This Indigenous farm in Nepean, Ontario, offers a glimpse into the lives of the region’s Native people by providing insight into their culture as well as the chance to see Ojibwe Spirit Horses. 

Ojibwe Spirit Horses at Madahoki Farm in Nepean, Ontario (photo courtesy of Madahoki Farm)

Just 13 miles from the downtown of Canada’s capital city lies a thriving, year-round Indigenous cultural agritourism destination. The 164-acre Madahoki Farm on Ottawa’s Greenbelt parklands offers seasonal experiences and events, an Indigenous marketplace, small farm animals to feed, a legacy trail, a kids play area, snowshoe rentals in the winter and a herd of Ojibwe Spirit Horses. This endangered breed of horse — the only one native to Canada — is smaller, has a stripe along its back, sports extra-furry ears and developed a double flap in its nostrils to breathe in the winter air.

The Madahoki Farm marketplace includes works from more than 40 Indigenous artists and craftspeople, including beadwork, medicine shields, candles, blankets, porcupine-quill baskets, smudge sticks, amethyst and abalone-shell jewelry, paintings, bannock (bread) mixes, cornhusk dolls, books, shawls, deer-hide drums and more.

You’ll also find Ziibiins Nibi, a healthy drink of flavored water that comes from eastern Ontario’s highlands. Named after the Algonquin word for stream water, the beverage is naturally filtered, rich in minerals and electrolytes and comes in Cedar Wild Mint and Cedar Wildberry Chai.

Time your visit to coincide with the Sigwan (spring), Tagwàgi (autumn) or Pibòn (winter) festivals, which provide opportunities to experience authentic programming, an Indigenous makers and farmers market, interactive workshops and tastings of Indigenous comfort foods. June’s Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival offers a multidisciplinary arts event that brings together Native artists, performers, educators, students and community members to share knowledge and celebrate Canada’s diverse Indigenous cultures.

The farm offers programming for school groups and adults, such as nature walks, workshops and traditional performances as well as off-site performances throughout the region. The equine-assisted learning program helps teach beneficial life skills such as self-confidence, personal boundaries, healing, reflection and team building. 4420 W. Hunt Club Rd., Nepean, Ontario K2R 1E7, 613/838-5558,