November 1, 2018, Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of Métis (Saskatoon, SK)  – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) recognized over eight organizations and Indigenous entrepreneurs for outstanding achievements in tourism, both nationally and locally in Saskatchewan during the culmination of the 7th annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference(IITC) in Saskatoon.

“As we gather together as an industry each year, it is important we celebrate our achievements as Indigenous tourism business leaders and mentors,” says Keith Henry, CEO and President of ITAC.  “We hold our current and past winners as examples of best practices and encourage them to share their stories of success with their fellow Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs.”

Each year, nominees must be majority Indigenous owned/controlled and provide tourism experiences or tourism related services. Nominees and winners of this year’s awards program include:

Best Marketing Campaign

Indigenous tourism business or organization who has planned and activated an effective marketing campaign or program showing real results towards specific goals using any or all of paid, earned, shared or owned media.

  • À la rencontre des grands chefs (Quebec) – Winner
  • ITO Brand Launch: Ontario Authentic Indigenous Moments
  • Tundra North Tours (Rick Mercer Report) (NWT)

Most Improved Business

Indigenous tourism business who has significantly improved their market/export readiness allowing for a stronger business opportunity and increased their ability to professionally demonstrate Indigenous tourism’s ability to meet and exceed consumer and travel trade expectations.

  • Metepenagiag Heritage Park (New Brunswick)
  • Lennox Island Mi’kmaq Cultural Centre (PEI)-Winner
  • Atikuss Boutique Hotel (Quebec)

Most Inspiring Cultural Ambassador

A representative of an Indigenous business or organization who inspires those around them in the way they represent their culture with visitors, who leads by example and who provides guidance and mentorship to those also looking to find their path towards representing their culture to visitors and guests.

  • Carrie Armstrong (Edmonton, AB) – founder of Mother Earth Essentials as a way to share her grandmother’s teachings about traditional healing plants.
  • Andy Turnbull (Happy Valley, Goose Bay NL) – Atlantic Business Magazine named Andy one of the Top 50 CEO’s in Atlantic Canada for the third year in a row in 2018.
  • Raven Ryland (Haida Gwaii, BC). – Winner- Raven shares first and second-hand knowledge about the land she calls home, Haida Gwaii, and the stories she has heard about her own people, the Haidas, to visitors that visit the Haida Heritage Centre. She is also a mentor to many young people within her community.

Indigenous Adventure Award – Presented by Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

This award is presented to a business who recognizes best practices in Indigenous Adventure travel with a focus on responsibility and sustainability: demonstrating effective sustainable management, maximizing social and economic benefits to the local community and minimizing negative impacts, maximizing benefits to cultural heritage and minimizing negative impacts and maximizing benefits to the environment and minimizing negative impact.

  • Tzoonie Wilderness Resort (BC)
  • Hébergement aux Cinq Sens (Quebec)
  • Arctic Bay Adventures (Nunuvut) -winner

Saskatchewan Awards

Indoor Indigenous Cultural Experiences

Exceptional delivery of cultural knowledge and guest experience at Indigenous Cultural Centres, Museums, Galleries, Retail Stores, Food Establishments, Entertainments Centres and Spa/Retreats.

  • Chief Poundmaker Museum (Cut Knife, SK) – Winner
  • Wanuskewin Heritage Park (Saskatoon, SK)

Outdoor Indigenous Cultural Experiences

Outdoor Adventure, Wildlife Viewing, Outdoor Guided Tours.  Exceptional knowledge and delivery of an Indigenous cultural experience and/or adventure in an outdoor environment.

  • Aski Holistic Adventures,Cumberland-Winner
  • Takoza Tipi Camp in Qu’Appelle Valley


Hotels, Motels, Accommodations, Cabins, Campgrounds, Lodges.  Excellent lodging experience for guests while incorporating Indigenous themes, design elements and/or cultural experiences.

  • Bear Claw Casino & Hotel -winner
  • M&N Resort, Waterhen Lake

Artists & Events

Artists, Performers and Performance Groups, Special Events, Festivals.  Exceptional skill, technique and cultural representation from an artist/performer/performance group or through a special cultural event or festival.

  • Metis Cultural Days (Saskatoon, SK)- Winner
  • First Nations University Pow Wow (Regina, SK)
  • River Road Festival (St. Louis, SK)

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. ITAC also just released their brand-new experience guide, detailing Indigenous experiences across Canada, in which visitors can learn about the values of the respect, honour and integrity that guides our communities while discovering the traditional territories, history, people and culture that has been a part of our country for centuries. To down load the full 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada go to: The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. For more information, visit


Media contacts:
Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-215-8425 (cell) or

Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or

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