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06/26/2014 12:44 EDT | Updated 01/05/2017 10:25 EST

A Visit to This Island Will Make You Appreciate Canada's First Nations' Culture

Hang out with Falcon Migwans and you'll find spending time with him is a lot like "show and tell" for the soul. Need to light a fire? Better start tearing off strips of birch bark for kindle while he chops up hardwood. But that's all par for the course if you're taking an eco-tour in the M'Chigeeng First Nations community on Manitoulin Island.

Hang out with Falcon Migwans and you'll find spending time with him is a lot like "show and tell" for the soul.

If you take him up on his offer for a spruce and mint tea, be ready to forage for fresh leaves from nearby trees while he readies the kettle.

Need to light a fire? Better start tearing off strips of birch bark for kindle while he chops up hardwood.

And if you want to build a torch, you can bet it'll be your hands handling the sticky spruce sap while he forages for birch bark shavings.

But that's all par for the course if you're taking an eco-tour in the M'Chigeeng First Nations community on Manitoulin Island.

The group is one of eight First Nations communities that form the Great Spirit Circle Trails. It's here that Migwans works as a cultural coordinator and lead guide, focusing on soft adventure eco-tourism to teach travellers about First Nations' culture and spirituality.

"The thing I like about being First Nations is that our people were just ingenious with finding different uses of how to live in the wilderness."

The hands-on approach harkens back to how Canadian Aboriginals would share their skills and knowledge orally and by practical experience since a formal written language wouldn't be invented until much later. According to Migwans, getting guests involved in everything is part of a traditional manner of doing things.

"The more you engage your senses the more it engages your spirit, your soul and the more you'll get out of it so you'll be able to grow with it."

Migwans says the teachings of Canada's First Nations communities may be old but that doesn't mean they haven't lost their relevance.

"We hold onto those traditional teachings of the past and we carry on to the future. As much as the world and human kind evolves, we take those traditional teachings and carry them in a good way, the best way we can and that's what we like to share with our guests."

Experiences might include making bannock and berries, horseback riding or spear fishing at night but all aim to touch on the body's five senses. But the experiences are also designed to do more than serve as sensory stimulation. They're meant to educate and break down the stereotypes associated with First Nations people.

"A lot of the time when people come here and they say 'where are the teepees?' or 'how come you're not walking around in your leather bridge-clothes?' and that sort of stuff, it's like 'hey, we don't live that way,' says Migwans. "We did live that way at some point in time but it's 2014 now and you know, I had McDonald's for lunch the other day just like a lot of other Canadians."

The Huffington Post Canada Travel journeyed to the M'Chigeeng First Nations community on Manitoulin Island, Ont., to speak with Falcon about spirituality, culture and stereotypes. Watch the video above for more.

This series is part of the Great Canadian Road Trip. Road transportation made possible thanks to Nissan Canada.

Brian Trinh is the Huffington Post Canada's travel/ video editor. He's currently on a cross-Canada road trip with freelance journalist Talia Ricci. You can follow their adventures here or check out their Twitter and Instagram pages below.

Follow Brian @ProjectBLT and @TalRicci on Twitter or on Instagram here and here

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