June 2021
What's New at AIANTA

O me'a"kwa
(I’m going to travel over there, Northern Paiute)

On the Road Again
As you read this newsletter, I’m enjoying my first business travel in 15 months. For this trip, I’m traveling with Bruce Rettig, AIANTA’s Tribal Content Developer and Lorraine Gala Lewis, our Research & Outreach Specialist, and will also be joined, virtually, by Dan Wiley, of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. We’re meeting with tribes and Native-owned hospitality businesses located along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail in Idaho and Montana.

Tourism Marketing Workshop Along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
As reservations, tribal tourism enterprises and Native-owned businesses re-open to visitor traffic, a top need identified by these businesses is how to maximize their outreach to potential visitors. AIANTA, in partnership with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, has hosted two marketing workshops along the trail, demonstrating how tribes can grow their cultural tourism efforts through website development and by maximizing audio and video throughout your marketing efforts.

What's New in Indian Country Tourism?
We’re thrilled to see so many new projects, programs and events cropping up throughout Indian Country. More importantly, the travel media is noticing this exciting surge in momentum. To keep the media and all our partners informed on what’s happening, we are updating our What's New In Indian Country Tourism webpage. If your tribe or Native-owned hospitality business would like to be included on the page, please send any press releases or information to our Content Coordinator, Jacqueline Robledo at jrobledo@aianta.org. In the meantime take a look at all the exciting new tourism projects

AIANTA Town Hall Series:
Travelers to Indian Country & Native America.travel
June 30, 2021; 1 p.m. MDT
Join AIANTA in the second session of its interactive, new Town Hall series. During this forum, AIANTA will hold an open dialog about its consumer travel site, NativeAmerica.travel. Celebrating its sixth anniversary this year, NativeAmerica.travel is due for a major refresh. As AIANTA looks to redesign the site, we are seeking valuable community feedback on how it can best reflect the engaging, dynamic Indigenous experiences available to domestic and international visitors. Please join us for this important discussion.

German Travelers Look Forward to Returning to the U.S.
It looks like global tourism could slowly be showing signs of recovery. German travelers are especially ready to get back to exploring the U.S. as soon as possible, according to a survey conducted by German travel trade magazine, America Journal.

Town Hall Series:
Tourism Marketing Initiatives for 2022 and Beyond
September 29, 2021, 1 p.m. 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 the America 250 Partnership and a brand new marketing initiative with Leave No Trace.
Fort McDowell Adventures Trail Ride // © Fort McDowell Adventures
AITC Mobile Workshops
During the 23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference, held in Fort McDowell, Arizona, area tribes will showcase three one-of-a-kind cultural tourism experiences in Arizona. Be sure to come early to AITC to learn more about Native culture and heritage in the Southwest.

AITC Silent Auction
The annual American Indian Tourism Conference concludes with an evening gala, the 10th annual “Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala and Silent Auction,” which celebrates leading indigenous visitor destinations and hospitality professionals.

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. Check out all the amazing items up for auction.

Vibrant Ribbon Floral Skirts designed & donated by Anna Wilson
Case Studies in Tribal Agritourism
The first guide of its kind, Case Studies in Tribal Agritourism was created to inspire Native American and indigenous farmers, ranchers and other food producers interested in expanding their agricultural operations to include visitor components.

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
In partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), AIANTA is chronicling the stories of the tribes located on or near the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

The three-year partnership will result in educational webinars, a print/online guidebook reflecting past and present-day tribal attractions at key spots along the trail, and a first-of-its kind map, that will translate key locations along the trail back in their original native locators.

Experience Native America Along the Lewis & Clark Trail
In partnership with the National Park Service, AIANTA is working with tribes adjacent to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to develop cultural heritage content and itineraries. The project is bringing together businesses, attractions, landmarks and other points of interest on and around the trail to help promote sustainable tourism.

AIANTA Opportunities
AIANTA Webinar Series
Photo Credit: Diana Volk Official Photographer, Horse Nations Indian Relay Council
AIANTA's Webinar Series presents marketing tips, funding opportunities and other tips for creating and growing successful tribal tourism enterprises.

Save the Date
The Excitement of Indian Relay Horse Racing
Tuesday, June 22, 2021; 10 a.m. MDT

Developing Regional Alliances for Collective Marketing
Tuesday, July 6, 2021; 10 a.m. MDT
American Indian Tourism Conference
American Indian Tourism Conference
October 25-28, 2021
We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort
Fort McDowell (Scottsdale), Arizona
Sponsor AITC 2021
Extend your visibility by sponsoring the 23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference, the only national conference dedicated to travel and tourism in Indian Country.

A conference sponsorship helps AIANTA augment its hands-on programming at this annual gathering while providing you and/or your organization with increased exposure through our conference marketing.

Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala and Silent Auction
AITC concludes with an evening gala, the 10th annual Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Gala and Silent Auction, held at the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. 

As the only organization dedicated to advancing indigenous tourism across the United States, AIANTA recognizes the best of Indian Country travel and tourism at its annual Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards (formerly known as the Enough Good People Industry Awards) ceremony.

Winners of these prestigious awards have made a significant impact on tribal tourism, have helped AIANTA achieve its mission, foster a greater understanding of and appreciation for authentic culture, history, heritage and/or the arts, and showcase the best of Indian Country travel and tourism.
Register for AITC
Now entering its 23rd year, the annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) is the only national conference dedicated to growing tourism in America’s indigenous communities. 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 professionals.

Discover Native America
First Americans Museum
Scheduled to open in September 2021, the First Americans Museum (FAM) will serve as a dynamic center promoting awareness and educating the broader public about the unique cultures, diversity, history, contributions and resilience of the First American Nations in Oklahoma today. FAM will showcase state-of-the-art exhibitions, live public and educational programs, a FAMily Discovery Center with immersive family-friendly activities, a full-service restaurant presenting unique Native inspired cuisine, the FAM Café and Coffee Shop, and the FAM Store featuring authentic one-of-a-kind hand-made items or products by premiere First American artists.

Xaa-wan'-k'wvt Village & Resort
Xaa-wan'-k'wvt Village & Resort is located on forty acres of land at the mouth of the Pacific Ocean along the Smith River in California. Xaa-wan'-k'wvt Village & Resort sits on the land of the Tribe's traditional village. Travelers can choose to stay in ocean-view motel rooms, RV spots or campsites with tent space. Guests enjoy easy access to boating, kayaking, salmon and steelhead fishing, birdwatching and beachcombing. Visitors can also experience Redwood National Park, only a 15 minute drive from the resort.

In the News
AIANTA in the News

Tourism in Indian Country Regrouping
Indian Country Today; May 28, 2021
CEO Sherry Rupert, Paiute and Washoe, of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, said tribal casino closures alone cost 296,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in revenues.
“These lost jobs and decimated gaming revenues have had a dramatic and far-reaching effect, crippling Native American economies well beyond tourism … devastating programs such as health and safety, infrastructure, education and food programs across Indian Country,” Rupert said at the Senate hearing.

How the U.S. National Park Service Prioritized Nature Over Indigenous People
tripsavvy; May 18, 2021
“Native Americans are often left out of the historical narrative, so we’re thrilled that NPS is looking to deliver a comprehensive inventory of tribal activities and cultural tourism experiences for visitors interested in traveling all or parts of the famed route,” said AIANTA CEO Sherry Rupert on the organization’s website. 

Indigenous Tourism Organization Latest to Join Leave No Trace Program Responsible for Tourism
Outdoor Sportswire; May 18, 2021
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) are excited to announce a new partnership to promote a consistent, nationwide message of sustainable tourism throughout indigenous communities across the United States.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to Hear Testimony on COVID-19 Impact on the Native Tourism Economies
Native News Online; May 11, 2021
Sherry L. Rupert, the CEO of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) will testify on the vital economic importance of the tourism industry to Native American communities.
“A robust tourism industry is a powerful economic driver in Indian Country,” Rupert stated in preparation of her testimony. “The dramatic decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact throughout all tribal communities, so we are encouraged that the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has invited us to testify on this economic crisis.”

AIANTA Membership
Welcome New AIANTA Members
Susan Anthony, US Patent and Trademark Office (Senior-Eastern)
Lyndsay Howard, Bloomberg LP (Individual-Eastern)
Elizabeth Krauth, U.S. Commercial Service (Individual-Pacific)


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
Shop AIANTA at Amazon.com

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.

Save the Date
Mark Your Calendars For These Upcoming Events

23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference
Dates: October 25-28, 2021
Location: We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, Fort McDowell, Arizona

AIANTA Town Hall Series: Travelers to Indian Country & NativeAmerica.travel
June 30, 2021, 1 p.m. (MDT/New Mexico)
Funding Opportunities
Funding Opportunities

Secretary Haaland Announces $150 Million to Create Public Parks, Expand Recreation Opportunities in Urban Areas 
Funding applications are now being accepted in Grants.gov through September 24. States may apply for the grants, whether on behalf of themselves or eligible urban jurisdictions.

Sign up for AIANTA newsletters (or update your subscription) now to receive our monthly Funding Opportunities notices.
Thank You to our 2021 AITC Sponsors
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