The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada Successfully Delivers its Annual General Meeting and Announces Changes to the Board of Directors


COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), is pleased to announce the successful delivery of its Annual General Meeting (AGM), four new members of the Board of Directors and one addition to the Board Executive Committee made at ITAC’s 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held virtually on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

ITAC successfully delivered its AGM virtually via Webcast Canada for the first time ever. The agenda included remarks from the Board Chair and Co-Chair as well as from the Honourable Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages; review of the audited financial statements; operational highlights; an update from Destination Canada and an update from all provinces and territories, which included Indigenous tourism associations showing their alignment and collaboration with ITAC. The AGM was also the perfect opportunity for our members to ask questions and get responses right at the source. If you missed the AGM, you can view the recording here.

ITAC’s 2020 AGM also had the highest attendance ever from coast to coast to coast with 98 voting members participating virtually. ITAC took advantage of the attendance to also release its new video, a 9 minute State of the Industry video showcasing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the Indigenous tourism industry. This emotional video, which showcases members from across Canada, was tied to ITAC’s second wave response and advocacy efforts to the Federal Government in hopes of receiving the requested $18.2 M to support the Indigenous tourism industry and its immediate needs.

“ITAC will continue to advocate for its members no matter what, and there’s no better time than now to act,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “Together, and only together, we will make it through this. Our industry is resilient and strong, and ITAC is here with our Indigenous tourism associations to support our operators that have put their heart and soul into their business. We won’t let the Indigenous tourism industry collapse.”

Election Results

With the addition of four new Board of Directors representing Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Nunavut, ITAC now has representation from every single province and territory from coast to coast to coast. This is the first time in two years that ITAC has had representation from all ten provinces and three territories and is a strong signal of the leadership ITAC demonstrates. It is vital for our national association to have a full representation and have voices from every single province and territory. We are proud to have strong Metis, First Nation and Inuit leaders and a majority of women on the board (7/13). This was very important for our organization. Among some of the changes to the board, ITAC is proud to officially welcome four new Directors:

  • Quebec representative, Marie-Pierre Lainé, from Indigenous Tourism Quebec (formerly interim Director for ITAC)
  • Ontario representative, Jason W. Johnston, from Cape Croker Park
  • Prince Edward Island representative, Jamie Thomas, from Lennox Island Development Corporation (formerly interim Director for ITAC)
  • Nunavut representative, Sheila Flaherty, from the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations

ITAC is also happy to have Kelly Fiddler, formerly a Board of Director for ITAC, taking on the position of Treasurer on the executive committee.

The full ITAC Board of Directors are now as follows:

  • Chair – Brenda Holder, Alberta
    Mahikan Trails
  • Vice-chair – Marilyn Jensen, Yukon
    Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association
  • Treasurer – Kelly Fiddler, Saskatchewan
    Beaver River Consulting
  • Secretary – Tara Saunders, Newfoundland and Labrador
    Qalipu First Nation
  • Director – Darrell Bernard, Nova Scotia
    Kluskap Ridge RV & Campground
  • Director – Dave Daley, Manitoba
    Wapusk Adventures
  • Director – Patricia Dunnett, New Brunswick
    Metepenagiag Heritage Park
  • Director – Frank Antoine, British Columbia
    Moccasin Trails
  • Director – Joe Bailey, Northwest Territories
    North Star Adventures
  • Director – Jason W Johnston, Ontario – New Director
    Cape Croker Park
  • Director – Marie-Pierre Lainé, Quebec – New Director
    Indigenous Tourism Quebec
  • Director – Jamie Thomas, Prince Edward Island – New Director
    Lennox Island Development Corporation
  • Director – Sheila Flaherty, Nunavut – New Director
    Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nation

ITAC is looking forward to having such strong representation leading ITAC and the Indigenous tourism sector in recovery and building resiliency.

For more information on ITAC’s Board of Directors, click here.
To view ITAC’s 2020 Annual General Meeting, click here.
To view the 2020 AGM Draft Minutes, click here.
To view the State of the industry video click here.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is the lead organization tasked with growing the Indigenous tourism industry across the country.  Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates. By uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada, ITAC works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.  Due to COVID-19, ITAC recently released a report on the financial challenges facing Indigenous tourism operators and recommended stimulus solutions. As well, a 2020-2021 revised action plan focused on sustaining Indigenous tourism in the face of COVID-19 was released in March.