Destination Awards

Nominate your favorite tribal destination, business, enterprise and/or employee for AIANTA’s Destination Awards!

As the nationally recognized organization representing the tribal hospitality and tourism industry, AIANTA will once again honor the best of the Indian Country travel and tourism industry during its Annual Silent Auction and Awards Ceremony.

AIANTA members are encouraged to nominate tribal destinations, tribally and native owned businesses and enterprises and/or employees of tribally or native owned enterprises and businesses, who best exemplify the hospitality and tourism industry.

Winners of these prestigious national awards are selected by a panel of judges, all experts in the tourism industry. Nominees represent the standards for each award category, while also working to advance AIANTA’s mission to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

Any AIANTA member in good standing can be nominated for an award. In addition, AIANTA will recognize individuals that support tribal tourism and help to further our mission.

Categories include Tribal Destination of the Year, Excellence in Customer Service and Best Cultural Heritage Experience.

Included in full conference registration fee. Open to the public at $75 per ticket. Table sponsors available at $1000 per table of eight.

Enough Good People Individual Awards

“Through all the fits and starts, challenges and triumphs, we never doubted that good things would happen because there were, in every situation, enough good people to push or pull or argue us through to the next step.” Louis Adams, Salish

AIANTA, recognized as the national organization representing the tribal hospitality and tourism industry, has recognized individuals since 2013 that are working to raise awareness and create enthusiasm for AIANTA’s mission to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values. Nominees include:

  • Active professionals or volunteers devoted to sustainable tribal tourism development including tribal leaders, members of the public or private sector;
  • Partners that work with AIANTA and/or individual tribes to accomplish tourism projects to benefit Indian Country;
  • Individuals making a significant impact on tribal tourism; and/or,
  • Individuals and/or partners working to further AIANTA’s mission including tribal leaders, members of the public or private sectors, industry partners, native arts ambassadors and/or friends of AIANTA.

Past Award Winners

2017-2018

Tribal Destination of the Year
Talking Stick Resort, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Best Cultural Heritage Experience
Stewart Father’s Day Powwow

Excellence in Customer Service
Donovan Hanley, DETOURS Native America

2016-2017

Tribal Destination of the Year
Icy Strait Point, Huna Totem Corporation

Best Cultural Heritage Experience
Puye Cliff Dwellings, Pueblo of Santa Clara

Excellence in Customer Service
Tina Whitegeese, Pueblo of Pojoaque

2015-2016

Tribal Destination of the Year
Acoma Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum

Best Cultural Heritage Experience
Alaskan Dream Cruises

Excellence in Customer Service
Grand Canyon Skywalk: Monica Sedillo, Elroy Havaton, Rory Majenty, Hualapai Tribe

2014-2015

Tribal Destination of the Year
Chickasaw Country of Oklahoma

Best Cultural Heritage Experience
Alaska Native Voices, Huna Totem Alaska Village Corporation

Excellence in Customer Service
Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated (also known as CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation)

2013-2014

Tribal Destination of the Year
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico

Best Cultural Heritage Experience
The POEH Center, Pueblo of Pojoaque and Standing Rock Tribal Tourism

2012-2013

Tribal Destination of the Year
Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism

Best Cultural Heritage Experience
Chickasaw Cultural Center

Excellence in Customer Service
Dawn Melvin, Arizona Department of Tourism

Honorable Mention

Best Tribal Destination

  • Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Best Cultural Experience

  • Arizona Indian Festival

Enough Good People Individual Awards

2016-2017

  • Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation
  • Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii

2015-2016

  • David Uberuaga, Former Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
  • Joe Garcia, Former Governor, Ohkay Owingeh
    Kristen Lamoureux, PhD
  • Ron Erdmann, former Deputy Director of Research, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce.

2014-2015

  • Diane Chalfant, former Deputy Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park
  • Jana Prewitt, former Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, and AIANTA Consultant
  • Vicki Dixon, former Program Analyst, Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior
  • John Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund (NARF)

2013-2014

  •  Bill Hardman, Southeast Tourism Society
  • Gail Adams, former U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
  • Julia Washburn, Associate Director for Interpretation and Education, National Park Service
  • Martha Redbone, Singer/Songwriter/Artist
  • Sammye Meadows, former AIANTA Public Lands Partnership Consultant
  • Tex G. Hall, Past Chairman, Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation; Past President, National Congress of the American Indian
  • Sandra Necessary, former International Trade specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce

AMERICAN INDIANS AND ROUTE 66

More than half of Historic U.S. Route 66 lies in Indian Country, roughly 1,372 miles. AIANTA, in collaboration with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and Cherokee travel writer Lisa Hicks Snell, has published a tour guide of Route 66, bringing American Indian voices and a new perspective to this iconic highway.

To learn more, visit www.AmericanIndiansAndRoute66.com

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.

 

Learn More

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.

 

Learn More

NativeAmerica.Travel

Start marketing your destination with us today! NativeAmerica.travel is AIANTA’s premier destination website, connecting travelers to unique American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian destinations in the United States.

 

Learn More

Partnership Development

AIANTA’s best work is done by connecting with tribal, federal, state and industry leaders.  Through strong relationships with our partners and stakeholders, we are able to move our mission forward.

 

Learn More