Since 2004, Probe Research Inc. has surveyed thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people across Manitoba. This 2021 Indigenous Voices survey marks the eighth wave of Probe’s large-scale, dedicated survey of Indigenous people – their views, preferences and experiences. Travel Manitoba commissioned Probe Research to incorporate tourism-related questions in the 2021 Indigenous Voices Survey to better understand Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives on Indigenous tourism development in Manitoba.
Indigenous people in Manitoba are generally very open and welcoming to tourists and view the sharing of their culture as a way to create jobs and work towards reconciliation.
- For example, three in five Indigenous respondents strongly agree that tourists would be welcome in their community. This feeling is just as strong on and off reserve and among both Métis and First Nations people.
- Another example: Nearly three in five also strongly agree that boosting tourism is a good way to increase employment in Indigenous communities.
- However, there are some limits to this willingness to open up their culture to visitors. Allowing tourists to experience spiritual or medicinal cultural practices such as sweat lodges or medicine picking was viewed as somewhat less acceptable. That is not to say that Indigenous people are unwilling to share these spiritual practices with visitors. Indeed, around one in four say sharing these activities with tourists is very acceptable. However Indigenous respondents were more likely to be comfortable inviting tourists to hear stories told by elders, attend pow-wows, craft workshops and go on guided hunting and fishing trips.
- As well, there is some concern about ensuring Indigenous people themselves benefit directly from tourism in their communities and that non-Indigenous people do not profit from or expropriate Indigenous culture. For example, three in five Indigenous people in Manitoba strongly agree that Indigenous people must reap the benefits from Indigenous tourism, and nearly one-half (particularly women) are very worried about their culture being exploited by non-Indigenous tourism operators.