October 9, 2018, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to announce changes to its administrative team as ITAC experiences one of its most successful years for Indigenous tourism in Canada.

Teresa Ryder has been promoted to Director of Business Development. With a career in tourism development that spans over eight years, Ryder is of Musqueam descent, born in the Lower Mainland and raised on Vancouver Island. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. Before joining the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) August 2017, Teresa worked for the Indigenous Tourism Association of BC (ITBC), as well as in various roles throughout the hospitality industry. Her passion for working with people and joy in learning from and about other Indigenous communities clearly identified Ryder as the right person for this new role.

Melanie Bingham has been hired as the Project Coordinator based at the ITAC Vancouver head office. Prior to joining the ITAC team in September, she was a project assistant for Indigenous Tourism BC for more than five years. Bingham will play a key role in overseeing ITAC’s many projects including its very successful micro-grants program.

ITAC would like to thank Casey Vanden Heuvel and Tarra Wright Many Chief for their services and wish them all the best in the future as they move on to the next phases of their careers.

Tarra Wright Many Chief has been appointed executive director for Indigenous Tourism Alberta. In her new role, Wright Many Chief will be travelling extensively across Alberta, working with Indigenous communities to help deliver programs that support local community and economic development through tourism development. Based in Calgary, Wright Many Chief is from the Treaty Seven community of Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation) in southern Alberta. She earned a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge in 2012, with a focus on accounting and First Nations governance. In her previous role with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), she managed logistics, event planning and marketing for the highly successful International Aboriginal Tourism Conference held at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, Tsuu T’ina Nation near Calgary in November 2017.  Since January, she has also been the membership and outreach coordinator for ITAC and will complete her ITAC contract in November 2018.

“I am honoured to have an exceptional team around me as we work hard to meet and exceed our five-year strategic planning goals and grow Indigenous tourism across the country,” says Keith Henry, ITAC’s CEO and president. “Please join me in congratulating Teresa and Tarra and welcoming Melanie to the team. We also wish Casey well and thank him for the many contributions he made to ITAC over the years.”

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Indigenous peoples through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Indigenous tourism operators and communities within the 13 regions; 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates, uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. A new comprehensive 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada is also available in print and online—for industry, media and visitors from around the world. For more information, visit www.indigenoustourism.ca.


Media contacts:
Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, or jenna.hickman@beattiegroup.com
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or keith@indigenoustourism.ca

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