Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis – From September 25 to 27, 2023, GoMedia Canada 2023, presented by Destination Canada, and host destination partners Tourism Saskatchewan and Discover Saskatoon collaborated to create an event that not only celebrated but also shed light on the vital importance of sharing Indigenous stories with the world. Moreover, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) was front and centre during this event, offering a platform for Indigenous tourism experiences to be shared and understood on a global scale.
Global Media Representation
The global reach of GoMedia was remarkable, with 78 journalists hailing from diverse markets such as Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, France, the UK, and the US, along with 27 editors. This international representation underscores the growing interest and recognition of Indigenous tourism in Canada and its place on the international tourism landscape.
Indigenous Tourism in Saskatchewan
From September 21 to 25, a gathering of journalists from Japan, the USA, and France was hosted by ITAC in partnership with Indigenous Tourism Alberta for a pre-familiarization tour in advance of GoMedia to immerse attendees in the rich tapestry of Indigenous culture. On the tour, media visited Moonstone Creations, Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, Painted Warriors Ranch, River Cree Resort and Casino, Mother Earth Essentials, Talking Rock Tours, Pei Pei Chei Ow, and Métis Crossing. Moreover, the tour acted as a bridge connecting different corners of the world to the heritage and experiences that Indigenous communities in Canada have shared since time immemorial.
On September 27, Discover Saskatoon hosted local tours, and delegates had the opportunity to experience activities available at Dakota Dunes Resort. It was delightful to see so many Indigenous experiences – both local experiences and outside the province – known for many to participate in.
The Diversity of Indigenous Storytelling
One of the pivotal moments during this event was the panel discussion titled “The Diversity of Indigenous Storytelling,” moderated by ITAC’s Communications Manager, Ryan Rogers. The primary goal of this panel was to enhance the understanding of Indigenous tourism’s significance and potential among industry professionals and international media representatives. The panelists, Matricia Bauer from Warrior Women, Andrew Germain from Québec Indigenous Tourism, and Kevin Seesequasis from Pemiska Tourism, shared their unique perspectives, approaches, and tools to empower media to authentically and respectfully incorporate Indigenous stories into their content.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park Visit
As part of GoMedia Canada 2023, attendees had the opportunity to visit the Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Wanuskewin is a beacon of Indigenous culture, history, and natural beauty. The visit was a testament to the enduring connection between Indigenous communities and their ancestral lands, providing attendees with a deep understanding of the profound relationships that shape Indigenous experiences.
The Importance of Sharing Indigenous Stories
One of the top takeaways from GoMedia Canada 2023 is the paramount importance of sharing Indigenous stories with a global audience. These stories not only serve as a means to preserve rich traditions but also promote cross-cultural understanding. When media professionals and journalists embrace Indigenous stories with authenticity and respect, they play a crucial role in fostering a connection with Indigenous tourism experiences.
ITAC expresses its gratitude to the incredible host partners at GoMedia Canada 2023, presented by Destination Canada! Without their unwavering support and hospitality, the association’s recent destination adventure would not have been possible. Tourism Saskatchewan and Discover Saskatoon made the ITAC team journey truly unforgettable.
Here’s to the memories created and the stories shared!