made you feel like you were partaking in a fine dining cultural experience. The food is prepared by top chefs using indigenous recipes passed down from generation to generation. Our waitress informed us that their ingredients are derived from locally grown and seasonally sourced elements. We had the Bison Burger and the bun used was made of a corn-based ingredient, adding a tasty cultural twist to a portion of traditional food.
After enjoying our meal we went to check out the exhibit side of the center and was charged $7 for two to enter. I would call and ask to verify the rate because I have read some recent reviews where they weren’t charged an admission fee and there is no longer a fee listed on the website.
The Elder that assisted us shared the rich history of the Chiniki people. He made relational comments on the various struggles they have endured much like us as African Americans. I found him speaking to us as if we were an extension of his family and he was kind enough to take our pictures as we roamed the exhibit area.
We were on a time constraint and wanted to get to Banff before it got too late but this center didn’t disappoint and is definitely worth a visit.
Location: Trans-Canada Highway & Morley Road, Morley, Alberta T0L 1N0, Canada
Hours of Operation: Sun-Sat Hours 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Phone#: +1 403-881-2056
Admission Fee Paid: $7.00 for two people