23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference Agenda

October 25-28, 2021

Sunday, October 24, 2021

11 a.m.
AIANTA Charity Golf Tournament

Join the 2021 AIANTA Charity Golf Tournament at the award-winning We-Ko-Pa Golf Club. [More Info]

Tee Gift Sponsor: Klas Robinson, QED

Monday, October 25, 2021

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Mobile Workshops

Visit Verde Valley / Montezuma Castle
Fort McDowell Experience
[More Info]

Sponsor: Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

1:00  – 5:00 p.m.
Business of Art Workshop

Learn tips on building tribal arts programs, working with galleries and museums, organizing local arts markets and more. [More Info]

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Opening Reception

Sponsor: Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation & We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

Experience the very best of the magnificent desert southwest. Come to a breathtaking land of outdoor adventure and spectacular panoramic views. Nestled in the majestic McDowell Mountains and the Verde River Valley, just northeast of metropolitan Phoenix, the proud people of the Yavapai Nation welcome you to Fort McDowell. Immerse your spirit in the magic and mystery of a land rich in history and tradition. Here is where you experience the wild west firsthand.

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Elder Blessing/Prayer
Calvin “Roddy” Pilcher, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Tribal Member

Welcome
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation President Bernadine Burnette

Welcome
Debbie Johnson, Arizona Office of Tourism Executive Director

Dinner & Cultural Presentation

Maswadae Drum Group

Maswadae, the exciting singing group from the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, came together more than nine years ago. As Yavapai, they originally sang traditional Yavapai songs from their family that had been preserved through their ancestors who shared these powerful songs with them. During the 70s, an anthropologist named Sigrid Khera came to Fort McDowell and documented stories and songs of the Yavapai people from their grandfather John Williams and another elder, Mike Harrison, who was the oldest living Yavapai in their community. Utilizing Khera’s extensive recordings, Maswadae learned the old traditional songs, but as time went on, they began writing their own original songs. Before they were known as Maswadae, they were known as the Blue Stone Singers. Traditionally speaking, the blue stone was worn primarily by men in ancient times and represented protection against bad spirits.

Soon after, the group changed their name to Maswadae which means “singers” in their traditional Yavapai language. Singing can bring happiness and can invoke a sense of healing among those who listen, so with all those traits hand in hand, Maswadae set out to inspire tradition and unite people with traditional songs.

Yellow Bird Indian Dancers

Internationally renowned “Yellow Bird Productions” under the direction of Ken Duncan, citizen of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, specialize in cultural presentations that celebrate the unique spirit of the American Indian. For the past 30 years, Yellow Bird has curated a unique repertoire of songs, dances, stories and dialogue that entertain and educate audiences of all ages. Yellow Bird is a professional family dance company based in Phoenix, Arizona.

The group boasts many national dance champions and have been feature performers for many prestigious audiences and institutions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Conference Check-in
7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
AIANTA Lounge Open

Sponsor: Arizona Office of Tourism

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies/Regalia Day

Sponsor: Wild Horse Pass

Welcome to the 2021 American Indian Tourism Conference with the theme “Reimagine, Reemerge, Reunite: Stronger Together in Indian Country.” We are so excited to be reuniting in person this year and ask you to join us in celebrating the future of tourism in Indian Country.

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Elder Blessing/Prayer
Pam Mott, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Tribal Member

Color Guard
Fort McDowell Veterans Association

Grand Entry
AIANTA requests all attendees wear their regalia for this year’s AITC grand entry

AITC Emcee
Kainoa Daines (Kānaka Maoli), Director of Culture & Product Development, Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau

Fort McDowell Land Acknowledgement

Welcome
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (video greeting)
Luther Lee (Navajo), Director of Tribal Engagement, Office of Senator Mark Kelly
Mayor Ginny Dickey, Town of Fountain Hills
President Bernadine Burnette, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Emerson Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma), AIANTA Board President
Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe), CEO, AIANTA

10 – 10:30 a.m.
Snack & Chat with Exhibitors

Sponsor: Inn of the Mountain Gods

10:30 a.m. – noon

Breakout Sessions “1”

Session 1A: Driving Increased Visitation Through Data Analysis
Daniel Nāhoʻopiʻi (Kānaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian), Executive Vice President, SMS Research
Jim Harenchar, President & CEO, Principal, Response Marketing Group

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Driving Increased Visitation Through Data Analysis

As more tourism products emerge, travelers have a greater number of destinations to choose from and vacation planners are overwhelmed with information. For your business to remain successful, you must be strategic in understanding your source markets and competition, and monitor your operations. And as a Native business, you must also be conscious of impacts to your communities and natural environment, while keeping true to your culture.

This session will explore what kinds of research are important to Native tourism businesses and also identify readily available sources of tourism research, including data you may already be collecting as well as data you can use to enhance your database. Finally, it will explore the best metrics to tell your story to stakeholders and funders. The second half of the session will take a dive into applying research techniques to develop a deeper understanding of your customers’ behaviors and interests. You’ll explore the tools and technology that are available in the market today to help you gain a full picture of those interested in your destination. Additionally, you’ll learn how to deploy these insights to increase engagement with your prospect market and develop methodologies to measure success.  

Speakers: 

Jim Harenchar, President & CEO, Principal, Response Marketing Group

Jim is the President & CEO of Response Marketing Group, a consumer-data focused marketing agency in Richmond, Va.  As such, he is responsible for relationship development and account strategy at the independent agency, which offers data analytics, predictive modeling and multi-channel services. The agency serves a number of clients in the financial services, travel & tourism and insurance sectors.

With more than 30+ years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry, Jim is a  nationally recognized speaker at conferences and events such as Forrester Marketing Conference, Direct Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America and the Southeast Tourism Society. Jim is considered a thought-leader on the value of data insights married to relevant messaging to the target audience.

Jim leads the Strategic practice for RMG, which includes clients such as Arkansas Tourism, Georgia Tourism, Visit Jacksonville, AIG Insurance, The Ritz Carlton and Marriott International among others. Prior to Response Marketing Group, Jim was Senior Vice President at The Allant Group in Chicago, IL from 2010-2014.  From 1999-2010, Jim was an agency partner in RightMinds – a strategic consultancy in Richmond, VA serving national brands and emerging growth brands.

Daniel Nāhoʻopiʻi (Kānaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian), Executive Vice President SMS Research

Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i brings more than 25 years of experience in marketing research and evaluation to his responsibilities as Executive Vice President of SMS Research & Marketing Services. For the past decade Daniel was Director of Tourism Research at the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Daniel is also the Past President and Chair of the International Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), which is a leader for the global community of practitioners and educators engaged in research, information management, and marketing in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

Daniel is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Northwestern University, and obtained an M.B.A. from the University of Hawai‘i. He was also selected as one of the Top Forty Under 40 by Pacific Business News, named a Pacific Century Fellow, and he received a certificate from the First Nations’ Futures Institute at Stanford University. He is also a ho‘opa‘a in Hālau Nā Kamalei O Līlīleihua, completing his traditional ʻūniki rites with Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero.

 

Session 1B: Voices of Our Youth – Generational Impacts of Cultural Tourism
Bobbie Bigby, (Cherokee Nation), PhD Student
Jordan Dresser (Northern Arapaho Tribe), Chairman, Northern Arapaho Business Council

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Voices of Our Youth–Generational Impacts of Cultural Heritage Tourism

This session will address the impacts of cultural tourism on Indian Country from the perspectives of two AIANTA scholars, Jordan Dresser and Bobbie Chew Bigby. Jordan is the Chairman of the Northern Arapaho Business Council on the Wind River reservation. With a Master’s degree in Museum Studies and as a filmmaker, Jordan is an advocate for tourism in Indian Country and the positive impacts it can deliver. Bobbie is a Cherokee Nation citizen and PhD student focused on understanding Indigenous-led cultural tourism in her home of Oklahoma, as well as abroad in Aboriginal Australia. Bobbie believes in the potential of tourism for strengthening ties to traditional culture, language and connection to lands and waters. By drawing on their work and study experiences, both Jordan and Bobbie will share their insights and observations in the ways that tourism can empower our youth, communities and cultures. They will also highlight the importance of the AIANTA scholarship in helping them support tourism development.

Speakers

Bobbie Bigby (Cherokee Nation), PhD Student

Bobbie Chew Bigby is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and a member of the Cherokee Nation. She is currently a PhD Fellow focused on comparative Indigenous cultural tourism in Aboriginal Australia and Oklahoma Indian Country. Bobbie holds a BA degree in Chinese Language and Anthropology, as well as a MS degree in Arts/Culture Administration. As a former AIANTA Scholar (2018). Bobbie is interested in understanding how Indigenous-led tourism can support cultural resurgence and environmental justice. Her research has taken her to Aboriginal Australia, Burma, Cambodia, China and India where she has partnered with Indigenous communities in understanding and supporting tourism.

Jordan Dresser (Northern Arapaho Tribe), Chairman, Northern Arapaho Business Council

​Jordan Dresser is a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe located on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Master of Arts degree in museum studies from the University of San Francisco. Dresser currently serves as the Chairman of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. He is also a filmmaker and his latest film, The Art of Home: a Wind River Story aired on PBS stations and was nominated for an Emmy.

 

Session 1C: Tourism Development on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Ivan Sorbel (Oglala Sioux), Executive Director, Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce

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Tourism Development on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
The Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce (PRACC), located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, has been involved with tourism development for more than two decades. As South Dakota’s second-largest industry, tourism has been identified by PRACC as an economic driver for the reservation. Most recently, PRACC in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has developed a new visitor attraction, the Oglala Lakota Living History Village. Located at the gateway to Pine Ridge, in a high-volume visitor traffic area, the attraction will assist the Oglala Lakota people in sharing the Lakota culture.

Ivan Sorbel (Oglala Sioux), Executive Director, Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce

Ivan Sorbel, the Executive Director of the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce (PRACC), has been with the chamber since October 2001 shortly after its inception. Ivan was born and raised in South Dakota. As the son of a BIA employee, he has lived on many different reservations in South Dakota and Nebraska. Ivan attended college at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, WY. He later transferred to Chadron State College in Chadron, NE and obtained a BA degree in Criminal Justice. After college he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served for five and half years. While in the Corps he married and began a family. Shortly after his discharge he and his wife moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation to raise their children.

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Luncheon & General Session
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Elder Blessing/Prayer
Pam Mott, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Tribal Member

Video Greeting
Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i)

Keynote Speech: Managing Hawai’i Tourism in a Sustainable Manner
John De Fries (Kānaka Maoli), President & CEO, Hawai’i Tourism Authority
(remote presentation)
In January 2020, Hawai’i Tourism Authority adopted a new strategic plan, the first ever produced in ōlelo, the Hawaiian language, that encompasses four pillars: 1) Natural Resources; 2) Hawaiian Culture; 3) Community; and 4) Brand Marketing. Within the plan, HTA is working to ensure Native communities and their indigenous ways of knowing are not forgotten. “We have arrived at a crossroads where we must work to ensure that Native Hawaiians are leading Hawaii’s tourism recovery and reimagination,” said De Fries in a press release. The strategic plan is predicated on ancestral wisdom and utilizes modern technology to create a regenerative tourism model that will empower Native Hawaiians and all peoples of Hawaii to prosper and thrive.

2 – 3:15 p.m.
AIANTA Town Hall / Information Gathering Session

In AIANTA’s first Town Hall of 2022, AITC attendees will have the chance to introduce themselves and discuss their challenges and their successes of the previous year. AIANTA will also introduce it’s brand new Economic Impact of Indigenous Tourism research, the first-ever research to break down American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-owned hospitality businesses in the U.S. and their economic impact.

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Snack & Chat with Exhibitors
3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
AIANTA Regional Meetings

AIANTA is excited to announce its new regional map, with expanded Native representation across the country. Join members of the AIANTA Board of Directors and nearby colleagues to discuss issues and challenges facing your region. Input gathered at these sessions will help AIANTA advise decision makers in supporting tribal tourism development and growth, and determine how to best deliver training and other resources.

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Northern Alaska
Southeast Alaska
Hawai’i
Central California
Southern California
Northwest (Idaho, Washington)
Pacific Northwest (Northern California, Oregon)
Great Basin (Nevada, Eastern California)
Oklahoma
Rocky Mountain (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming)
Central Plains (Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio)
Midwest (Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin)
Southwest (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah)
Northeast (Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia)
Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, East Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Conference Check – In
7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
AIANTA Lounge Open

Sponsored by: Arizona Office of Tourism

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
7 – 8:30 a.m.
Networking Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 10 a.m.
Plenary Session

President & CEO Report
Emerson Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma), AIANTA Board President
Sherry L. Rupert, (Paiute/Washoe), AIANTA CEO

Board President Emerson Vallo and AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert present highlights of AIANTA’s activities during FY2021 and share ideas on how indigenous communities can join AIANTA in marketing Native tourism. Additionally, Emerson and Sherry will introduce AIANTA’s new regional representation map and the newest AIANTA Board members.

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Announcement
Dana Watts, CEO, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Keynote: Repurposing Tourism at Acoma in a Time of Uncertainty
Governor Brian D. Vallo, Pueblo of Acoma

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The same day the first case of COVID-19 was reported in New Mexico, the Pueblo of Acoma issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency. Three days later, the Pueblo implemented an Executive Order that called for the closure of all tribal businesses, including the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum which serves as the hub for tourism at Acoma.

The Pueblo’s large population of artisans who rely solely on sales of artwork to support their families, were especially impacted by the ceasing of tourism activity. Additionally, the Haak’u Museum also provides opportunities for intergenerational cultural exchange, language revitalization and programs for artistic expression, however, during the pandemic, the Pueblo realized a setback in its comprehensive initiative to preserve language and traditions.

Governor Vallo’s keynote will highlight the ways in which the Pueblo of Acoma, a tribal nation who has been engaged in tourism since 1907, has responded to the pandemic and how it is preparing for both its short and long-term future.

10 – 10:30 a.m.
Coffee Break with Exhibitors
10:30 a.m. – noon

Breakout Sessions “2”

Session 2A: Introduction to the New Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises Program at San Diego State University
Katherine Spilde, Professor and Endowed Chair, San Diego State University

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Introduction to the New Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises Program at San Diego State University

In this session, Professor Kate Spilde will provide an overview of San Diego State University’s new online certificate in Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises (CTTE). The new for-credit certificate, developed by the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, will bring together academic and industry experts who will provide tools for tribal tourism planners to develop strategies to sustain a balance between the tribal cultural environments, economic development, tourism promotion and recreational use. 

As part of the program, which begins in January 2022, students will learn global best practices in the effective organization, administration and supervision of tribal cultural sites, recreation and tourism agencies and leisure-related tribal businesses, including tourism agencies, tribal gaming and hospitality operations and sacred sites. The CTTE program will consist of two levels with each level including eight weeks of online instruction through SDSU Global Campus.

Dr. Katherine Spilde, Professor and Endowed Chair, San Diego State University

Dr. Kate Spilde is Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University and a leading authority on tribal economic development, hospitality and tourism. With a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and an MBA in entrepreneurial management, Kate has worked on public policy and tribal governance in several positions, including Policy Analyst for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, Director of Research at the National Indian Gaming Association, Sr. Research Associate at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Executive Director of the Center for California Native Nations at the University of California in Riverside (UCR). Kate has served as Endowed Chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University since 2008, where she designed and still teaches all five courses leading to the nation’s only Bachelor of Science degree in Tribal Casino Operations Management. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Kate has published more than 50 academic articles and has worked with tribal, state, federal and foreign governments on economic development and gaming for more than 20 years. 

Session 2B: Picture Perfect: How to Develop a Successful Photography Tour
Larry Burton, Professional Photographer’
Bruce Rettig, AIANTA Tribal Content Developer

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Picture Perfect: How to Develop a Successful Photography Tour

Amateur and professional photographers are always on the hunt for capturing vivid imagery. Area attractions, landscapes, wildlife and birdwatching are some of the most photographed spots for enthusiasts and pros alike. In this session, professional photographer Larry Burton uses his experience as a tour guide and photographer to show how tribes can develop and manage photography tours. Larry will provide examples of tours he has created on both tribal and non-tribal lands. Topics discussed will focus on attaining proper permits, approvals, protocols and how to scout an area. Bruce Rettig, AIANTA Tribal Content Developer, will then discuss how photography taken during tribally managed tours can be used in tourism marketing projects, including websites, brochures and social media. Bruce will discuss how the tribal perspective can influence the imagery, and how tribes can tell their story through these photographs while maintaining ownership of the images.

Speakers

Larry Burton, Professional Photographer

Carson City-based Larry Burton has been taking photographs of Nevada and the Eastern Sierras for 40 years. His education into the art of photography began in 1980 in the Owens Valley and continues to this day. He started his business “Outdoor Adventures” in 2008 guiding photographers to the scenic wonders of Nevada. He has completed photo inventories for Nevada Indian Territory & Lander County Tourism, as well as shooting events, landscapes & wildlife. He has also worked with the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority participating in tourism activities in three western states since 2009. For the last four years he has been an instructor/tour guide for the Action Camera Store in Reno Nevada. He is also a certified photography instructor with the Nevada Arts Council. His photographs have been published in Nevada Magazine, Wells Ruralite, Audubon Magazine & Ducks Unlimited.

Bruce Rettig, AIANTA Tribal Content Developer

Bruce Rettig, AIANTA’s Tribal Content Developer, is an award-winning author, charged with scoping out exciting tribal tourism opportunities throughout the United States. His published works and biography can be found at BruceRettig.com. As a founding member of Tahoe Writers Works, he served ten years as publisher of their literary journal, EDGE.

Bruce served as president of Charter Advertising/Design, Inc. for more than thirty-two years. During that time, his duties included copywriting for brochures, magazine ads and websites. Most of his projects featured his photography. With a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado, and an emphasis in photography, he has captured strong images for his clients. He has worked with the Duck Valley Shoshone Paiute Tribe, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Ely Shoshone Tribe, Washoe Tribe of California & Nevada, Stewart Indian School, the Nevada Indian Commission and Nevada’s Indian Territory.

 

Session 2C: The Benefits of Byways: Economic Opportunities through the National Scenic Byways Program
Mark Falzone, President, Scenic America
Nicole Boyd, Planning Administrator, Red Cliff Band of Lake  Superior Chippewa

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The Benefits of Byways: Economic Opportunities through the National Scenic Byways Program

Scenic Byways are back and in this session you’ll learn how tribes can take advantage of their benefits. In 2019, Congress passed the Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act, reopening national designations for the first time in 12 years, and also restoring funding to the National Scenic Byways Program for the first time in nine years. Join Mark Falzone, President of Scenic America, and Nicole Boyd, Planning Administrator, for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in discussing how tribes can pursue scenic byway designations, explore funding opportunities for designated byways, and utilize scenic byways as part of their general tourism development plan. 

Speakers:

Mark Falzone, President, Scenic America

As president of Scenic America, Mark Falzone led advocacy efforts to enact legislation to revive the National Scenic Byways Program and to secure its funding. Prior to joining Scenic America, he worked at the National Immigration Forum and was an elected member of the House of Representatives in Massachusetts.

 

Nicole Boyd, Planning Administrator, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Nicole Boyd serves as the tribal representative on the WI National Lake Superior Scenic Byway Council on behalf of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Red Cliff and twelve other non-tribal municipalities comprise the Byway in the northernmost point of Wisconsin along the stunning shores of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Nicole is excited to share the economic benefits the Byway has brought to their world-class destination and tribal community. www.lakesuperiorbyway.org

noon – 1:45 p.m.
Luncheon & General Session

Elder Blessing/Prayer
Calvin “Roddy” Pilcher, Senior, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Tribal Member

Video Greeting
Jacky Rosen, Senator (D-Nevada)
Peter Dodge, Manager, Public Policy & Public Affairs, Brand USA

Into America’s Wild
Courtesy of Brand USA
View the trailblazing film that explores America’s Wild Places in the company of Native American astronaut, John B. Herrington (Chickasaw Nation) and Alaskan bush pilot and youth advocate Ariel Tweto (Inupiat).

2 – 3:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions “3”

Session 3A:Harnessing the Power of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for Telling Your Tribal Stories
Rick MacLeod Farley, Principal Consultant, Macleod Farley & Associates
Hweqwid Hanford McCloud (Nisqually Nation), Tribal Council Chair, Nisqually Nation

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Harnessing the Power of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for Telling Your Tribal Stories

In this session, Rick MacLeod Farley will share clear, practical and useful examples of successful tribal park initiatives, and will speak to the benefits for your tribe, state and national parks and park guests. Hweqwid Hanford McCloud will then dive into the progress his Nisqually Indian Tribe is making working with parks to develop outdoor recreation and attractions within their Nisqually watershed “from summit to sea”. The Tribe has helped secure $3.9M thus far for Nisqually State Park and is purchasing land near the state park and Mount Rainier National Park. They are working on a new “One Peoples Visitor Center and Outdoor Learning Centre,” which will intertwine with the ongoing Canoe Journeys, Medicine Springs, Brighton Creek Healing Centre and Braget Farm community cultural center. A new Billy Frank Jr. Statue will be unveiled soon, strengthening Nisqually efforts to tell their own stories. Hweqwid and Rick will then wrap up with a focus on how you and your tribe can become more involved in owning, operating or partnering with parks and outdoor recreation in your territory.

Speakers

Rick MacLeod Farley, Principal Consultant, Macleod Farley & Associates

Rick MacLeod Farley (MacLeod Farley & Associates) has thirty years experience working with tribes on tourism and community economic development, with $54M funding secured for clients in the U.S. (Akwesasne, Nisqually Tribe, Scammon Bay in Alaska) and across Canada (including Anishinabeg, Chippewa, Cree, Dene, Mi’kmaq, Ojibwe and Potawatomi). Rick has presented at three AIANTA conferences, and for other organizations including the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (Adventure Travel World Summit).

Hweqwid Hanford McCloud, 6th Tribal Council Chair, Nisqually Nation

Hweqwid Hanford McCloud holds the 6th Tribal Council Chair for the Nisqually Nation. Born and raised in Nisqually, he has worked for the Tribe all his life, holding various positions. His love for the culture and traditions of the Tribe drives him to create new opportunities for tribal citizens. Previously, as the canoe coordinator, he was responsible for putting together the Tribe’s most successful Canoe Journey. 

He attributes growing up on the reservation as a great learning experience, teaching him about tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and knowing treaty rights as a hunter, diver and fisherman. When not working, he can be found outdoors in the woods, on the river and in a canoe on the Salish Sea.

He is also an artist, specializing in weaving the baskets and the hats his people have made for thousands of years. He comes from a basket weaving family as his great grandmother was also a weaver among many things she did. At the age of 12 his mother taught him how to take care of the trees while gathering bark from them, and using the bark to weave baskets. He also grew up making paddles and carving small things out of cedar wood and yellow cedar wood. 

Session 3B: How to Work with Your State Tourism Office
Suzette Brewer (Cherokee Nation), Executive Director, Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW)
Sarah Leonard, President & CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association
Dawn Melvin (Navajo/Hopi), Tribal Tourism Relationship Manager, Arizona Office of Tourism

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How to Work with Your State Tourism Office
For indigenous travel destinations, the marketing hurdles can often seem endless. What are the best steps to most effectively market your destination? Local convention and visitors bureaus and state tourism offices can help, but how do you ensure they present your information in an authentic, respectful manner? In this session. Sarah Leonard, President & CEO of the Alaska Tourism Industry Association, Dawn Melvin (Navajo/Hopi), Tribal Tourism Relationship Manager of the Arizona Office of Tourism and Suzette Brewer, Executive Director of Native American Tourism of Wisconsin, discuss successes in indigenous marketing and how indigenous destinations can work with their state tourism office.

Suzette Brewer (Cherokee Nation), Executive Director, Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW)

Suzette Brewer is the Executive Director of Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW), an inter-tribal consortium that was launched as a statewide initiative in 1994, where she works closely with the tribal leaders of the 11 sovereign nations located in Wisconsin. In partnership with the state’s tribes, Travel Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC), Suzette works to develop, market and promote the state’s Native American tourism initiatives in a manner that is respectful of culture, values and traditions.

She previously served as public affairs officer for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and as communications director for the National Indian Gaming Association and the American Indian College Fund.

Previously, Suzette worked as a journalist and has written extensively on federal Indian law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, environmental issues on reservations, the opioid crisis in Indian Country and violence against Native women and children.

She is the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Grand Prize for the documentary A Broken Trust. She is also a 2018 John Jay/Tow Juvenile Justice Reporting Fellow for reporting on juvenile justice in Indian Country and has also received the Richard LaCourse-Gannett Foundation Al Neuharth Investigative Journalism Award for her work on the Indian Child Welfare Act. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is from Stilwell, Oklahoma.

Sarah Leonard, President & CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association

Sarah Leonard is the President & CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA)– the leading statewide membership trade association for the travel industry in Alaska. Sarah has led ATIA for nine years and has been a leader in promoting Alaska’s wildlife, cultural and natural resources for more than twenty years in Alaska. She was a founding member of the Adventure Green Alaska program – Alaska’s only tourism certification program for sustainability. Sarah has a Master’s of Science degree in recreation management and tourism from Arizona State University, where she grew her enthusiasm for promoting the benefits of the outdoors and tourism experiences through her work with Arizona State Parks. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Journalism with a special emphasis in public relations, and remains a steadfast Packer fan. She lives in Anchorage with her husband Chris and 16-year old son Jacob and dog Kumu (koo moo).

Dawn Melvin (Navajo/Hopi), Tribal Tourism Relations Manager, Arizona Office of Tourism

Dawn Melvin has been the Tribal Tourism Relations Manager for the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) since March 2004 and is the AOT’s primary contact for all matters relating to AOT’s work with Indian Nations and Tribes.  She leads the agency’s efforts to enhance, cultivate and grow tourism development and marketing programs for American Indian communities throughout Arizona.

Serving as the agency’s Tribal liaison, she collaborates with tribal tourism leaders to promote tribal tourism attractions in domestic and international visitor markets.

Dawn is involved with several industry-related organizations including the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association (AAITA) and the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA). She is a member of Valley Leadership, Class XXIV and is a recipient of the 2018 Arizona American Indian Excellency in Leadership Woman of the Year award from the Phoenix Indian Center, the 2015 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award presented by the Center for the Future of Arizona and the Excellence in Customer Service award presented by AIANTA.

Dawn is a citizen of the Navajo Nation born for the Coyote Pass Clan and is Hopi/Tewa from the Roadrunner Clan.

Session 3C: Tribal Arts Development
Ruth-Ann Thorn (Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians), Founder/ President, Exclusive Collections Gallery
Vicky Holt Takamine (Kanaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian), Executive Director, PA’I Foundation Art Gallery and Performing Arts Complex
Jay Rojas (Native Chamorro, Guam), Managing Director, PA’I Foundation

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Tribal Arts Development

This workshop is designed for tribal program planners on how to work with artists to promote tourism. Artists travel throughout the world and can serve as great ambassadors for tourism. Presenters will share how they built their tribal arts programs, from trademarks to cooperatives, galleries and art markets to website directories and public arts programs.

Speakers

Jay Rojas (Native Chamorro, Guam), Managing Director, PA’I Foundation

Jay Rojas is a Native Chamorro (Guam) and serves as the Managing Director for PA’I Foundation. He joined PA’I in March of 2019 after serving his term as the Chief Executive Officer/Administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority and Economic Policy Advisor to the Governor of Guam. He has a background in local, state, and federal policy and project management combined with over 20 years of experience in the private sector in government relations, technology, finance, and human capital.

Internationally, Jay has represented Guam as a delegate to the United Nations Small Island Developing States (2014) presented to the Fourth Committee of the UN and served on the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations for the Pacific Community (SPC) from 2014-2018, Jay has worked with Indigenous peoples from throughout the Asia and the Pacific including Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. Jay is a graduate of Boston University with a degree in French & Continental European Literature.

Vicky Holt Takamine (Kanaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian), Executive Director, PAʻI Foundation

Vicky Holt Takamine is a renowned kumu hula (master teacher of Hawaiian dance). She is recognized as a native Hawaiian leader for role as an advocate for social justice issues, the protection of Native Hawaiian rights and the natural and cultural resources of Hawai‘i. In 1975, Vicky ʻūniki (graduated through the rituals of hula) as a kumu hula from hula master Maiki Aiu Lake. Vicky established her own hālau, Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima, (school of Hawaiian dance) in 1977. Vicky earned her BA & MA in dance ethnology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. In addition to teaching at her own school, Vicky was a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and Leeward Community College for more than 35 years.
In 2001, Vicky established a non-profit organization, PA’I Foundation, to serve the needs of her Hawaiian community and those who make Hawai’i their home. Vicky serves as the executive director of PA’I. Under her leadership, PA’I is partnering with First Peoples Fund, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Alternate Roots and Sipp Culture to develop leadership and networking opportunities for artists through the Intercultural Leadership Institute.

Ruth-Ann Thorn (Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians), Founder/ President, Exclusive Collections Gallery

Ruth-Ann Thorn is an enrolled tribal member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians and a global art dealer with more than three decades of experience in multiple facets of the fine art industry.

In 1995 she founded Exclusive Collections Galleries as a resource for private collectors, institutions, and corporations. EC galleries expanded over 26 years to locations in San Diego, Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, Caesars forum shops, Las Vegas, NV and Breckenridge, CO. In 2000 she founded Crown Thorn Publishing-artists management. A full service company to assist artists with PR, sales and marketing, curation and exhibition planning. Her consulting company EC Art services curates art for hotel expansion, government centers, health care facilities, casinos and all spaces requiring art with sensitivity to cultural relevance. Ruth-Ann is a documentary film maker and host of Art of the City  featuring Native Artists. Her show airs on GlewedTV and FNX (First Nations Experience). She is Editor-in-Chief of Off the Easel Magazine and a contributing writer for Art World News. Ruth-Ann serves as Chair of the Rincon Economic development corporation, is a member of the art advisory board for the Rincon Tribe and is a member of The Associated of Women Art Dealers (AWAD).

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Snack & Chat with Exhibitors

Sponsor: Coeur d’ Alene Casino Resort

3:45 – 5 p.m.

Breakout Sessions “4”

Session 4A: USDA Rural Development-Programs to Help Finance Tribal Tourism Projects
Tedd Buelow, Tribal Coordinator, USDA

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USDA Rural Development-Programs to Help Finance Tribal Tourism Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a wide range of programs that can help tribal communities develop and improve housing, infrastructure and economic development throughout rural America. In this virtual session, USDA Tribal Coordinator Tedd Buelow provides an overview of a few select programs that can help tribes and tribal members develop and implement tourism projects both on and off tribal lands.

Tedd Buelow, Tribal Coordinator, USDA

Tedd Buelow is the Native American Coordinator for USDA Rural Development. In this role he works to increase access to RD’s programs for tribes, tribal members and organizations focused on improving the quality of life and economic opportunities throughout Indian Country and Alaska. In between stints at USDA, Tedd worked for the CDFI Fund on the Native American Program team. Prior to that he worked for USDA RD’s Community Development Programs as a desk officer for the NW region. Tedd began his federal career as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in the Eastern High Atlas National Park in Morocco.

Session 4B: Building Partnerships Along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Dan Wiley, Senior Manager, Integrated Resources Stewardship, L&C, NPS
Larry Calhoun, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Bruce Rettig, Tribal Content Developer, AIANTA
Lorraine Gala Lewis (Laguna/Taos/Hopi), Research and Outreach Specialist, AIANTA

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Building Partnerships Along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

As we look forward to the future of tourism, research suggests travelers will likely seek out less travelled destinations that are free from crowds, perceived to be safe, and that are known to be clean, green, and pristine. Small group and private travel experiences are going to become more popular, and travelers will demand tourism destinations and enterprises adhere to more rigorous health, hygiene, and sanitation standards. Sustainability has also emerged as a crucial aspect of destination tourism. The National Park Service has increasingly, worked to offset the overburden of visitor activities on destinations, while at the same time, making parks more accessible to diverse visitors and allowing them to thrive. Creating a ‘regenerative’ approach to current and post epidemic for modern tourism, while also generating a positive environmental and social impact, on all involved. During this session, Dan Wiley and Larry Calhoun will discuss steps the Trail has taken to work with local communities in building sustainable tourism programs.

Speakers

Dan Wiley, Senior Manager, Integrated Resources Stewardship, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service

Dan Wiley is the Senior Leader Integrated Resources Stewardship with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Wildlife Management with graduate work in Plant and Animal Ecology. Dan taught Alternative Energy at the college level, was a private landscaping/habitat consultant, before working up through Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts ranks to General Manager. Dan has 20 + years with the National Park Service.

Larry Calhoun, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service

Larry Calhoun is a leadership / management expert, who is known for delivering high-energy to all projects he is involved with. As a decorated combat veteran, Larry brings unique perspectives gained from his experience to The National Park Service. He seeks to empower the NPS and partners along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to unleash the untapped potential of their projects. Using real-world examples, he demonstrates how the talent each person / organization brings to the table can positively impact the mission.

He holds two bachelor’s degrees, the first from the University of Virginia in Political Science and the second from Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering. He also has an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a master’s degree in Outdoor Recreation from Liberty University. His service with the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Interior has been recognized with numerous awards and decorations.

He comes from a family of entrepreneurs that has launched several successful businesses that continue to grow. This deep knowledge and experience, combined with his military and civilian service, enables him to “speak the language” of both public and private partners, thereby creating clear communication that results in success.

Bruce Rettig, Tribal Content Developer, AIANTA

Bruce, AIANTA’s Tribal Content Developer, is an award-winning author, charged with scoping out exciting tribal tourism opportunities throughout the United States. As a founding member of Tahoe Writers Works, he served ten years as publisher of their literary journal, EDGE.

Bruce served as president of Charter Advertising/Design, Inc. for more than thirty-two years. During that time, his duties included copy writing for brochures, magazine ads and websites. Most of his projects featured his photography. With a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado, and an emphasis in photography, he has captured strong images for his clients. He has worked with the Duck Valley Shoshone Paiute Tribe, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Ely Shoshone Tribe, Washoe Tribe of California & Nevada, Stewart Indian School, the Nevada Indian Commission and Nevada’s Indian Territory. His published works and biography can be found at BruceRettig.com.

Lorraine Gala Lewis (Laguna/Taos/Hopi), Research and Outreach Specialist, AIANTA

Lorraine Gala Lewis (Laguna/Taos/Hopi) is the Outreach/Research Specialist for AIANTA’s Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail project. Lorraine is a member of Laguna/Taos/Hopi. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and the College of Santa Fe.

“Supporting Indigenous Arts and Culture is my livelihood. I’ve been working with clay since high school and have established a professional art career over the years.” An award-winning artist and a 2021 recipient of the First People’s Fund’s Jennifer Easton Award, Lorraine has worked extensively with local and national museums, collections, foundations, and art programs. She has volunteered for many art organizations and enjoys working with and mentoring the youth. Her professional experience includes economic development having worked for the U.S. Small Business Administration, tribal government, and native organizations. Higher education has been a vital part of her life. Having worked for the Santa Fe Indian School, she saw the value and impact of a strong foundation for the future of young native students. She currently serves on the Institute of American Indian Arts Foundation Board and is active with student Scholarship Fundraising efforts as well as higher education.

Session 4C: Healing Tribal Tourism
James Klas, Founder and Principal, KlasRobinson Q.E.D., Inc.
Matthew Robinson, Founder and Principal, KlasRobinson Q.E.D., Inc.

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Healing Tribal Tourism

Indian Country is in recovery mode after the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis. The tourism sector had perhaps the most severe downturn of all. As the tribal tourism industry continues to recover and begins to look ahead, when will the industry get back to where it was before, what will be different and how will it grow? Get the latest updates on performance indicators and predictions for 2022.

Speakers

James Klas, Founder and Principal, KlasRobinson Q.E.D., INC.

​James Klas has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. For more than 30 years, he has provided consulting services to some 250 tribes and first nations throughout the U.S. and Canada on tourism and economic development projects. He has a Master’s degree from the Cornell Hotel School and has taught hospitality and tourism marketing at Metropolitan State University.

Matthew Robinson, Founder and Principal, KlasRobinson Q.E.D., Inc.

Matt Robinson has been a consultant in Indian Country for almost 30 years, working with more than 250 different tribes – specializing in market research, feasibility analyses and economic impact studies. He has a Master’s degree in Planning with a secondary concentration in economic and community development from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. While at the Humphrey Institute, Mr. Robinson conducted research at the Tourism Center of the University of Minnesota, specializing in rural tourism development.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
8 a.m. – noon
Conference Check-in
8 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
AIANTA Lounge Open

Sponsor: Arizona Office of Tourism

7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Networking Continental Breakfast

Sponsor: Paragon Casino Resort

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions “5”

Session 5A: Sustainable Tourism: What it Is and How it Can Work for You
Dr. Kathleen Andereck, Professor,  Arizona State University
Ben Rupert, Warrior’s Path Native Tours

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Sustainable Tourism: What it Is and How it Can Work for You

This session will focus on the basic concepts of sustainable tourism and how it can be a contributor to a sustainable community. The presenters, Dr. Kathleen Andereck and Ben Rupert will include an overview of what sustainable tourism really is and present examples of how some indigenous communities have implemented successful sustainable tourism projects.

Dr. Kathleen Andereck, Former Director & Professor, Arizona State University

Dr. Kathleen Andereck is the Former Director of the Hainan University-Arizona State University International Tourism College and a Professor in the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU. Kathleen is also a Senior Sustainability Scientist with the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability. Her research and teaching focuses on the tourism experience from the perspective of both visitors and residents particularly as it applies to sustainable community tourism development. Some of her specific areas of interest include tourism and quality of life, residents’ attitudes toward tourism, volunteer tourism and visitors in outdoor recreation settings. She has conducted recreation and tourism research work with a diversity of organizations and agencies at the federal and state levels, as well as the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, the Colorado River Indian Tribes and the Hualapai Tribe.

Ben Rupert, Warrior’s Path Native Tours

Ben Rupert (Duck Valley Shoshone Paiute and Washoe) is a Native American dancer and traditional artist and has been a cultural presenter for more than thirty-five years. He is currently building his sustainable tourism business, Warrior’s Path Native Tours, which promotes the culture of the Great Basin Native American tribes (the Washoe, Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute and Western Shoshone people). Warrior’s Path Native Tours takes people on a spiritual journey of the Great Basin through preparing traditional foods, building shelter, traditional art demonstrations, hunting and fishing techniques and traditional dance demonstrations. The programs visit sacred and iconic sites throughout the Great Basin territory, including Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, Jarbidge Wilderness and the Great Basin National Park.

Ben earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Oregon State University and as he builds his sustainable tourism business, he is currently pursuing a Masters of Advance Study in Sustainable Tourism at Arizona State University. Ben recently retired as a professional firefighter for the City of Reno Fire Department after having served with the fire service for more than thirty-three years. He is also an Army veteran. He is married and has three children.

Session 5B: Pricing Your Product for the Travel Trade
Camille Ferguson (Tlingit), Economic Development Director, Sitka Tribe of Alaska
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Pricing Your Product for the Travel Trade

Whether you have worked with the travel trade for years or are just starting your journey, partnering with members of the travel trade can be an intimidating experience. In this session, Camille Ferguson, Economic Development Director of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, will introduce why it is important to work with the travel trade and how to create an itinerary that works for your destination or experience. She’ll also share tips on creating the perfect itinerary, including matching your product to a variety of audience types and competitively pricing those components for economic success.

Speaker

Camille L. Ferguson (Tlingit), Economic Development Director, Sitka Tribe of Alaska

Camille L. Ferguson is the Economic Development Director for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska where she is responsible for developing new projects as well as overseeing the Tribes’ tourism program, gaming operations, the Tribal tannery and the Community House Convention Facility.

Previously, she served as Executive Director of AIANTA for more than six years. Under her direction, AIANTA expanded its international marketing and outreach program and also grew its training programs; improved its public outreach program, broadened its public lands partnership program and was instrumental in gaining support for the passage of the NATIVE Act along with the advocacy needed to support the appropriation to implement the unfunded mandate. Her work as executive director for AIANTA was completed with the signing of the MOU with the Department of Interior and securing a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Ferguson, a citizen of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and a member of the Kiksadi Clan continues to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Transportation Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) and was recently elected to the U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors, only the second-ever Native American to serve on that board. Her three-year period will run through 2021. During her term, she plans to augment her work with elected officials in advocating for the importance of including tribal tourism in the national tourism message.

Session 5C: Expanding Cultural Tourism Programming Through Local and Federal Partnerships
Toby Bloom, Director of Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness, SW Region 3, USDA Forest Service
Stacia Morfin, CEO, Nez Perce Tourism

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Expanding Cultural Tourism Programming Through Local and Federal Partnerships

In this session, you’ll learn how to use partnerships and alliances to expand your cultural tourism marketing. Toby Bloom, USDA Forest Service Program Manager for Travel, Tourism, and Interpretation, joins the session remotely to share how tribes and tribal communities can tap into federal partnerships through NATIVE Act funding. Additionally, Stacia Morfin, citizen of Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) Nation and Founder of Nez Perce Tourism will share how she promotes the preservation of land, language and identity through cultural tourism and how she worked with local artisans to build a successful online artisan market during COVID-19.

​Speakers

Toby Bloom, Director of Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness, SW Region 3, USDA Forest Service

Toby Bloom is the Forest Service National Program Manager for Tourism and Interpretation. Her portfolio includes the National Forest Explorer Mobile App; strengthening recreation economies in forest gateway communities; working with Tribes to promote authentic interpretation and responsible visitation to native heritage sites; innovative public lands and health partnerships; and working with Interpretive Associations to improve visitor experience on the National Forests. Toby believes in nature as a key aspect of a healthy life, and became a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide in January 2019. As a Program Specialist for the Forest Service International Programs, and before joining the Forest Service, she worked with local communities to develop ecotourism projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Toby started her career in interpretation as a tour guide through the US, Canada, and Mexico. Her master’s degree is in Sustainable International Development with a focus on ecotourism from Brandeis University.

Stacia Morfin, CEO, Nez Perce Tourism

Stacia Morfin started the woman- and Native-owned cultural tour company, Nez Perce Tourism, LLC, which shares the unique stories of the Nimiipuu people. She believes these stories of culture and traditions should be shared with accuracy and integrity while preserving the geoheritage of the area. From mountain tops to river beds, the overall goal for Nez Perce Tourism, LLC, is to imprint Nimiipuu legacy into the spirit of each individual guest by introducing the power of place.

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Coffee Break with Exhibitors
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions “6”

Session 6A: Reducing Traveler Impacts from Outdoor Recreation in Tribal Communities
Andrew Leary, National Outreach Manager, The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

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Reducing Traveler Impacts from Outdoor Recreation in Tribal Communities

Outdoor recreation is a driver for many visitors to tribal communities. This visitation, however, often brings many uninformed or careless actions that result in significant impacts to land, water, infrastructure and cultural heritage. In this workshop, attendees will formulate actionable solutions to these reaching travelers ahead of their visits. Attendees will also learn about a visitor education initiative from AIANTA and Leave No Trace aiming to answer the question, “What are Tribal Lands?” Finally, attendees will learn how to get involved with a 2022 pilot program to further educate visitors about responsible visitation and recreation to tribal communities.

Andrew Leary, National Outreach Manager, The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Andrew Leary is the National Outreach Manager at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in Boulder, Colorado. Andrew designs outdoor stewardship education initiatives for the tourism industry. Andrew brings a perspective from his 15+ year career working in the education, adventure guiding industry and outdoor retail industry.

Session 6B: Understanding the International Visitor Market
David Huether, Deputy Director of Research, Department of Commerce

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Understanding the International Visitor Market

More than 1.75 million overseas travelers reported visiting an Indian Country community in 2019 and those numbers are expected to grow once international travel returns to its pre-pandemic levels. These overseas travelers are an important demographic for tribal tourism enterprises as they tend to stay longer, spend more and have a higher household income as compared to all overseas visitors. In this session, Dave Huether of the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) breaks down who these visitors are, where they are coming from and what they like to see and do when visiting the U.S.

David Huether, Deputy Director of Research, Department of Commerce

Dave Huether is the Deputy Director of Research at the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), which is within the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he oversees the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistics on international travel to and from the United States. Before joining the NTTO in 2020, Dave served as Senior Vice President for Research at the U.S. Travel Association, where he led the organization’s efforts related to economic impact, market research and advocacy efforts in support of the travel and tourism industry. Previously, he was the Chief Economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, where he served as the organization’s economic forecaster as well as principal spokesman on economic matters important to America’s industrial base. David has also worked at the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He received his bachelor’s degree from Guilford College and his master’s degree in economics from the George Washington University.

Session 6C: Building Group Business Through Cultural Tourism Programming
Leanne Campbell, Cultural Tourism Coordinator, Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort & 

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Building Group Business Through Cultural Tourism Programming

​In this session, Coeur d’Alene Tribal citizen Leanne Campbell will present information on how the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel has successfully increased group business by developing a cultural tourism program featuring activities like the Last Battle Tour, Majestic Encounters Eagle Aviary Tour, and a variety of participatory art events. The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, which was awarded the 2019-2020 AIANTA Tribal Destination of the Year Award, works closely with the Tribe to share the history, lifeways, language, traditional arts, song and dance and storytelling of the Coeur d’Alene people. Attendees at this session will learn how they can promote tribal heritage through cultural tourism, how to work with community partners to provide mutually beneficial opportunities and how to build an appreciation of local areas and cultures.

Leanne Campbell, Cultural Tourism Coordinator, Coeur d’Alene Resort Hotel

Leanne Campbell is an enrolled member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. She is knowledgeable about the tribal history, culture, language and traditions of her Tribe. Leanne earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Museum Studies with a minor in Studio Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

12:15 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Preview Luncheon & General Session

Sponsor: Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians

2 – 3:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions “7”

Session 7A: Native Heritage and Grand Canyon National Park; Tribes Lead in a New Management Model
Theresa McMullan, CEO, Grand Canyon Conservancy
Ed Keable, Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
Jan Balsom, Division Chief, Communications, Partnerships & External Affairs, Grand Canyon National Park
Mae Franklin (Navajo Nation) Tribal Citizen, Cameron Chapter Resident
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Native Heritage and Grand Canyon National Park: Tribes Lead in a New Management Model

Indigenous people have lived in and around the Grand Canyon since time immemorial, yet until recently their cultural heritage and history have been largely unknown by Grand Canyon National Park visitors. In this presentation, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable and Grand Canyon Conservancy CEO Theresa McMullen will lead the discussion to showcase the efforts underway to educate and inspire visitors to this World Heritage Site with new perspectives on Grand Canyon’s indigenous past, present and future. Opportunities for sustainable tourism and tribes’ economic development are at the heart of these efforts, requiring considerable commitment on the part of the Park and tribal partners. What began as re-envisioning the visitor experience at the Desert View Inter-tribal Cultural Heritage site, is expanding throughout the park in a comprehensive strategic plan to allow Native people to share their histories about the Grand Canyon as home. Join this session to learn about the park’s vision for inclusive planning and partnerships, incorporating first-voices and perspectives into all facets of park management.

Speakers

Ed Keable, Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
Edward T. Keable was appointed Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park in April of 2020. Working alongside more than 350 employees, Ed oversees all management aspects of the park, including planning and programming, public relations, administration, resource management, safety, interpretation, visitor services, law enforcement, wildland and structural fire, and facilities maintenance to name a few. Ed has been engaged in several projects related to increasing diversity among park staff, including working with local tribal communities on enhanced engagement, employment, economic opportunities and sustainability. Increasing tribal employee presence in the Park is one of Ed’s highest priorities, along with working with staff on first voice interpretation to highlight indigenous histories at Grand Canyon.

Before joining the National Park Service, Ed served as the Associate Solicitor of General Law in the Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior, in Washington, DC. He has held multiple Senior Executive Service positions in the Office of the Solicitor since 2003. His areas of legal practice included Federal procurement law, torts, intellectual property, personnel law, civil rights, labor law, information law (the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Records Act, e-discovery), appropriations law, administrative procedure, constitutional law, government ethics, and departmental management.

Jan Balsom, Division Chief, Communications, Partnerships & External Affairs, Grand Canyon National Park

Jan Balsom began her work at Grand Canyon National Park as a volunteer in 1981, becoming a seasonal employee in 1982, and serving as Park Archaeologist from May of 1984 until May of 1995. She then moved into the position of Chief of Cultural Resources until 2007, when she became the Deputy Chief of Science and Resource Management. In 2016, Jan became the senior adviser to the Superintendent of the Park, continuing her work on high profile stewardship issues and tribal programs. Jan has recently accepted the lead position for Communications, Partnerships and External Affairs at Grand Canyon. Jan received her Bachelor’s in anthropology from SUNY at Buffalo and her Master’s in anthropology from Arizona State University. Jan was the recipient of the 2011 National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director and National Park Service Director’s Award for Natural Resource Management. In addition to her work with the National Park Service, Jan serves as the federal representative to the Arizona State Historic Sites.

Theresa McMullan, CEO, Grand Canyon Conservancy
Theresa leads the Grand Canyon Conservancy’s diverse activities in raising private funds to benefit Grand Canyon National Park, growing earned income streams through operating retail stores within the park, and providing educational and adventure opportunities through the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute. Theresa joined Grand Canyon Conservancy as a board member in 2014 and transitioned to staff in June 2015. As the previous Chief Operating Officer for GCC, she provided oversight of retail operations, human resources, publishing, IT and facilities management. Through her leadership, retail sales increased 66% in four years. She also served as the acting chief financial officer for eight months in 2016. She has worked closely with the NPS staff at Grand Canyon to implement special projects related to major fundraising initiatives and has participated with the park’s Inter-tribal Working Group to further the visitor connection to the 11 associated American Indian tribes to Grand Canyon National Park. Prior to GCC, Theresa was the Vice President of Marketing & Merchandising for SkyMall (the company that produced the in-flight shopping catalog) in Phoenix, Arizona and the co-founder and president of a strategic marketing firm. Theresa is an avid hiker and enjoys exploring the Grand Canyon backcountry.

Mae Franklin (Navajo Nation) Tribal Citizen, Cameron Chapter Resident

Mae Franklin is one of the members of the Grand Canyon Inter-tribal Working Group. Mae has worked for both the US Forest Service and National Park Service, retiring as the tribal liaison for the Kaibab National Forest in 2015. She is currently involved in a number of programs in her community, including working on farming techniques on lands near her home.

Session 7B: Cultural Tourism and Youth Programming at the Alaska Native Heritage Center
Tara Bourdukofsky (Aleut Community of St. Paul Island), Cultural Heritage & Education Director, Alaska Native Heritage Center
Jamieann Bell (Ahtna Athabascan), Facility Sales and Cultural Tourism Manager, Alaska Native Heritage Center

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Cultural Tourism and Youth Programming at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Since opening its doors in 1999, Alaska Native Heritage Center has offered youth-centered programming from pre-K through post-secondary school. Youth programming at ANHC includes the Cultural Tourism Summer Internship Program, which provides employment to Alaska Native youth while connecting them to their cultural heritage. Through the program, interns learn from Master Artists, participate in subsistence activities, and gain valuable communication and public speaking skills as tour guide leads.  Also, in partnership with the Administrative of Native Americans, ANHC’s ILEAD program works with youth ages 14-24 to plan activities, design events, and host cultural community gatherings through Master Artist classes and paid apprenticeships.

Speakers

Tara Bourdukofsky (Aleut Community of St. Paul Island), Cultural Heritage & Education Director, Alaska Native Heritage Center

Tara Bourdukofsky is a St. Paul Island Unanga (Aleut) and Lakota (Sioux) and is the oldest of five children of Jason and Chauncina Bourdukofsky Sr. Her Unanga name is Tixlax Igaxtadax, given to her by her late paternal grandmother Mary Nicolia Bourdukofsky and the Very Rev Fr. Peter Bourdukofsky and it means, eagle that flies high. She is an enrolled tribal citizen of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island and a Tanadgusix Corporation and Aleut Corporation shareholder.

Born in San Francisco and raised in St. Paul Island and Anchorage, Alaska, Tara graduated from East High, attended the University of Hawai’i-Hilo on a volleyball scholarship, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Tara values education and is a lifelong learner; she earned a Master’s in Psychology from Alaska Pacific University. Her professional career spans 35 years in the non-profit sectors of education, health, human services, social services and cultural tourism and almost 20 years in Governance in the Alaska Native Corporation world as a board director.

Jamieann Bell (Ahtna Athabascan), Facility Sales and Cultural Tourism Manager, Alaska Native Heritage Center

Jamieann Bell is Ahtna Athabascan and an enrolled shareholder with Ahtna, Inc. in Glennallen, Alaska. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Jamieann attended East High School and furthered her education in Business and Culinary Arts at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She recently completed the AIANTA and the George Washington University Cultural Heritage Certificate Program in early 2021. In addition to her role of Facility Sales and Cultural Tourism Manager at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Jamieann is a small business owner of Arctic Moon Bakery, and an Honorary Commander with the United States Airforce at Joint Base Elmendorf – Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

Session 7C: How to Package Your Itinerary: A Step-by-Step Case Study
Richard Launder, President and CEO, Destination America (DA)
Anand Nachtajler, Travel Experience Developer, Destination America (DA)

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How to Package Your Itinerary: A Step-by-Step Case Study

In this session, Richard Launder, President & CEO and Anand Viera Nachtajler, Travel Experience Developer of Destination America (DA) will share insights on how Native destinations can work with international tour operators, including tips on the best experiences to include in your itineraries. Currently Destination America offers 40 experiences that engage with Native communities across the Americas, according to Richard. Let’s see if we can increase that number.

Speakers

Richard Launder, President and CEO, Destination America (DA)

Richard Launder is President and CEO of Destination America (DA), which is one of 40 travel companies within The Travel Corporation (TTC), one of the largest privately owned travel companies in the world. Richard has worked within TTC since 1983, when he joined as a very young bartender and later as a Travel Director. In more recent times he was President of Contiki Vacations in the USA for 12 years (1992-2003), President of Destination America for 4 years (1999-2003) and President of TTC USA for 14 years (2005-2018) prior to retaking his role at DA in mid-2018. Originally from New Zealand, Richard has lived in California since 1988. He has also served as a board member and active participant at USTOA for more than 30 years.

Anand Nachtajler, Travel Experience Developer, Destination America (DA)

Anand Nachtajler is originally from a small fishing village on the coast of Brazil. He moved to Northern California 20 years ago and studied Anthropology at California State University Sacramento. Gaining a deeper appreciation for culture, language, and archaeology, he guided several trips within the western states as the Travel Director for Trafalgar and Insight Vacations. In 2019, he joined the Travel Experiences Development team in Orange County, where he now manages the Latin American programs as well as some of Destination America’s trips through the Southwest region.

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Snack & Chat with Exhibitors
4 – 5 p.m.
The Heart Speaks (Closing Session)
6 – 7 p.m.
No-Host Happy Hour
7 – 10 p.m.
Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards

A Warm Thank You to Our Partners

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Bureau of Indian Affairs Logo

Native American Agriculture Fund

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

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Education & Training

Technical assistance and training is the heartbeat of our work at AIANTA. We provide general and tailored technical assistance, training and education in a variety of ways.

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International Outreach

AIANTA plays a critical role in supporting the National Travel and Tourism Strategy to bring more visitors to the United States, especially in our participation at trade shows internationally and domestically, to promote tourism in Indian Country.

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Membership

Through AIANTA membership, tribes, the tourism industry and other partners form a dynamic network of shared experiences, resources and support.

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