On February 1st, 2018, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) entered into a four-year contribution agreement with Parks Canada with the goal of enhancing and growing authentic Indigenous experiences in regions across the country. The contribution agreement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Parks Canada in 2016.
The following Q&A are provided to answer any questions regarding this partnership.
Q1: What is the goal of the Contribution Agreement?
A1: The goal is to enhance and grow authentic Indigenous experiences in Canada, by developing, supporting, and marketing Indigenous experiences at Parks Canada places through a partnership between ITAC and Parks Canada.
Q2: How long is the agreement valid for?
A2: The four-year agreement is from 2017 to 2021.
Q3: What is the role of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and this agreement with Parks Canada?
A3: The objective of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is to improve the socio-economic situation of Indigenous people through the growth of the Indigenous tourism industry. ITAC supports the development, leadership and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences across the country through innovative partnerships. This agreement between ITAC and Parks Canada supports the mandate of ITAC and supports Parks Canada’s aim to offer authentic Indigenous tourism experiences at Parks Canada heritage places.
Q4: Will the Contribution Agreement apply to all Parks Canada locations?
A4: The ITAC and Parks Canada Contribution Agreement will see the promotion of authentic Indigenous experiences as defined by ITAC in at least 15 Parks Canada locations over the course of the agreement. These locations will be selected based on mutually agreed upon criteria and separate agreements will be undertaken at the local level to deliver on these new experiences.
Q5: Will this contribution agreement include separate agreements, if so, what will these separate agreements include?
A5: Separate agreements between Parks Canada sites and specific communities and/or nations and businesses involved will be undertaken to formalize relationships; acknowledge specific communities and nations involved; acknowledge ownership of knowledge; identify appropriate cultural delivery by a representative of the community and identify terminology to use in marketing materials for the experiences to be recognized as authentic Indigenous experiences.
Q6: What type of promotion and marketing will the Contribution Agreement entail?
A6: As part of the agreement, ITAC and Parks Canada will support market-ready tourism experiences through the creation of 15 travel itineraries over the four-year period, which will then be marketed by ITAC and Parks Canada. Each itinerary will include at least one authentic Indigenous experience in a Parks Canada place as well as others. This will support the growth of authentic Indigenous experiences delivered by Indigenous communities and businesses, working in collaboration with Parks Canada, to grow and thrive in Parks Canada places and beyond.
Q7: What is the definition of immersive, valuable and authentic market-ready tourism experiences in the context of this Contribution Agreement?
A7: The definition is derived from ITAC’s national guidelines, which serve as a thread of understanding throughout the agreement. Examples include the requirement that Indigenous communities and businesses be at least 51% Indigenous-owned, that cultural interpretation is developed under the direction of Indigenous people and approved by the ‘keepers of the culture’ (such as Elders or hereditary Chiefs), and that the experience itself incorporates face-to-face engagement with Indigenous people.
Q8: What is the role of these authentic experiences in Parks Canada places and its relationship with Indigenous peoples?
A8: Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that commemorates the contributions of Indigenous Peoples, their history and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous Peoples have with the land.
The role of authentic Indigenous experiences at Parks Canada places is to offer visitors varying stories and interpretations of the history of these places and have them leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history of Canada and the important roles of Indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples, communities and tourism businesses and entrepreneurs have the knowledge to make the visitor experiences immersive, valuable and genuine.
Inviting Canadians to visit Parks Canada places to experience Indigenous connections creates new opportunities for learning and better understanding of Canada’s Indigenous cultures and history.
Q9: How is Indigenous tourism being supported by Parks Canada?
A9: Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous Peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.
Parks Canada is committed to developing a system of national heritage places that recognizes the role of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and in the traditional use of these special places. The Government of Canada recently invested $4.7 million to encourage the enhancement of existing Indigenous visitor experiences to develop new experiences in collaboration with Indigenous communities and businesses.
Information on Indigenous experiences at Parks Canada places is available on the Parks Canada website at the following link: http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/experiences/autochtones-indigenous.
Q10: What is Parks Canada doing to support reconciliation?
A10: Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. Since 1980, Parks Canada has successfully supported the exercise of Indigenous traditional activities in a number of national parks and has established cooperative management structures with Indigenous groups.
Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that commemorates the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their history and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous peoples have with the land.
More work can be done and the Agency welcomes opportunities to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples at Parks Canada places.
Q11: How is Parks Canada supporting strengthened Indigenous connections with traditionally used lands and waters?
A11: No relationship is more important to the Government and to Parks Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. Many Parks Canada settings, events and activities offer opportunities for connecting Canadians to Indigenous cultures and history.
Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that commemorates the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their history and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous peoples have with the land. At many Parks Canada places, the Agency and Indigenous partners have successfully worked together to offer Indigenous visitor experiences for a number of years.
Q12: What is Parks Canada doing to expand and ensure presentation and commemoration of Indigenous histories and cultures?
A12: Indigenous visitor experiences create new opportunities for Canadians to better understand the cultures and histories of Indigenous Peoples in Canada while providing economic opportunities for local Indigenous communities.
Parks Canada recognizes that Indigenous participation is critical to the protection and the sharing of the stories of these treasured places with Canadians and the world. To this end, Parks Canada remains committed to working in partnership with Indigenous organizations, communities, and individuals to strengthen the commemoration, celebration, and presentation of Indigenous histories.
About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Aboriginal people through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Aboriginal tourism operators and communities within the 13 regions; 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates, uniting the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. The ITAC Board is made up of Aboriginal tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories.
For more information, visit www.IndigenousTourism.ca.
About Parks Canada
Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. Parks Canada is committed to a network of national heritage places that celebrates the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous peoples have with the lands and waters. Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples work together to develop interpretive materials and activities at all national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas. In doing so, we create new opportunities for Canadians to better understand the cultures and histories of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
For more information, visit www.parkscanada.ca.
ITAC Media Contacts
Brian Cant, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Henry, ITAC: 604-639-4408 or Keith@IndigenousTourism.ca
Parks Canada Media Contacts
Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency 855-862-1812 email@example.com