Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Experience the Land, the Legends and the Peoples of the Okanagan

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, located in Osoyoos, is an award-winning interpretive centre owned and operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band. The purpose of the centre is twofold: education about the unique desert ecosystem and education about the Okanagan people’s history.

This unique, state-of-the-art centre features both indoor and outdoor exhibits, contributing to a year-round experience. Nk’Mip provides on-site cultural tours, programs, self-guided nature trails, interpretive sites, visitor programs, a gift shop. Located on the edge of the northernmost edge of the Great American Desert, this centre offers an experience unlike any other in Canada both in the education and experience of the only desert in Canada. The centre features a network of over 50 kilometres of trails across the 1,600-acre conservation area. As visitors explore these trails, they’ll come across recreated examples of the Indigenous Okanagan art and lifestyle.

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos Photographer: Meghan Reading

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos
Photographer: Meghan Reading

Inside the facility, visitors will discover an interactive learning environment that includes hands-on displays and two different multi-media theatres. The exhibits include re-creations of the Okanagan architecture like a tipi, a kekuli and a sweat lodge. Nk’Mip also features the regions Rattlesnake Research Program, which is funded by Environment Canada to study the Western Rattlesnakes and Great Basin Gopher Snakes found in the region. Learn how to treat these beautiful creatures and what makes them so special to the area.

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos Photographer: Meghan Reading

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos
Photographer: Meghan Reading

The Desert Centre is part of a bigger resort which includes a winery, a campground, a golf course, and a hotel. The Centre’s mission is to promote respect and understanding of the living culture of the Okanagan People and conserve and interpret Canada’s only desert. Whether here for a week or an hour, it’s worthwhile to smell the wild sage and discover this unique, rich history unlike anything else in Canada.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alastair Heinrichs is a Creative Writing student from UBC-Okanagan. Alastair loves encouraging people to discover more about our region, whether that’s a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the local food and craft beer scene or secret campgrounds.

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