In May of this year, Canadian Travel Press published a wide-ranging interview with Keith Henry, the president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). In it, Henry talks about the crisis facing the Indigenous tourism industry and at the time, made it clear that: “We’re going to continue to keep our hopes up. We’re going to continue to advocate. We’re going to make sure our members and our partners feel supported and we’re going to put our best foot forward.” CTP May 15, 2021
Since that story ran, ITAC has received additional funding to help it continue its work (Read it here).
ITAC also launched The Original Original campaign earlier this year on Indigenous People’s Day (June 21).
The Original Original campaign is aimed at educating travellers, modernizing their perception of Indigenous experiences and rebuilding the Indigenous tourism industry after it was disproportionately devastated by the pandemic.
Today, as our small part on the journey to Truth & Reconciliation, we’re asking you to read these stories again … and also to go to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s website and consider some of the issues that Indigenous tourism is facing right now as well as some of the programs and initiatives it offers to help its members rebuild and recover.
And if you believe that tourism – at its best – can educate the traveller, perhaps, just perhaps, this industry can help make a difference and take us all on a journey to Truth & Reconciliation … it is a journey that we, settlers, have put off for far too long.
So, on Sept. 30, 2021, the first Truth & Reconciliation Day in this country, let’s take the first step …
Photos & Video provided courtesy of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)