Led by the CEO, ITAC staff are responsible for the day to day operations of the organization including activities and plans as approved by the Board of Directors.
Chief Strategy Officer
Brady Smith was recently the Executive Director of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
Brady Smith is a long-time Whistler resident and was recently the Executive Director of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC). He previously managed business and economic development for Whistler Sport Legacies and has worked senior positions during the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He also served as past chair of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. When not working, Brady can be found hiking, biking, skiing and fishing and spending quality time with his family.
Director of Finance
Cecilia contributes to the overall success of the Association by effectively managing all financial tasks.
As the Director of Finance for ITAC, Cecilia contributes to the overall success of the organization by effectively managing all financial tasks for the organization including financial accounting and reporting, developing, implementing, and ensuring compliance with internal financial and accounting policies and procedures, developing and maintaining financial accounting systems as well as preparing and reviewing monthly results and monthly variance reporting. Cecilia also prepares budgets and financial reports for funding applications and project management accounting.
A member of the Musqueam Indian Band, Cecilia has worked in the travel and tourism industry in excess of 25 years. Her career began at American Airlines and Air Canada working in Finance, Pensions and Pricing, she later joined Tourism BC working in Partnership Marketing’s inaugural Indigenous Tourism division, and more recently held the position of Finance Manager at Indigenous Tourism Association of BC. Cecilia has a certificate in Business from the University of British Columbia, supplemented with courses in Finance, and First Nations Studies including hən̓q̓min̓əm̓ (Musqueam language). She has donated a tremendous amount of her time to her nation and a number of local Indigenous causes, which currently includes sitting as a volunteer Board Member on 2 cultural and women’s organizations in Vancouver’s downtown east side.
Joe Hidayat, CPA, CMA, CAFM
Joe Hidayat migrated to Canada from Indonesia in 2004. Joe studied law before becoming an accountant.…
Joe Hidayat migrated to Canada from Indonesia in 2004. Joe studied law before becoming an accountant. Passionate about finance and accounting, he holds both Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) professional designations, as well as a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation in Canada.
Joe had previously worked at the University of British Columbia as a Senior Financial Specialist and then moved to the FinTech company, Hyperwallet, as a Risk Fraud Analyst. He has been working for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada since 2017, enjoying implementing his interdisciplinary experience to develop strategies to solve complex problems, drive organizational growth, and deliver value to stakeholders.
Joe loves travelling, culinary experiences, and music. He is grateful to be working for an Indigenous organization, so he has a chance to support a bright future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together.
Keith Henry, B. ED, LL.D.
President & CEO
Mr. Henry has become an international Indigenous cultural tourism leader receiving recognition as the former CEO for Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia.
Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person that was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995.
Mr. Henry began his career in 1995 with teaching positions and has become well known for his strategic administrative and negotiations skills. Since 1998 Mr. Henry has led numerous provincial, federal and industry negotiations on a variety of issues. He has been directly responsible for financial administration of a number of Indigenous non-profits and has a proven track record of success.
Mr. Henry has become an international Indigenous cultural tourism leader receiving recognition as the former CEO for Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia (ItBC). In April 2014 the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance award recognized the work of AtBC and Mr. Henry’s leadership. Mr. Henry has been spearheading the growth of authentic Indigenous tourism in Canada as he worked to redevelop the national Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada as elected chair when this organization incorporated in April 2015. In October 2015 Mr. Henry took the full time role as the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s CEO.
In Canada Mr. Henry continues to be recognized across the country as one of the leaders in Indigenous tourism and has led many new initiatives including the national strategy entitled “The Path Forward 2016-2021”, contributions to the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, cruise industry opportunities and the national Aboriginal tourism research project on the economic value of Indigenous cultural tourism. Mr. Henry was instrumental in the development of the national Indigenous tourism strategy The Path Forward 2016-2021 which will focus on increasing Indigenous market readiness, increasing jobs, and increasing revenues. Over the course of the last number of years Mr. Henry has been invited to numerous international locations to support Indigenous tourism strategies.
Mr. Henry volunteers time in the Indigenous community and maintains several board positions including the former President of the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, former chair of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, current Chair for the Native Education College, member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, former member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, member of the International Marketing Committee Destination Canada member, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.
Sebastien has spent his career developing strong relationships with industry leaders across the globe.
As the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) vice president, Sebastien Desnoyers-Picard has spent his career developing strong partnerships and relationships with industry leaders across the globe and is passionate about raising awareness of the many opportunities for Indigenous tourism. Prior to joining ITAC, Sebastien spent 10 years serving the Quebec Indigenous tourism industry, first as General Manager with Tourism Wendake and then as a marketing advisor with Quebec Indigenous Tourism. Throughout his career, Sebastien’s work with media has helped produce award winning stories in France, Germany, Canada and the USA. In 2019, Sebastien was recognized with the Explore Canada Award of Excellence, based on nominations from the media.
As a member of the Huron-Wendat Nation, and past Chief in his community, Sebastien is trilingual and a strong advocate for Indigenous rights and traditional way of life, which he still practices. Sebastien has a diploma in Business, a degree in Sales and Marketing, and has completed an Indigenous studies program at Laval University. Sebastien takes great pride in defending Indigenous interest throughout all aspects of his life and career and focusses on bringing creative solutions to bring indigenous people, communities, and tourism industry forward.
Director of Marketing
Tamara is a proud Anishinaabe originally from Keeseekoose First Nation of Treaty 4 Territory in Saskatchewan…
Tamara is a proud Anishinaabe originally from Keeseekoose First Nation of Treaty 4 Territory in Saskatchewan but now calls Tsuut’ina Nation of Treaty 7 Territory in Alberta her home. She holds a business management diploma from Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT). Tamara has worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for numerous years, most recently working for 7 years at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino on Tsuut’ina Nation in management and sales. She is passionate about educating, sharing, and growing Indigenous tourism with the world.
Director of Business Development
Tara Saunders, a member of The Qalipu First Nation, works with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada as…
Tara Saunders, a member of The Qalipu First Nation, works with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada as Director of Business Development. In her role, Tara is responsible for implementing programs, tools and resources to help develop the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada, as well as helping to develop and stabilize regional Indigenous tourism associations.
Prior to her work with ITAC, Tara worked as the Director of Culture, Tourism and Community Development for Qalipu First Nation, which, with close to 24,000 members, is one of the biggest First Nations in the country.
During her work with community, Tara oversaw the implementation of the Nation’s tourism development strategy; Experience Qalipu. This strategy focuses on developing market-ready cultural experiences and other tourism products throughout the Mi’kmaq communities on the island of Newfoundland, connecting the visitor to the vibrant culture of the Mi’kmaq people and forming strong partnerships within the industry to lead to a strengthened economy and culture.
Tara also led the development of the provincial Indigenous Tourism strategy from Newfoundland and Labrador, took part in the incorporation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous Tourism Association and became the inaugural chair of the association in early 2020.
Director of Partnerships
Teresa is responsible for overseeing the development and stability of Indigenous tourism associations across Canada.
As the Director of Partnerships, Teresa is responsible for supporting relationships and partnerships as well as developing and implementing programs across Canada to establish and grow regional Indigenous tourism associations. She is also be responsible for overseeing corporate communications, internal market research, international projects and membership.. In 2020, Teresa led the $16 million Stimulus Development Grant program for ITAC- an effort made to stabilize more than 675 Indigenous tourism operators as they navigated the loss of travellers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also overseen the growth of the International Indigenous Tourism Conference – the largest Indigenous tourism conference in the world – since 2018, being a part of this project for many years since its inception.
Teresa is proud to be of Musqueam descent. Upon finishing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology at Simon Fraser University, Teresa has spent more than 10 years in Indigenous tourism development, starting her career with Indigenous Tourism BC. She has worked with Indigenous tourism operators and partners to grow Indigenous tourism while implementing regional and provincial destination development strategies and improving the market readiness of operators. She is an experienced speaker, facilitator and trainer and advocate for the betterment of Indigenous Peoples. Teresa is passionate about Indigenous tourism not only for the economic benefits but also for the social impact on Indigenous People and communities who thrive in business while sharing unique stories from coast to coast to coast.
Teresa currently sits as a board of director for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada where she advocates alongside national tourism professionals for tourism.
Allison Modin is originally from Simcoe, Ontario, near Six Nations of the Grand River and lives on Vancouver Island in K’omoks territory. Allison obtained a Graphic Design Diploma from Seneca Polytechnic at the Seneca@York campus in Toronto. She comes from a diverse background in design and is also an artist and illustrator.
Allison started working with Indigenous clients after she moved to Vancouver, BC, and fell in love with the diverse cultures, histories, and Indigenous people’s connection to the land. As an ally, she applies her design skills to make positive impacts, and now working in the Indigenous tourism sector has enabled her to do just that. Advocating for the environment and Indigenous rights is important to her. As a settler on this land, she loves to give back and be a part of the solution to help Indigenous communities thrive again.
Outside of work, she spends most of her free time in nature, whether it’s mountain biking, snowboarding, or just hiking through the woods.
Angela is from the Musqueam Nation and is working towards finalizing her degree in Human Resources at BCIT School of Business. Angela is the Project Manager for the Marketing team. She will be responsible for managing the new CRM as well as managing the digital assets management system. She will also be of great support in the delivery of the 2019 International Indigenous Tourism Conference.
April Thompson is a member of Saugeen First Nation #29 in Ontario. She is a graduate of George Brown College and holds a Diploma with Honours in Special Events Planning, and an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration Hospitality Operations Management Degree.
After planning events for her home community, she joined ITAC in late 2021. Working closely with other departments and teams, April enjoys bringing people together to create meaningful events and unforgettable experiences.
In her free time, April enjoys reading and being outdoors. With a passion for community, April continues to learn about the different nations across turtle island and the impact and potential tourism has for indigenous communities. She is proud to be a part of this flourishing industry.
Industry Engagement Coordinator
Breanna Thomas was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and completed a Hospitality & Tourism Management Certificate from Florida Atlantic University.
Breanna’s impressive career journey includes administration, events and marketing, with her tourism career beginning in 2017 as a Meetings & Conventions Specialist at Edmonton Tourism. She joined ITAC in 2023 and is passionate about promoting Canadian history by supporting tourism experiences. Also, an ally, Breanna strongly believes that Indigenous tourism is educational, diverse, and necessary for sharing the authentic story of the land.
Out of the office, she enjoys travelling and is a dedicated sports fan who loves basketball and football. Her creative side involves connecting with the local arts and culture scene.
Genevieve Huneault, MA
Genevieve is a regenerative tourism specialist with a long-standing commitment to social and environmental justice. She has over 10 years of experience integrating sustainable tourism systems with specialties in Indigenous tourism, gender & outdoor recreation, regional food systems management, and community-driven tourism development. Genevieve has worked closely with non-profit organizations, governments, entrepreneurs, innovators, and social enterprises across Canada and Internationally to integrate regenerative practices across their work. Genevieve holds a Bachelor’s of Tourism Management from Vancouver Island University and a Master of Arts in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia.
Finance and Operations Coordinator
Jordan George is Secwépemc and a member of the Esk’etemc First Nation and resides on the unceded Musqueam territorial lands in Richmond, BC, after relocating his family in 2015. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Thompson Rivers University, and also received his certification as a Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer in 2010, as well Certified Business Counselor in 2008.
Jordan joined ITAC in February 2023 as the Finance and Operations Coordinator; previously he worked for three financial institutions, prior to that he worked for an Aboriginal Financial Institution in Kamloops, BC. Jordan is excited to work within an Indigenous organization once again and is grateful to assist in the tourism industry. He has many years of experience working within the Indigenous community in BC and visited many Indigenous communities. In his former role, he worked with Indigenous entrepreneurs that started their tourism-based businesses and needed financial services.
He served as a volunteer board of directors for Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society for eleven years, with one term as Vice President and three terms as Treasurer. Currently, Jordan is enrolled in the Human Resources Manager Certificate program at Simon Fraser University to work towards a Chartered Professionals in Human Resources designation.
Manpreet Kaur joined the Finance Department as Bookkeeper after graduating from Capilano University with a Business Management Post Baccalaureate Diploma. She had previously completed her internship in ITAC’s Finance Department where she demonstrated a great capacity for finance-related tasks.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Markus Kruse is a member of the Boothroyd First Nation in central British Columbia. Having graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Marketing Diploma in Tourism Management, Markus has applied his recent studies to his role as the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at ITAC.
He was working in hospitality before the pandemic. With a solid background and understanding of the hospitality industry, he felt that exploring a career in tourism would make use of skills acquired over the years. Markus is excited about the opportunity to work with Indigenous communities from across the country and to learn and share their culture, traditions, and stories.
Before working with ITAC, he was working towards becoming a wine sommelier and is Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 2 certified. Markus hopes to pursue his level three certificate in the near future.
Industry Engagement Manager
Melanie Fraser is of Secwepemc decent, born and raised in central British Columbia. She holds a Diploma in Tourism Management and 9 years of experience in the Indigenous tourism industry. Melanie worked in management at her community’s tourism business Xatśūll Heritage Village before starting her 8-year career at Indigenous Tourism BC. Melanie’s passion for Indigenous communities and seeing projects through to completion is what has led her to continue her career in Indigenous tourism nationally.
Business Support Coordinator
Michelle Brown possesses enthusiasm for fostering connections with individuals and cultures, utilizing her own experiences to effectively aid others in business development. Shecompleted the Destination Resort Management Diploma Program at Capilano University and is pursuing the Tourism Management Graduate Certificate Program through Royal Roads University. Her educational background is a solid foundation in resort management and tourism. Michelle is committed to supporting initiatives that contribute to reconciliation and the well-being of Indigenous groups across Canada.
Prior to her current role, Michelle spent nine years working for Spirit Bear Lodge . During her time there, she played a pivotal role in strategic development planning, marketing, capacity building, and other key areas. Michelle’s experience at this community-based business allowed her to develop a deep appreciation of Indigenous ways of knowing and a strong understanding of the vibrant Indigenous Tourism sector in Canada.
Outside of work, Michelle finds joy in family, friends and food! Spending quality time with the people she loves, particularly her two young children, enriches her life and brings a deep sense of fulfillment.
A proud member of the Musqueam Nation in Vancouver BC, Ryan assists the Chief Marketing Officer in achieving ITAC’s annual KPIs. His work is focused on the travel trade in the Asian Markets, corporate communications and managing media relations. His role also includes producing content for social channels and providing visual support to staff and provincial coordinators.
Ryan has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of British Columbia and has been working in the Indigenous tourism industry for the past 6 years. Prior to working with ITAC, Ryan worked as the marketing coordinator with Indigenous Tourism BC. He takes great pride in representing Indigenous interests in his career.
Provincial and Territorial Engagement Manager
Samantha Bradley is a member of the Haida Nation and belongs to the Yahgujaanas Xaadee from the village of Dadens. Samantha will add exceptional expertise to ITAC’s growing Development team. With over eight years in the Indigenous tourism industry, she has built relationships across the country in global travel media, travel trade, provincial Indigenous tourism organizations as well as federal and provincial government partners through her work as the Stakeholder and Marketing Manager with Indigenous Tourism BC.
It was Haida Gwaii where Samantha’s journey in tourism first began, working for her Nation, first for Westcoast Resorts, and later for the Haida Corporation’s Haida Tourism company as a Marketing Coordinator.
Now based in Vancouver, she is honoured to live on the lands and waters of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples, where she completed her post-secondary studies at Capilano University in Arts and Entertainment Management.
Corporate Communications Specialist
Sheldon McRae is Cree and Ojibway and is originally from Manitoba. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from the University of Calgary and a Public Relations Certificate from Simon Fraser University. Sheldon has a solid background in corporate communications, event management and brand activations.
A passion for keeping up with social trends has enabled him to work in various sectors, such as boutique agencies, non-profit organizations, television broadcasting, and technology. He chose Indigenous tourism because work that has positive impacts on communities is what is important to him. Moreover, Indigenous tourism enables him to learn more about the diverse Indigenous communities across Canada and more broadly to connect to Indigenous cultures.
Sheldon enjoys yoga, keeping active, giving back to the community as a volunteer board member and attending arts and cultural events.
Sherry is the Executive Assistant who provides logistical and administrative support to the ITAC Board of Directors as well as the President & CEO. She has worked in Métis politics for more than 20 years and also spends time on her first love – interior design. Sherry is Métis from the Belhumeur & Hayden families in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan. She makes her home in BC now and loves fitness and being outside in the garden.
Tracey Pascal is a status member of the Pasqua First Nation, Treaty Four, in Saskatchewan. She was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. Tracey’s background in communications started with the Government of Saskatchewan as a Communications Consultant. After that, Tracey became the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Advisor for Statistics Canada’s Aboriginal Communications Program. As an Advisor, Tracey connected with Aboriginal organizations and communities, primarily First Nation, to promote and raise awareness on the data collected by Statistics Canada on the Aboriginal population. This also included planning events and acting as co-trainer for a series of free introductory statistical training courses. Tracey’s previous position was as Membership and Communications Manager for the First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan (FNPA), a not-for-profit, start-up mandated to assist First Nations communities in developing renewable energy projects. Tracey’s main role was to manage FNPA’s membership, plan FNPA’s Annual General Meeting and Conference, and engage First Nation communities to promote FNPA and its services. Tracey received a Bachelor of Arts from the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv), formerly the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC), with a major in English and minor in Indian Studies. In 2000, Tracey was funded by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation and completed the Indian Communications Arts Summer Institute in Journalism at FNUniv.
Program Manager Toronto Metro University
Creative Content Manager
A proud member of the Saskatchewan Métis Nation, Zane is honoured to work as Creative Content Manager for The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. Formerly known as ”The Saskatchewanderer”, Zane is now the founder and creative director of CIVL Creative, a content studio for nonprofits and community/cultural initiatives.
Malcolm MacPherson is a lawyer and negotiator of Mi’kmaq and Metis heritage. He was born and raised in Vancouver. Called to the bar in 2003, Malcolm has primarily practiced law in the area of economic development as it applies to First Nation clients. He has particular expertise in the large scale economic development of reserve lands – term sheet process leading to definitive agreement (focus on real estate). Malcolm was instrumental in a prominent multi-million dollar CP land transaction and development at the Tsawwassen First Nation. Malcolm also has expertise organizing and negotiating large scale proponent development proposals (oil and gas) – regulatory, engagement, economic development, supply chain management/goods and services. In his spare time, Malcolm is fond of fishing and travelling.
Beattie Tartan is Canada’s leading integrated communications agency with a proud PR and digital marketing pedigree. Beattie Tartan supports ITAC with full service public relations services including media relations, reputation management and content creation. Founded 31 years ago, Beattie Tartan is one of the fastest growing integrated marketing groups in North America and Europe. Headquartered in London Beattie Tartan has four offices in Canada – Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria. Clients include global, national and local brands spanning 12 industry sectors including tourism, health, retail, real estate and tech.