The following is a Government of Alberta press release announcing their funding  initiative in partnership with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

The Government of Alberta is providing the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) with a $100,000 grant to help establish a provincial Indigenous tourism organization and grow tourism-related businesses across the province.

This is the first time ITAC has received grant funding from a provincial or territorial government.

ITAC will use the funds to help grow tourism businesses in First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta. Working with the government, ITAC will build and deliver an Indigenous tourism entrepreneurship program, hold regional sessions targeting current and potential Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs, support Indigenous tourism businesses in the province and support ‘Alberta Day’ at the 2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference in Calgary, November 5-7.

“The Alberta government is proud to work in partnership with ITAC and to be the first provincial government to provide funding in support of this collaborative work. This is a tremendous opportunity to help create jobs for Indigenous communities, help strengthen Alberta’s overall economy and give visitors a meaningful, cultural experience.” – Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

ATAC’s plan for a provincial Indigenous tourism organization in Alberta follows on the heels of a successful Rendez-vous Canada in Calgary, where it helped market Indigenous tourism experiences to international travel buyers.

Working with Culture and Tourism, ITAC will also create a new program to help Indigenous entrepreneurs, artists and storytellers who want to start a tourism business.

“Indigenous peoples in Alberta have inspiring stories to tell and can offer authentic, educational experiences that visitors are seeking. We encourage Métis and First Nations in the province to seek out and establish tourism businesses that will create employment opportunities and grow your local community.” – Keith Henry, president and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

“Aboriginal tourism is a cornerstone in the future development of the industry across Canada and we are encouraged to see the growth of this part of the sector in Alberta.” – Brenda Holder, ITAC board director for Alberta and owner of Mahikan Trails

Keith Henry, president and CEO of ATAC, and Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, were interview on CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM with host Mark Connolly, on Thursday May 18, 2017. Listen to the interview below.


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Photo: Indigenous tourism experience at Horsethief Canyon in the Canadian Badlands