AIANTA News | July 2022

What's New at AIANTA?

O me’a”kwa: New Experiences

Dear Members, Partners and Friends,

I hope you’re having a joyful and safe summer.

As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19, AIANTA is prioritizing direct outreach to Native Nations and communities. In doing so, we get to hear about the unique experiences each community has to offer in addition to their needs when dealing with COVID-19. As we work together to address these challenges, I am hopeful that our firsthand experiences will help bring forth long-term solutions for sustainable cultural tourism initiatives, programs and businesses.

Here at AIANTA, we are well underway in the planning of a new pilot project in partnership with the tribes of Washington and the National Park Service (NPS). The purpose of this project is to organize and facilitate opportunities for Mount Rainier National Park and tribal gateway communities to participate in conversations regarding shared interest specific to cultural tourism, recreation and visitor services. 

Read More

New AIANTA Board Member

We're excited to welcome Charlene Virgilio (citizen of the Penobscot Nation) as the Northeast Region Board Member. Read more about Charlene's years of experience working with the tribes of Maine on our website.

Meet the Board
Apply Here

We're Hiring a Marketing Director!

Deadline to apply: July 20, 2022 

Do you want to help develop and promote cultural tourism in Indian Country? If so, we’re looking for a Marketing Director to join our team.

This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer and provides leadership and management that will support the achievements of AIANTA’s overall mission, strategy and business plans through marketing. 

GW Certificate Program in Cultural Heritage Tourism

Registration Deadline: August 22, 2022

AIANTA, in partnership with the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies (GW), offers a Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Tourism. The online program spans seven weeks and equips students from all backgrounds with the knowledge and skills to manage several components of cultural heritage tourism.

Learn how Partnerships can strengthen the development and promotion of cultural heritage tourism in the latest GW Blog!

Learn More

AIANTA and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Geo-tourism Internship 

For several years, AIANTA has been working with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to identify tribal tourism attractions and businesses along the Trail. We are looking for interns interested in working with tribes to preserve their culture and heritage through tourism. Help us promote tribal and Native-owned businesses to tell their stories.

Learn More
24th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference

Sponsor AITC

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

Every year the conference attracts more than 300 attendees, who attend for the networking opportunities, the high-level keynote sessions and the informative breakout sessions led by some of the leading hospitality industry experts. At our first-ever virtual conference we had 800 registrants.

Sponsor AITC

Mobile Workshop

One-of-a-kind cultural tourism experiences at AITC

Photo: Balboa Park Botanical Garden, San Diego, CA (photo credit:

This year, at the 24th Annual AITC held in San Diego County, California, the Rincon Tribe will provide guests with two one-of-a-kind cultural tourism experiences.

Explore the descriptions below and register for a workshop today!

Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala & Silent Auction

Deadline to apply: July 31, 2022

Every year, AIANTA recognizes the best of Indian Country travel and tourism at the annual Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala and Silent Auction. If you would like to nominate an enterprise or individual that has made a significant impact on tribal tourism, nominate them today!

Award Categories: 

  • Tribal Destination of the Year
  • Best Cultural Heritage Experience
  • Excellence in Customer Service
  • Industry Professional Award

Submit Nomination

See past winners

Register for AITC
AIANTA Opportunities

Webinar: Evolution of a Native American Collective

July 19, 2022; 10 a.m. (Mountain)

In this discussion, Great Basin Native Artists Collective (GBNA), a thriving collective of Native artists from tribes in Nevada, California, Southern Oregon, Southern Idaho and Utah will reflect on the growth of GBNA and its impact on local communities and how it has supported initiatives for cultural resource preservation and growth. 

Register Now

AIANTA and USDA Webinar Series

USDA Session 3 of 3 – Developing Tribal Tourism Enterprises Based on Native Values

August 9, 2022; 10 a.m. (Mountain)

The final webinar in a 3 part series will explore economic development opportunities with several key USDA agencies and land grant institutions that will discuss resources and insights to empower and inspire Tribal communities to develop agritourism and agriculture related enterprises that are culturally appropriate, sustainable and connected with Mother Earth.

Register Now

On-Demand Agriculture Webinars

AIANTA and USDA Session 1 of 3:

Resources for Native Agriculture Production and Conservation

AIANTA and USDA Session 2 of 3:

Adding Value to Native Agriculture Products

July Townhall:

A Taste of Indian Country

AIANTA and Next Evolution Coffee Shop:

Developing Culinary Tourism in Rural Communities with a Focus on Healthy Foods

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to watch the latest webinars!

Discover Native America

Tatanka Rez Tourz

Learn More

Tatanka Rez Tourz offers guided tours throughout the entire Pine Ridge Reservation, it is not a tour site destination, but an opportunity to provide learning experiences for those who travel to learn about the language, culture and history of the Lakota people. They will often bring in presenters and artists from the community to give their visitors multiple perspectives and to help promote their Lakota brothers and sisters. The tour begins with a formal introduction about who the tour guides are, who their parents and who their grandparents are. They do this to make connections with their visitors, to see if they are related and to pay homage to their ancestors.

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Learn More

Tamástslikt brings the story of the Umatilla Tribes alive with a 14,000 square foot exhibit space that incorporates artifacts, photography, video and interactive multi-media in world class exhibits. Events like the Kidz Pow Wow, gallery talks and a junior art competition allow visitors to immerse themselves into Tribal culture. The Museum Store sells American Indian art and crafts, as well as books, music, apparel, home decor and Pendleton Woolen Mills exclusive blanket designs. Kinship Cafe serves Native-inspired lunch fare daily.

Claim Your Free Listing at

NAT Listing Icon 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!

Claim your Listing

AIANTA in the News

Stewart Indian School leaves behind a complicated history

Sierra Nevada Ally, July 3, 2022

10 Indigenous Travel Experiences Everyone Should Have

Out Traveler, June 15, 2022

AIANTA Helps Native American Tribes Thrive

Leisure Group Travel, June 8, 2022

AIANTA asks ASU to develop sustainable tourism training curriculum for Indian Country

ASU News, June 13, 2022

USDA and American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association to Host Webinar Series to Build Agritourism Capacity for Native Producers

USDA Rural Development, June 10, 2022

AIANTA Membership

Thank You New AIANTA Members

Kalispel Tribe (Tribe-Northwest Region)

Native American Development Corporation (Nonprofit-Rocky Mountain Region)

Nikwasi Initiative (Nonprofit-Southeast Region)

Visit Rapid City (Nonprofit-Rocky Mountain Region)


Jake Viarrial, New Mexico Cultural Experiences (Student-Southwest 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.

2022 AITC Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians

Presenting Sponsor

Harrah's Resort Southern California

Choctaw Country

Gold Sponsor

Arizona Office of Tourism

Silver Sponsor

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Bronze Sponsor

Tribal Team Sponsors

Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

Lakota Youth Development-Tipi Stays

7 Cedars

Emerging Leader Sponsor

Klas Robinson QED

Friends of AIANTA Sponsor


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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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