The Rupert Report
From the Desk of AIANTA's CEO
September 6, 2021
9/11 Memorial; photo from Pixabay
AIANTA Highlights for the Coming Week
Labor Day Wishes
I hope you all had a restful holiday weekend. It’s hard to believe we are already entering the fall season. Today, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the AIANTA Board of Directors and staff, who have been tirelessly building and producing initiatives and programs for this year and the one to come.

Congratulations staff! Enjoy your day off and come back ready to present the best American Indian Tourism Conference ever!

My best wishes extend to all of you in Indian Country tourism. Your hard work has been noticed and appreciated, and we look forward to planning new programs together for the coming fiscal year. 
MainStreet Webinar
September 14; 10 am MDT
Join AIANTA as we introduce you to the nation’s first Native American MainStreet community: Zuni Pueblo MainStreet in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico. Established in 2012, Zuni Pueblo MainStreet implements new approaches and methods to encourage the revitalization of the local economy while continuing to preserve their unique traditional and historic events.

As the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to make headlines, an increasing number of potential attendees at our 23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) have been asking the same question: “is the conference still on?”

While none of us has a crystal ball as to what the future will hold, AIANTA would like to assure attendees that plans for an in-person conference—scheduled for October 25-28, 2021, in Fort McDowell (Scottsdale), Arizona—continue as planned.

Town Hall Series: Tourism Marketing Initiatives for 2022 & Beyond
September 29; 1 pm MDT
As AIANTA enters its new fiscal year, the association is rolling out an exciting series of new partner opportunities. Joining AIANTA’s already established partnerships with the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, the Lewis & Clark National Trail and the Native American Agriculture Fund, we will also be celebrating 250 (and more) years of Native American history in conjunction with America250. Additionally, we’re rolling out a new collaboration with Leave No Trace, an organization that strives to minimize travelers’ impact on the destinations they visit. AIANTA encourages everyone to join this interactive discussion of our partnership programs and how they can lead to greater prosperity for tribal communities.

Remembering 9/11
It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since the morning of September 11, 2001. It was such an emotional, powerful day, that lives on for many of us.

It’s not a familiar story to many, but a number of the first responders were Mohawk (Kanien’kehaka, People of the flint) ironworkers who dropped everything to help lend a hand at Ground Zero. These volunteers, many related to the ironworkers who’d helped build some of New York’s most impressive structures, including the World Trade Center, used their knowledge of steel to help clear the debris. Many of these volunteers later succumbed to illnesses related to the clean up at Ground Zero.

I know we all have powerful personal stories about 9/11 and I encourage you all to take time to reflect and remember, and to honor all the lives affected by the attacks and their aftermath.
(See you later, Northern Paiute)

Sherry L. Rupert, Chief Executive Officer
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
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