AIANTA News | April 2022
What's New at AIANTA?
O me’a”kwa: AIANTA Impact
Dear Members, partners and friends,

As I write this letter, our congressional representatives in Washington D.C. are busy planning budgets for the next fiscal year. I had a chance to speak to a few representatives last week when I traveled to DC to attend my first meeting as a member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors, and it is clear to me we are at a critical juncture for the future of cultural tourism. The tourism system in the United States has never been designed to support tribes as it does not take into account Tribal sovereignty – in short Tribes don’t pay into the bed tax or fees that support tourism at a local, regional and national level and therefore do not receive the benefits of the collective approach to tourism development and promotion.

Top Ten Indigenous Tourism Experiences in 2022
  1. Oglala Lakota Living History Village (Pine Ridge, SD)
  2. Akwesasne Travel Cultural Tours (Akwesasne, NY/ON/QC)
  3. Native Eateries Garner James Beard Recognition
  4. New Luxury Casinos Showcase Native Culture
  5. Wind River Reservation Mobile Tour (Fort Washakie, Wyoming)
  6. 150th Anniversary of the King Kamehameha Day Celebration
  7. Cedar Bark Weaving to Seal Skin Kickballs: A Master Artist Showcase (Anchorage, Alaska)
  8. Native Coffee Shops Turn up the Heat
  9. A Sustainable Spin on Cruising with Alaskan Dream Cruises
  10. Native Providers Team Up with Major League Sports
Tourism Survey
AIANTA launched its fourth State of Indian Country Tourism Industry survey. The survey will help us measure indigenous and Native communities’ confidence in the growth of the visitor industry for the coming year.
Please take a moment to complete the brief survey now.
Deadline to take the survey: April 22, 2022

AIANTA is Now Hiring
AIANTA is seeking four energetic, 
well-organized self-starters to serve in the following positions:

Native Arts and Culture Coordinator
Deadline to Apply: April 20, 2022

Agritourism Specialist, Native Product and Program
Deadline to Apply: April 22, 2022

Education & Visitor Outreach Specialist
Deadline to Apply: April 30, 2022

Information Specialist
Deadline to Apply: April 30, 2022
Go International
Attracting Group and International Travelers
April 19 – 20, 2022
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Designed to help tribal tourism businesses attract more groups and international travelers, Go International features expert speakers and hands-on presentations that will guide tribal enterprises and businesses in conceptualizing and developing their tourism product(s) and promoting them to tour operators, wholesalers and the travel trade.

Thanks to Our Go International Sponsors
AIANTA extends a warm thanks to Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation and Isleta Resort & Casino for sponsoring this event! Additional sponsorships are still available so please contact us if you're interested.

June 5-8, 2022
Orlando, Florida

Join AIANTA and Indigenous tourism enterprises from around the country in a shared booth at IPW, the largest international tourism tradeshow in the United States. Hurry! Registration closes April 15, 2022
AIANTA is Growing
AIANTA is growing! We'd like to extend a warm welcome to McKaela Arviso (Navajo Nation), our new Content and Social Media Coordinator, who will be working out of our Albuquerque headquarters. Take a moment to learn more about McKaela or send her an email to say hello.
AIANTA Tourism & Hospitality Scholarship
AIANTA's Tourism & Hospitality Scholarship provides American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students with financial assistance towards a degree or certificate in hospitality, tourism, recreation, culinary arts or related fields.

Each year, AIANTA awards three individuals who have met all scholarship application criteria. Students are awarded $1,000 per semester (fall and spring semester only). Each student can earn a maximum award of $2,000 per academic school year.
24th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference
October 24-27, 2022
Harrah’s Resort Southern California/Funner, CA 92082

Call for Speakers
AIANTA is now accepting speaker proposals for breakout sessions during the 24th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC).

Sponsor AITC
Extend your visibility by sponsoring AITC, the only national conference dedicated to travel and tourism in Indian Country.

Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards
Every year, AIANTA recognizes the best of Indian Country travel and tourism at the annual Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala and Silent Auction.
AIANTA Opportunities
AIANTA Town Hall Series
AIANTA Town Hall Series: Technical Assistance & Training Opportunities
April 27, 2022; 1 p.m., Mountain

During this Town Hall, you’ll meet an advisory group guiding AIANTA’s Leave No Trace partnership program, and learn how the group has been working to create resources that will prepare travelers to be more respectful and responsible during their visits to Tribal nations and Hawaiian homelands.
Additionally, AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe) and Board President Emerson Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma) will lead an open dialog with attendees on how they can engage with AIANTA in the year ahead. This is your opportunity to tell us what your needs are. How can we help you grow and develop in the tourism industry? What types of training would you like to see piloted at Go International, the American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC), our Cultural Heritage Certificate Programs and through our AIANTA Webinar Series?
AIANTA Webinar Series
Connecting Health and Healing with Tourism
April 26, 2022; 10 a.m. (Mountain)

Next Evolution Coffee Shop is not your ordinary coffee shop. The Schurz, Nevada shop was created to promote a healthy lifestyle while also breaking down barriers on the Walker River Paiute Reservation. The plant-based coffee shop, owned by tribal citizen Andrea Martinez, features organic juices, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, wraps and much more. While the shop was created with the needs of the community in mind, its key location on Highway 95, means travelers between Reno and Las Vegas also have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy snack while learning more about the Walker River Paiute Tribe. In this webinar, learn how Next Evolution Coffee incorporates Indigenous learnings and a people-over-profit philosophy in its business model.
Discover Native America
Lakota Tipi Stays
Tipi Stays, a Lakota youth-led social enterprise, invites visitors from all over the world to experience the homelands of the Sicangu Lakota people and connect to Grandmother Earth on the prairies of South Dakota. Guests can experience Lakota culture in the heart of the Rosebud Reservation and enjoy Lakota activities during their Tipi Stay. Cultural and recreational activities deepen cultural understanding of the Lakota people, their traditions, and the beautiful lands they call home.
Claim Your Free Listing at is AIANTA's premier destination website, connecting travelers to unique American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian destinations in the United States. Join the leading travel resource for visitors seeking authentic indigenous travel experiences!
AIANTA Membership
Welcome New AIANTA Members

Laurel Harkness, California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Individual-Pacific Region)
Shonto Group Inc. (Nonprofit-Southwest Region)
Thank You Renewing AIANTA Members

AMERICA Journal (Business-Northeast Region)
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (Tribal-Southeast Region)
Four Directions Development Corporation (Nonprofit-Northeast Region)
Jamie Sijohn, Chewelah Casino (Senior-Northwest Region)

AIANTA members are well-informed and play a key role in supporting sustainable and authentic tribal tourism that benefits not only member tribes but all tribes. With your help, we’ll continue to make sure that the right national decision-makers hear your voice—and all our voices—so our people can thrive and grow.
Support AIANTA
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AIANTA has joined the AmazonSmile charitable giving program. After you designate AIANTA as your preferred charitable organization through AmazonSmile, Amazon will contribute .5 percent of all purchases to help support AIANTA programming.
Thank You to our 2021 AITC Sponsors
Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians
Wild Horse Pass
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
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Funding Opportunities
AIANTA collects funding opportunities that may be of interest to Indigenous or Native American tourism & hospitality enterprises looking to grow their tourism, culture, heritage, arts, agritourism or other culture and heritage programming.

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