Indigenous Tourism in Alberta

Indigenous tourism is growing across Canada, and the demand for authentic, memorable, enriching experiences is growing. It has the power to change perspectives, preserve culture, language and traditions. The mandate of ITA is to support our Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs and communities in the development of sustainable tourism products for which there is a market. We are closely following and mirroring the success of our national association, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). ITA is Indigenous owned, Indigenous operated. We have 7 Directors from across the province who either operate a tourism business now or have had a tourism business in the past. We will have 1-2 tourism business owners discuss how they developed a business in tourism, and the challenges and successes. Join us as we introduce Indigenous Tourism Alberta and learn how we might help assist entrepreneurs with tourism development in your communities and other areas.

Presented by: Lori Beaver & Brenda Holder, Indigenous Tourism Alberta                 

Lori Beaver is from Alderville First Nation, Ontario and has worked in Indigenous tourism in Alberta for over 20 years, assisting entrepreneurs and artisans in developing tourism sites and products.

Brenda Holder is Metis and owns Mahikan Trails in Canmore. She has been in the tourism industry for 15 years, and offers medicine walks, hiking, accredited guide training and safety. Brenda is the Chair of ITA, as well as the Chair of ITAC.

Councilor Charmaine Willier-Larsen is a proud Cree woman from Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8, Northern Alberta, where she has served as an active band councilor for the past three years and has been an active community member for over a decade. She is an award-winning Indigenous entrepreneur with a passion for improving the future and sustainability of her community with respect to early childcare, youth empowerment, elder care, safety for women, economic development, reclaiming Indigenous culture, and promoting environmentally responsible stewardship of Mother Earth. She has helped bring to life many positive benefits in her local community ranging from new playground equipment for local SCFN children, to the first Chiefs Parade and Tee Pee Village at High Prairie Rodeo in over 50 years (as part of her work towards actions that are truly reconciliation). She has also brought a strong voice to the table for policy, transparency, and accountability for the management of community assets to help create a more sustainable world for future generations. Her passion for learning has helped her hone her skills in public engagement, governance, law, and economic development. She is also an active volunteer on the ‘Indigenous Tourism Alberta’ board, and she is deeply committed to improving the quality of life for many generations to come through her board position on the ‘Lesser Slave Lake Watershed’ committee - she is also passionate about protection of our greatest resource: water.