Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Destination Indigenous puts the lens on Ontario this week, with an opportunity to expand beyond traditional cottage country and Escape from Home while road tripping and learning about the rich history of local Indigenous culture.

Avid travellers, the Wager family documented their three-day journey through rural and urban settings, including paddling the Humber River with Oceah Oceah, a SUP paddling, SUP yoga and tour company run by Indigenous sisters Jenifer and Sharon Rudski. Their itinerary also includes visiting Canada’s largest Indigenous community, Six Nations, home to nearly 30,000 members of the Iroquois Nations, including the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

A favourite escape for many in Ontario is Manitoulin Island, and the new Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre, which is located on the North Channel of Lake Huron. The modern accommodations are complemented by experiences that celebrate long-standing authentic Indigenous traditions.

“Ontario boosts the largest selection of Indigenous experiences in the country ,” says Keith Henry, ITAC’s President and CEO. “It is exciting to see young entrepreneurs like the Rudski sisters celebrate their culture with modern activities along with new hotel experiences gaining attention as people across the province explore their backyard.“

For those travellers looking to escape in other provinces, unique dining and accommodation options offered by Indigenous operators combine the best of both worlds; the opportunity to relax in comfort while being inspired by Indigenous art, food and storytelling. Examples include:

BC: Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort – Located in a remote and rugged corner of the Cariboo region in BC, this Indigenous-owned and operated luxury wilderness resort is renowned for delivering world-class outdoor experiences for adventure seekers of all types. The award winning ranch-resort comes with rustic, yet refined, touches — all meticulously intertwined with Secwepemc Culture and history.

AB: Grey Eagle Resort and Casino & Little Chief Restaurant – This Vegas-style resort and casino has been known to host world-class acts such as Diana Ross and Jay Leno in the past but its biggest draw is its celebration of Indigenous cuisine, art and culture, right on the doorstep of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
AB: Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino – For families, this resort offers a vibrant combination of affordable comfort, premier casino gaming and family-friendly adventure with first-class service and warm hospitality in Kananaskis country. Surrounded by stunning views, this mountain resort playground offers countless amenities, including an exhilarating pool, hot tub and waterslide, family-friendly dining and sports lounge.

AB: Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino – For families, this resort offers a vibrant combination of affordable comfort, premier casino gaming and family-friendly adventure with first-class service and warm hospitality in Kananaskis country. Surrounded by stunning views, this mountain resort playground offers countless amenities, including an exhilarating pool, hot tub and waterslide, family-friendly dining and sports lounge.

AB: Pei Pei Chei Ow – Inspired by the land, life and seasons that surround us, Indigenous ways of cooking outdoors and by the Indigenous way of Mino-Pimatisiwin, Pei Pei Chei Ow explores the concept of Indigenous food in today’s society, as well as the impact of colonialism on the Indigenous food system and contemporary culture. Using a variety of both traditional and Western ingredients, Pei Pei Chei Ow caters to public and private events, as well as hosts specialty dinners, educational events and food experiences that tell a story. Apart from elaborate and customized menus, a general catering menu is available for order year round.

MB: Feast Café Bistro – Feast Cafe Bistro is the first of its kind in Manitoba; serving modern dishes rooted in traditional Indigenous ingredients. We wanted to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere while connecting our guests with the rich Culture and history of Indigenous Peoples in our province. This contemporary 50-seat restaurant is at the heart of Winnipeg’s Historic West End neighbourhood, and allows visitors to connect with the rich culture and history of the Indigenous people across Manitoba.

MB: Aurora Inn – This family owned and operated Inn is located in Churchill Manitoba, best known for polar bear safaris in the fall, bird watching and beluga whale viewing on the Churchill River during the summer time, as well as Dog Sledding Tours and Northern Lights Viewing in the winter.

QC: Hébergement Aux Cinq Sens – This unique resort is located in a Huron-Wendat village that was named the world’s first International Dark Sky Reserve — famous also for the popular Summit Drive, a 193-kilometre route characterized by breath-catching panoramic views of mountains, lakes and a thrilling, star-studded night-time sky. A double hammock strung in the forest, just steps from Lake Mégantic, is the ultimate spot to relax or stargaze while at the resort. And the views from any one of the property’s five yurts, are what draw visitors back. From the Sight Yurt with its star finder that encourages guests to “see beyond” to the Smell and Touch Yurts with their rich selection of essential and massage oils to arouse body and soul, visitors can enjoy a profound sensory experience during their time at this unique operation.

NS: Kisik Ridge – This Nova Scotia mountaintop home with an ocean view, features farm-to-table dinners and a cozy but modern farmstay on the Bay of Fundy. Some say Kisik Ridge has a spirit of its own. Guests are invited to be in the moment. Owners Ray Bear and Saronn Pov are two chefs who bought Kisik Ridge to get closer to the land, and experience the whole process of the food cycle, searching for the true meaning of “farm to table.”

“Indigenous Peoples have been living on this land for thousands of years, and we’re proud to extend our legendary hospitality to visitors,” says Henry. “Whether guests are looking for the comfort of an Indigenous-owned and operated resort hotel, the adventure of sleeping in a yurt or traditional teepee, or a fun leisure activity, the options offered by Indigenous tourism operators continue to grow.”

View and download the campaign poster here: https://platform.crowdriff.com/m/s-TirF-YmsA-iihVWb
View an inspiring itinerary here: https://destinationindigenous.ca/blog/escape-from-home-ontario/
View and download photos here: https://platform.crowdriff.com/m/s-RX9WArrjuBpNY2Vq

Important information for visitors to Indigenous communities:
While planning an escape with Indigenous experiences across Canada, ITAC recommends travellers understand the health and safety guidelines for travel within each province and territory, and travellers also check to ensure that the community they hope to visit is ready to welcome back local visitors.

For additional information on the Escape from Home campaign or Destination Indigenous; to request photos or to arrange interviews, please contact Nicole Amiel at nicole.amiel@beattiegroup.com.


About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
ITAC announced the launch of Destination Indigenous in June to encourage, highlight and educate travellers about the many Indigenous experiences that will welcome Canadians this summer. Through Destination Indigenous’ informative website and vacation planning tool (which includes maps and directions), intrepid travellers can explore and book:

  • wildlife and fishing excursions across Quebec;
  • urban Indigenous tours within Canada’s major cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa & Halifax;
  • guided adventures across BC & Alberta;
  • northern Lights in NWT;
  • unique Indigenous accommodations from art-filled hotels to glamping in the wilderness;
  • deep dives into Indigenous culture and heritage sites;
  • foraging for local ingredients and dining on Indigenous cuisine from top-trained Indigenous chefs.

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.  Prior to 2020, Indigenous tourism was outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences was at an all-time high. ITAC works in partnership with Destination Canada to showcase Indigenous tourism across Canada to Canadian and international travellers.

Media Contacts
Nicole Amiel, Beattie Tartan
416.436.5185, 514.983.3959 (cell)

Keith Henry, CEO
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

French media requests
Sebastien Desnoyers-Picard, Chief Marketing Officer
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada