New support for Indigenous tourism in Alberta

Minister Feehan watches Mackenzie Brown from Warrior Women perform a traditional song in her Cree language.

New investments in Alberta’s Indigenous tourism industry will enable Indigenous stories, authentic cultural offerings and experiences to flourish, while strengthening job creation and economic growth in Indigenous communities throughout the province.

The Government of Alberta is providing a grant to fund the start-up of Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) with $575,000 over three years. The grant will provide the association the start-up support it needs to grow Indigenous tourism in Alberta.

“Travellers to Alberta want to experience authentic Indigenous culture,” stated Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda. “This funding will help Indigenous entrepreneurs meet the growing demand. We are thrilled to help share Indigenous stories and grow Alberta’s suite of tourism offerings.”

“This is a great opportunity to continue to grow Indigenous tourism in our province,” added Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan. “We are proud to support Indigenous Tourism Alberta and enable Indigenous stories, authentic cultural offerings and tourism experiences to flourish, while furthering our commitment to reconciliation and providing opportunities for job creation and growth in Indigenous communities throughout the province.”

The formation and incorporation of ITA this year marks an important milestone for Indigenous tourism development in the province. The government’s investment in ITA will ensure the new association has the foundation and tools it needs to develop resources that will help Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities recognize their tourism potential.

“The key to success for the future of Indigenous tourism in Alberta is the ability to foster and build collaborative relationships with key partners,” remarked Tarra Wright Many Chief, Executive Director, Indigenous Tourism Alberta. “Our partnership with the Government of Alberta supports Indigenous Tourism Alberta’s mission to provide leadership and a coordinated approach to support the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in this growing industry.”

Travel Alberta signed a three-year agreement with Indigenous Tourism Alberta to promote indigenous tourism. Travel Alberta is investing up to $65,000 during fiscal 2018-19 to support this effort.

“Travel Alberta continues to support initiatives designed to grow and promote Indigenous tourism throughout the province and work with individual tour operators to develop new experiences and share them with the world,” noted Travel Alberta CEO, Royce Chwin. “This is an important part of Travel Alberta’s ongoing work with our tourism partners to sustain industry momentum and support the Government of Alberta’s goal to grow the provincial tourism economy.”

Indigenous tourism development is part of government’s continued investment to help diversify the economy, create jobs and generate investment in communities across the province.

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