AITC 2019

21st Annual American Indian Tourism Conference

September 16-19, 2019 | Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa | Tulsa, Oklahoma

Thank you for joining us at our 21st Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC.)

We hope that you found the conference informative with plenty of networking opportnities. The primary goal of AITC is to to bring together Tribes, Native-owned enterrprises and other tourism professionals for a global educational forum. 

Speakers & Sessions

Below, find a list of the panels and breakout sessons for AITC 2019. Please note, items in red are downloadable links to copies of the presentations given. Or, click here to view the complete speaker class for AITC 2019.

Keynote Speeches

Keynote Luncheon
Tuesday, Sept. 17

How U.S. Travel Works to Elevate the Entire Travel Industry
Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association

How Indigenous Tourism is Reshaping Tourism in Canada
Keith Henry, President and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

Breakfast and General Session
Wednesday, Sept.  18

Empowering Tribal Nations to Build Sustainable Economies: The Role of Federal Policy
Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

Keynote Luncheon
Wednesday, Sept. 18

President’s Report/Director’s Report
Emerson Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma), Board President, AIANTA; Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe), President, AIANTA

Authentically Cultivating Cultural Tourism
Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Keynote Luncheon
Thursday, Sept. 19

Many Voices – Telling the Story of the USA Through Film
Nick Mattera, Brand USA; John Herrington (Chickasaw), Astronaut; Ariel Tweto (Inupiak), TV Personality & Producer

 

The Business of Art
Monday, Sept. 16, 2019

The Business of Art

Nina Alexander, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Department of the Interior

Alan Atkinson, Oklahoma Arts Council

Larry Burton, Photographer

Dorothy FireCloud (Sicangu Lakota Tribe), Montezuma Castle National Monument/Tuzigoot National Monument

Linley B. Logan (Seneca Nation of Indians), Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, Evergreen State College

George Rivera (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Artist and former Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque

Jarica Walsh (Osage Nation), Oklahoma Arts Council.

Block 1
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019
10:30 a.m.

Breaking Down the NATIVE Act

Chris Carroll, Oklahoma Humanities
Sherry L Rupert, AIANTA

 

Why Overseas Tourism Matters to Indian Country

Julie P. Heizer, National Travel and Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce

 

Building Tribal Arts Programs

George Rivera (Pueblo of Pojoaque), Artist and former Governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque

Linley B. Logan (Seneca Nation of Indians), Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, Evergreen State College

Nina Alexander, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Department of the Interior

 

Block 2
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019
1:05 p.m.

Public Lands Success Stories

Toby Bloom, US Forest Service

Erin McDaniel (Choctaw), Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Karen Wilde (Muscogee (Creek) Pawnee), Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

 

Driving Tourism Through Cultural Centers

Kate Anderson (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Marnie Leist, Shawnee Tribe Cultural Center

Shoshanna Wasserman (Thlopthlocco/Muscogee (Creek)), The American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

 

Partnering with RV Clubs to Attract Road Warriors

Shawn Loring, Escapees RV Club

Michael Ochs, RV Industry Association

 

Block 3
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019
2:15 p.m.

Shared Stewardship: Re-claim Your Narrative by Co-Managing Public Lands

Martin Begaye (Navajo Nation), Navajo Parks and Recreation Department

Lisa Gassman (Sitka Tribe of Alaska), Sitka Tribe of Alaska

 

Give a New Voice to Your Marketing through Storytelling

Kainoa Daines (Native Hawaiian), Hawai’i Visitors & Convention Bureau

Video: Hawaii Rooted: Transformation Through Tatoo
Video: Hawaii Rooted: Building a Hula Legacy

Sébastien Desnoyers-Picard (Huron-Wendat), Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Video: Wendake: The Power of Aboriginal Tourism

 

Geotourism Along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Daniel Wiley, Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, National Park Service

 

Block 4
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
10:30 a.m.

Beat the Odds: Casinos Exploring Cultural Narratives

Tracy Banfield, Tulalip Resort Casino (moderator)

Demetri B. Morris (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Legendary Waters Resort & Casino

Kayla Anderson, Isleta Resort & Casino

Jonelle Clark, Paragon.Resort

 

Digital Tools for 21st Century Marketing

Gail Chehak (Klamath Tribes), AIANTA

Jordan Crahan, Shank Marketing

Tony Hines, BHW1 Advertising

 

The Importance of Customer Service in Cultural Tourism Development

Camille L. Ferguson (Sitka Tribe of Alaska), Sitka Tribe of Alaska

Block 5
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
1:15 p.m.

Limiting Visitor Access

Jon D. Panamaroff (Native Village of Afognak), Kodiak Brown Bear Center

Stacey M. Simmons (Village of Afognak and Native Village of Port Lions), Kodiak Brown Bear Center

Greg Takehara, Tourism Cares

 

Protecting Tribal Sovereignty Through Contracts

Taiawagi Helton, University of Oklahoma College of Law.

 

The Asterisk Nation: The Importance of Data Collection

Kyle Dean, PhD, Oklahoma City University

Patti Krausert, Tulsa Convention & Visitors Burea

Paige Williams Shepherd, Chickasaw Nation

 

Block 6
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
2:30 p.m.

The Strategy of Familiarization Tours

Dawn Melvin (Navajo/Hopi/Tewa), Arizona Office of Tourism

 

Strategic Planning for Cultural Tourism:

Travis Owens (Cherokee Nation), Cherokee Nation Businesses

Anne Ketz, 106 Group

Penny Peters (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe), Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

 

Many Roads Lead to Tribal Tourism

LeRoy Gishi: Bureau of Indian Affairs

 

Block 7
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
4 p.m.

Tribal Agritourism Development

Janie Simms Hipp, J.D., LL.M. (Chickasaw), Native American Agriculture Fund

 

Six-Steps to Honing Your Tribal Tourism Skills

Seleni Matus, the George Washington University

Anna Barrera, the George Washington University

 

Got Press? How to Pitch Media Like a Pro

Levi R. Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), Native News Online

Whitney Dittman (Cherokee Nation), Cherokee Nation Businesses

 

Block 8
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019
9 a.m.

Welcome Centers on Tribal Lands

Gail Chehak (Klamath Tribes), AIANTA (moderator)

Linda K. Cooley (Yurok), Yurok Economic Development Corporation

Erin McDaniel (Choctaw), Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

 

A Native Approach to Sustainable Tourism

Loren Bird Rattler (Blackfeet), Blackfeet Nation

 

From Camping to Bison Viewing to Forest Therapy, Identifying Opportunities in the Recreation Economy

Toby Bloom, US Forest Service

Tedd C. Buelow, USDA Rural Development

Dr. Lee R. Denney, USDA Rural Development

 

Block 9
Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019
10:30 a.m.

Gold Key Tools for International Tourism Success

Chrystal Denys, U.S. Commercial Service (United Kingdom)

Luisa Salomoni, U.S. Commercial Service (Italy)

 

Itinerary Building

Crystal Holtz (Oneida Nation), Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Green Bay (moderator

Apache Danforth (Oneida Nation), Native American Tourism of Wisconsin

Donovan Hanley (Navajo), Navajo Nation.

 

Developing a Tribal National Park

Loren Bird Rattler (Blackfeet), Blackfeet Nation (moderator)

Martin Begaye (Navajo Nation), Navajo Parks and Recreation Department

Gabrielle R. VanBergen, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

 

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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