Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Awards presented November 20, 2019
November 25, 2019, Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver, BC) – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has recognized the Wanuskewin Heritage Park as the winner of the 2019 ITAC Indigenous Tourism Award, presented by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).
Currently undergoing a significant expansion and located in Saskatoon, SK, Wanuskewin Heritage Park works to advance the understanding and appreciation of the evolving cultures of the Northern Plains Indigenous peoples. The Wanuskewin area contains some of the most exciting archaeological finds in North America, many of which pre-date the pyramids of Egypt. The archaeological resources of Wanuskewin are exceptional and among the finest examples of Pre-Contact occupation of the Great Plains of North America. In 1987, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II declared it a National Historic Site, and in 1992 the Interpretive Centre and trails were opened to the public. Wanuskewin Heritage Park has also been named to Canada’s Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
“The significance of the Wanuskewin Heritage Park as a living reminder of Indigenous peoples’ sacred relationship with the land is enormous,” said Keith Henry, President & CEO of ITAC. “The vision of the team as they bring new experiences to life has made Wanuskewin one of the top Indigenous tourism experiences in the world. I was honoured to present such a well-deserved award.”
The Canadian Tourism Awards are presented annually by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) to recognize excellence in Canada’s tourism industry. Successful and innovative people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer a superior tourism experience to travellers in Canada are recognized each year during Tourism Congress, which was held November 19-20, 2019. The Indigenous Tourism Award, sponsored by ITAC, recognizes an Indigenous tourism business that demonstrates a commitment to the development, promotion and delivery of an authentic, innovative and enriching Indigenous cultural tourism visitor experience.
Winners and finalists are judged on a series of categories including adherence to ITAC’s National Guidelines; employment, economic, social and cultural benefits to local Indigenous peoples; innovation and sustainability.
The other finalists in the ITAC National Indigenous Tourism Award included:
Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations – Guests to this hotel may also visit the only Huron-Wendat museum in North America along with a traditional longhouse. Indigenous experiences are celebrated throughout the property including in the warm hospitality, architecture, spa services and cuisine.
Matricia Brown – Matricia Brown is a singer, songwriter, musician, drummer and artist. Matricia has had the privilege of sharing her culture over the last 20 years to schools throughout the Yellowhead Region. She has won the Aboriginal Women’s Day award from the Edson Friendship Centre where she has served as an active Board Member and volunteer since 2004. She is also a member of the drumming group “Warrior Women” and has performed throughout Alberta teaching youth her songs and culture.
For more information, visit IndigenousTourism.ca
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. With Indigenous tourism outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences at an all-time high, ITAC recently updated its five-year plan. Additionally, ITAC just launched their Nations magazine, highlighting Indigenous people and experiences across the country. To book packages and experiences travellers may visit IndigenousCanada.Travel.
For more information on ITAC visit IndigenousTourism.ca.
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada