The Rupert Report
From the Desk of AIANTA's CEO
August 9, 2021
The new Choctaw Casino & Resort Sky Tower; Durant, Oklahoma.
AIANTA Highlights for the Coming Week
Listen to my Interview on Native America Calling
Reawakening Summer Tribal Tourism
I had a great time speaking on Native America Calling this past Friday. I spoke about all things tribal tourism including what's new in Indian Country tourism, the impacts COVID-19 has had on tribal tourism and some tips for those traveling to Native destinations. Listen to the full episode for more!

Webinar: Supporting Tribal Arts and Tourism
August 10; 10 am MDT
In 1988, the Poeh Cultural Center & Museum was established as a “gathering place” and a way to promote Pueblo arts and culture. Owned and operated by the Pueblo of Pojoaque, the Poeh Cultural Center is a great example of how tribes have fused cultural arts and tourism into a successful enterprise. The Center’s business module includes a renowned museum, gallery and gift shop, with an emphasis on art programs and classes that teach and sustain traditional arts. The programs offer entrepreneurial opportunities for artists, with beautiful state-of-the-art studios on site. The Center encourages “shop native” and showcases artists by hosting events, gallery exhibitions and art markets. Additionally, the Center, which has one of the most notable fine arts collections in the country, manages a million-dollar art collection at the Buffalo Thunder Resort. Learn how the Center continues to develop new jobs and economic opportunities for the Tribe by creating a world class facility that welcomes visitors while celebrating local culture.

Congratulations to Choctaw Casino & Resort
Durant, Oklahoma
Congratulations to the Choctaw Casino & Resort on the grand opening of their new Sky Tower expansion. World class collection of Choctaw art lines the Sky Tower’s walls, walkways, and even the ceilings. The collection includes several pieces exclusively commissioned for the new tower and each piece – from paintings and drawings to sculpture and special art installations – was created by a Choctaw artist. The Sky Tower art collection features 58 pieces of public art from 31 artists who are Choctaw tribal members from across the country. The collection is open to Choctaw Casino & Resort guests as well the public and most is available for viewing 24-7.

AITC Silent Auction
Deadline to submit donations: September 30
The annual American Tourism Conference (AITC) concludes with an evening gala, the 10th annual Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala and Silent Auction. The AITC Silent Auction raises funding for AIANTA’s Hospitality and Tourism Scholarship Program, which benefits Native students pursuing post-secondary degrees in Hospitality and Tourism Management and other tourism-related fields.

Follow the link below to view some items that will be available to bid on, or to donate to the auction.

The New York Times on Indian Country Travel
Read this important article the New York Times printed about the importance of preserving Indigenous culture in Indian Country tourism.

(See you later, Northern Paiute)

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