The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) defines two types of Indigenous based tourism:
- Indigenous tourism is defined as a tourism business majority owned, operated and/or controlled by First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples which demonstrates a connection and responsibility to the local Indigenous community and traditional territory where the operation is based.
- Indigenous cultural tourism not only meets the Indigenous tourism criteria (above) but in addition a significant portion of the experience incorporates a distinct Indigenous culture in a manner that is appropriate, respectful and true. Authenticity lies in the active involvement of Indigenous people in the development and delivery of the experience.
Why is Indigenous Tourism Important?
Connecting people and shifting perspectives
Indigenous tourism opens the door for anyone who is interested in understanding, through firsthand experiences, the people and culture within First Nation communities.
Preserving and strengthening a way of life
Culture, language and natural resources are better positioned to endure and thrive if Indigenous peoples take the lead in offering their own cultural teachings to the public and continue to shift perceived stereotypes.
Indigenous tourism helps to generate income within First Nations communities. Creation of jobs with better wages leads to better education, better healthcare, and a better quality of life.