Treaty 6, Métis Region 4, Edmonton, Alberta (June 17, 2021) – In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, 2021, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) members offer a way to celebrate while also supporting Indigenous tourism across the province now known as Alberta. Now, more than ever, as we look to re-educate ourselves on the true history of Canada, we have an incredible opportunity to authentically connect with Indigenous cultures and stories that have been here since time immemorial.
June is National Indigenous History Month with celebrations culminating on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. Recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada, National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to support Indigenous businesses while getting out and exploring all four corners of the province in a meaningful and enriching way.
“Being Indigenous to me is about connection, a thread that can’t be seen, only felt,” said Brenda Holder, Board Chair, Indigenous Tourism Alberta and owner of Mahikan Trails. “This thread is a link back to my ancestors and forward towards the generations to come. The thread is a link to the land, to all that lies in nature and the many gifts that creator has sent both on Mother Earth and in the sky world, it forms a web to let us know, that no matter where you are on that web, you connect with all relations, and that what we do on one part of the web is felt everywhere. This is ingrained in the teachings shared and passed down to me.”
Indigenous experiences include a variety of activities in all four regions of the province with ITA’s 138 members. From fishing, camping and Bed & Breakfasts, to hiking and Rock climbing in the Rocky Mountains, to exploring the badlands or learning about traditional medicine, to enjoying culinary delights and entertainment, there is always a new adventure and learning to be had.
More than any year before it, this Indigenous Peoples Day is vital to the truth, education and continued growth of our population. ITA members provide unique and diverse experiences that connect visitors to understanding more about Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Indigenous cultures have been here since time immemorial and will be carried on to future generations to create a more positive world.
“I share my culture to do many things, it fosters understanding between different cultures and highlights where we are the same, sharing my culture helps educate and bridges gaps. Knowledge from a traditional perspective is meant to be shared, and knowledge about my culture in particular needs to be passed on,” said Holder. “I also share my culture because it connects people to the land, and when they go back home, the experiences they had with us helps them to reconnect to their own land. These teachings are so important to keep, we need to always remember in gratitude.”
To learn more about ITA, it’s members and Indigenous-owned experiences visit IndigenousTourismAlberta.ca.