Algonquin Anishnaabeg Territory (Ottawa, ON) – As part of the annual Canadian Tourism Awards, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has recognized Heritage Path Tour as the winner of the eighth annual TIAC National Indigenous Tourism Award, which was presented by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) during a gala ceremony.

The TIAC National 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 Indigenous Peoples; innovation and sustainability.

Offering an immersive journey into the Mi’kmaq culture at Elsipogtog First Nation, the Heritage Path Tour takes visitors onto the forested Heritage Path where they learn about traditional ways of using Mother Nature’s gifts and medicines. 2022 saw the construction of an authentic wigwam, longhouse and sweat lodge made by a local Elder and knowledge keeper — these new additions offer deeper understanding and connection to the cultural teachings and ways of the Mi’kmaq.

“It is an honour to present such a well-deserved award to Heritage Path Tour,” says Keith Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of ITAC. “All three finalists demonstrated that by respecting cultural values and traditions it’s possible to succeed during a very difficult period. And Heritage Path Tour is an incredible example of strength and resiliency and a commitment to delivering an authentic tourism experience.”

“We are thrilled with the selection of Heritage Path Tour as the 2022 recipient of this esteemed Award,” says Beth Potter, President and CEO of TIAC. “Each of these finalists have proven to have gone above and beyond to embody the true spirit of this Award – the values of courage, hard work and dedication to a truly great tourism product.”

The other two finalists in the Indigenous Tourism Awards category were:

Corporation Nibiischii – Mistissini, QC

Operating the vast Albanel-Mistassini-and-Waconichi Wildlife Reserve, Corporation Nibiischii blends Indigenous conservation values with a commitment to authentically share the cultural traditions of the Cree Nation of Mistissini. By offering a wide range of experiences; from canoeing and fishing to swimming, yoga, hiking, sky gazing and snowshoeing, Corporation Nibiischii has been able to bring visitors into the heart of the wildlife reserve and engage them in traditional learning.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park – Saskatoon, SK

Working to advance the understanding of the Northern Plains Indigenous Peoples, Wanuskewin completed the expansion of their interpretive centre, gallery spaces, and trail system in 2021. Offering year-round guided experiences that include bison walks, tipi teachings and crafting workshops as well as online programming for classrooms and people around the world—Wanuskewin is a recognized leader in First Nations educational programming and culture.

Presented at The Westin Ottawa hotel as part of the annual Tourism Congress held by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada on November 23, 2022, the Canadian Tourism Awards recognize success, leadership and innovation in the Canadian tourism industry — rewarding people, places, organizations and events going above and beyond offering superior tourism experiences in Canada.

Learn more about the 2022 Canadian Tourism Awards here.