Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – This week, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) allocated the final round of COVID-19 Stimulus Development Fund grants from the program. This round, Phase 6, will see 233 Indigenous tourism operators receive much needed financial support to help recover and build resiliency against the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the beleaguered industry. With grants of up to $25,000 per applicant, this phase represents $5.659M in non-repayable contributions awarded to a mix of export, market-and visitor-ready Indigenous businesses across Canada.

Originally established in March 2020, ITAC deferred its annual development grant money along with a large amount of savings from other programs to fund the COVID-19 Stimulus Development Fund. The Fund was subsequently also supported by the federal government via Indigenous Services Canada through stimulus funding committed to Indigenous businesses in April 2020 in response to ITAC’s pointed advocacy campaign that brought forth the impacts that COVID-19 was having on the once-thriving Indigenous tourism sector.

“The impacts of COVID-19 on our Indigenous tourism sector cannot be understated,” says Keith Henry, ITAC’s President and CEO. “Prior to 2020 Indigenous tourism was industry-leading and outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall but came to an almost complete standstill. The ability to not only advocate for but ultimately to step up alongside Indigenous Services Canada to provide financial support to struggling businesses is exactly what ITAC is here for. We take our responsibility for protecting and growing the Indigenous tourism industry across the country very seriously and we are proud to be able to do so now when we are needed the most.”

Including this phase, ITAC has awarded 678 grants and $16.212M. This was made possible with the support of the Federal Government of Canada and the Indigenous Services Canada. This is the final phase of the COVID-19 Stimulus Development Fund allocations for the past 2 intakes and ITAC will be assessing future funding needs shortly especially in consideration of the second wave of this pandemic.

  • To view frequently asked questions, click here.
  • To view Phase Six successful applicants, click here.
  • To view Phase Five successful applicants, click here.
  • To view Phase Four successful applicants, click here.
  • To view Phase Two and Three successful applicants, click here.
  • To view the initial successful applicants in Phase One, click here.
  • For more information on the ITAC’s COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund, click here.
  • To view all of ITAC’s communications around COVID-19 and the resources available, click here.