November 13, 2019, (Kelowna, Syilx Territory, BC ) – The launch of the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN) along with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) will result in a deeper understanding of the power of Indigenous food and a broader connection with Indigenous culture, offering visitors an enriched culinary tourism experience.
Launched with a vision for a world where Indigenous food is not a dish served for one but a cultural feast and celebration of Nations, ICAN is dedicated to sharing Canada’s diverse Indigenous food, culinary and cultural experiences with the world. The MOU between ITAC and ICAN will become a strategic framework to support, develop and market Canada’s diverse Indigenous culinary experiences, and in turn, foster the growth of Indigenous culinary tourism on a national level.
“Food is a powerful way to connect people with place, and it also plays an integral role in tourism,” says Keith Henry, President & CEO of ITAC. “Providing a countrywide platform for communities and regions to develop and share Indigenous culinary experiences will result in greater awareness and appreciation for Canada’s talented Indigenous chefs and offer international visitors more reasons to explore our Indigenous communities and heritage.”
ICAN Co-chair Bill Alexander – executive chef at Calgary’s Grey Eagle Resort & Casino and a consulting chef for WestJet Airlines – has worked closely with ITAC to build the nationwide Indigenous culinary strategy, focusing on collaborations with important industry partners via three key pillars: connection, sharing and influencing.
“The talent and creativity of Indigenous chefs across the country inspire me daily,” says Alexander. “Working with ITAC, together we will help foster the entrepreneurial spirit of Indigenous people to create more genuine Indigenous culinary offerings and connect visitors with the types of culinary tourism experiences they will not find in any other country in the world.”