by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta says it is providing the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) with $100,000 to establish a provincial Indigenous tourism organization and grow tourism-related businesses across the province.

ATAC will use the funds to help grow tourism businesses in First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta, building and delivering an Indigenous tourism entrepreneurship program. The province and ATAC will work together holding regional sessions targeting current and potential Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs, supporting Indigenous tourism businesses in the province and supporting ‘Alberta Day’ at the 2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference in Calgary, Nov. 5 to 7.

“The Alberta government is proud to work in partnership with ATAC and to be the first provincial government to provide funding in support of this collaborative work,” said Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, in a release Thursday. “This is a tremendous opportunity to help create jobs for Indigenous communities, help strengthen Alberta’s overall economy and give visitors a meaningful, cultural experience.”

ATAC, in conjunction with Culture and Tourism, will also create a new program to help Indigenous entrepreneurs, artists, and storytellers who want to start a tourism business.

Keith Henry, president and CEO, Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, said Indigenous peoples in Alberta have inspiring stories to tell and can offer authentic, educational experiences that visitors are seeking. “We encourage Métis and First Nations in the province to seek out and establish tourism businesses that will create employment opportunities and grow your local community,” Henry said.

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