The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada shares new hotels, tours, products and partners across the country
Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is celebrating 13 new authentic Indigenous tourism experiences — from all-inclusive eco-resorts to voyageur-style canoe trips — providing coast to coast options for visitors to support Indigenous tourism this fall during their next getaway.
British Columbia: Klahoose Resort Opened in June 2021
Klahoose Wilderness Resort is Canada’s newest resort property and an Indigenous cultural experience based near Desolation Sound. Opened in June 2021, Klahoose offers an all-inclusive luxury eco-resort vacation that reflects the Klahoose band’s traditional values. The wilderness resort also offers an immersive exploration into this pristine region, rich in diverse wilderness and cultural significance. Guests can experience wildlife viewing including grizzly bear tours in Toba Inlet.
Alberta: Wild West Badlands Tour Joins ITAC
Visitors can discover the haunting geography, hidden history and unique culture of the Canadian Badlands with Drumheller-based tour company, Wild West Badlands Tours. Owned by Don and Val Johnston, the company offers tours that can run through the Dinosaur Valley, and even get up close and personal with buffalo aboard a hay wagon. Calgary Airport pick up is available.
Saskatchewan: Dakota Dunes Resort
Opened in the fall of 2020, Dakota Dunes Resort – Whitecap Dakota First Nation – is a 155 room resort, casino and restaurant located just outside of Saskatoon. It’s nestled within a river setting and surrounded by rolling natural sand dunes. Dakota Dunes Resort is Saskatoon’s first full-service resort experience. Also newly opened is the Dakota Dunes Golf Course located adjacent to the resort.
Manitoba: Prairie Berry Adds New Culinary Events
The Prairie Berry Farm reinvented itself during the pandemic and starting this summer, the Metis-family-run business began hosting socially distanced chef events on their strawberry farm. Each week, a new visiting chef creates a meal using food from their land and other locally sourced ingredients. They have even welcomed accomplished chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther from Feast to their line-up.
Ontario: Voyageur Wilderness Adds New Canoe and Outfitting Tours to Roster
For over 60 years, Voyageur Wilderness has been providing full or partial canoe outfitting services and authentic wilderness adventures at Voyageur Island on Nym Lake. This year, Voyageur Wilderness has expanded its list of canoe tours and cultural getaways, created with respect for the Earth, family and community.
Québec: Unamen Shipu Adds New Lobster Fishing Trip
Unamen Shipu, also known as La Romaine, is best known for their fishing trips in the traditional territory of the Innu of Unamen Shipu, located north of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The region started offering new lobster fishing trips so travellers can learn traditional lobster fishing methods, while immersing themselves in the region full of hundreds of islands and ancient culture.
New Brunswick: Wolastoq Maple Products Inc. Offers New Bundle of Artisanal Products
Wolastoq Maple Products Inc. of the Tobique First Nation is offering The Wabanaki Bareroots Revive box. The bundle includes artisanal products from seven Indigenous-owned companies across Canada and includes items like wild rice tea and sweetgrass vinaigrette, to name a few examples. For each box sold, proceeds go towards supporting a healthy and sustainable environment with the planting of ten trees through the Bareroots Initiative.
Newfoundland and Labrador: Everoutdoor Adventures Joins ITAC
Everoutdoor Adventures of the Qalipu First Nation has joined the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. They are an outdoor adventure company that offers kayaking, hiking and zodiac adventures with custom tours and food experiences, including a fishing excursion followed by the guests’ catch being prepared in front of their eyes by a local restaurant.
Nova Scotia: Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa Becomes 75% Indigenous Owned in 2020
Starting in 2020, the Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa became 75 per cent owned by Bear River First Nation. Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa is beautifully situated, overlooking the phenomenal Annapolis Basin and picturesque town of Digby.
Prince Edward Island: New Hands-On Clam Bake Experience Launches on Lennox Island
Travellers can now participate in a clam bake on Lennox Island. The hands-on and interactive experience pairs visitors with community members on the shores of Lennox Island to prepare bannock that is baked in the sand. As the bannock cooks under the red hot embers, visitors listen to the stories of what life used to be like growing up in Lennox Island while enjoying freshly picked shellfish cooked over the open fire.
Yukon: Two New Businesses Join ITAC
Two new vibrant tour companies from the Yukon have joined ITAC. Yukon Wild Water Bikes enable travellers to explore Chadburn Lake while biking on water using a hydrobike. The experience is easy and does not require any special skills. The second company is Tutchtone Tours, which offers riverboat tours from Minto to the historic Fort Selkirk. Travellers can expect to learn about the rich culture of the Hucha Hudan (Northern Tutchone) Indigenous people, hear stories about the Hudson Bay Company trading post and enjoy sightings of wildlife along the way.
Northwest Territories: Narwal Northern Adventures Adds New Canoe Tour
Inuit-owned tour company, Narwal Northern Adventures offers a new 29-foot voyageur canoe tour on Yellowknife Bay. The evening tour includes a traditional shore dinner, complemented with arts and entertainment, performed by local talent. Each tour is unique and suitable for family or friends.
Nunavut: Arctic Bay Adventures Prepares to Roll Out New Experiences
Inuit-owned, Arctic Bay Adventures, located on Baffin Island, is best known for its popular polar tours led by local Inuit guides. Travellers can choose from different tours including dogsledding adventures, arctic ocean tours to see Orca whales, polar bears and icebergs, and even learn how to build an igloo to name a few examples. The company is gearing up to add more experiences to its roster.
National: ITAC Launches National Campaign to Rebuild the Indigenous Tourism Industry
In June, ITAC launched their latest campaign called The Original Original. The campaign aims to educate travellers, modernize their perception of Indigenous experiences and rebuild the industry, which was disproportionately devastated by the pandemic.
Prior to March 2020, Indigenous tourism was a fast-growing industry, which brought an estimated $1.9 billion in revenue to Canada’s gross domestic product. At that time, there were an estimated 40,000 Indigenous tourism employees and 1,900 Indigenous-led businesses. Today there are an estimated 15,000 employees and 1,000 businesses left.
Canadians interested in helping to rebuild the Indigenous tourism industry can do so by visiting Indigenous tourism destinations from coast to coast to coast. Visit www.destinationIndigenous.ca to learn more, book a trip, or view and share The Original Original campaign posters and videos. ITAC strongly encourages travellers to research the status of the business before making arrangements as some experiences are still closed due to the pandemic.