The Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Canadian Tourism Awards presented December 1, 2021, at The Westin Ottawa hotel in Ottawa, Ontario

ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG TERRITORY (Ottawa, ON) – As part of the annual Canadian Tourism Awards, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has recognized the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) as the winner of the seventh TIAC National Indigenous Tourism Award, which was presented by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).

“The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a shining example of an Indigenous tourism business empowering Indigenous Peoples, committed to authentically sharing the cultural traditions of the Squamish and Lil’wat Peoples to inspire a better understanding and respect towards Indigenous Peoples. The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre has pivoted extremely well to the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic while staying true to their core values of passion, empowerment, accountability, collaboration and equality,” says Keith Henry, President & Chief Executive Officer of ITAC. “It was an honour to present such a well-deserved award to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.”

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.

Located in Whistler, British Columbia, SLCC has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic offering a blend of virtual and onsite experiences adhering to their COVID-19 Policies and Procedures while maintaining their leadership and commitment to authentically sharing their culture with guests from around the world. The culture and history of the Coastal Mountain Squamish (Skwxu7mesh Úxumixw) and Lil’wat (L’il’wat7úl) Peoples in Whistler, BC is on full display at the stylish SLCC.

The other finalists to the TIAC National Indigenous Tourism Award include:

Feast Cafe Bistro in Winnipeg, MB

Feast Café Bistro is the first of its kind in Manitoba: serving modern dishes rooted in Indigenous history. In its first five years in operation, Feast has become a pillar in the West End of Winnipeg through its community initiatives and critically acclaimed menu options. Owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther is a home cook turned restaurateur whose passion and creativity are woven into the fabric of Feast Café Bistro. For Christa, supporting the community and other entrepreneurs has always been a priority, which is why she helps at-risk or underemployed Indigenous youth by hiring them in her restaurant.

Metis Cultural Days in Saskatoon, SK

Métis Cultural Days fosters appreciation and support of the Métis artistic and cultural way of life. Winner of ITAC’s Saskatchewan Indigenous Tourism Award in 2018 presented at the International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Métis Cultural Days had its fourth annual event from September 9 – 12, 2021. The event brought together people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities to learn about Métis culture, arts and to celebrate the strength and vibrancy of their community.

Presented at The Westin Ottawa hotel as part of the annual Tourism Congress held by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada on December 1, 2021, 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 2021 Canadian Tourism Awards here.