Indigenous Tourism Alberta visits Northeastern Alberta
On the week of July 22, 2019, Northeastern Alberta on Traditional Territory of the Metis Peoples and Plains Cree:
Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) visited various Indigenous Tourism Operators in the Region of Northeastern Alberta. Among the Indigenous Operators visited were; Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre in Lac La Biche, Alberta, including their comfort camping tipi’s at Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park, Metis Crossing in Smoky Lake, Alberta, Kikino Silver Birch Resort and Hideaway Adventure Grounds on the Kikino Metis Settlement. The Executive Director, Tarra Wright Many Chief and Strategic Planner, Casey Vanden Heuvel visited several sites as part of Indigenous Tourism Alberta’s continuous efforts to increase awareness and demand for Indigenous Tourism in Alberta.
The Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre, Located on the shores of Lac La Biche Lake, acts as an important pillar in the community. Mentoring various youth and members of the community through a collection of culturally sensitive programs and services. Tarra and Casey were welcomed onto the beautiful property, by Donna Webster, Executive Director of the Friendship Centre to learn more about their tourism offerings in the area of Alberta. The visit was completed with a visit to Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park Comfort Camping Tipi’s which offer an Indigenous Camping Experience.
Following the departure from Lac La Biche, Indigenous Tourism Alberta visited the area of the Kikino Metis Settlement where two Indigenous operators are located. The popular summer location, Kikino Silver Birch Resort & Campground, has the peak season in the Summer months and offers various camping abilities. The lush greenery and cozy cabins on the shores of Whitefish Lake truly offer an unforgettable camping experience for the entire family. Although comfort camping can be easily accessible in the area, self-contained camping can be found very nearby at the Hideaway Adventure Grounds & Retreats campground. This new authentic Indigenous tourism businesses is owned and operated by John Ritchie, one of ITA’s founding board members. The use of electricity is reduced at the Hideaway Adventure Grounds while teachings of building shelter, finding food and identifying traditional healing plants are utilized to bring the camper back to the basics.
Finally, Indigenous Tourism Alberta traveled to the Smoky Lake area to visit the well-known area of Metis Crossing. Operational only in the May – September season, Metis Crossing offers various activities related to the teachings of the Metis culture. While touring the grounds ITA experienced the serene atmosphere that the area provides due to the rustic and natural environment. The multiple garden displays and historical buildings offer an unforgettable experience with beautiful photo opportunities. Included in the area is also a campground for added convenience and multi-day experiences.
Indigenous Tourism Alberta will be visiting more authentic Indigenous tourism businesses throughout the summer and fall of 2019.
Tarra Wright Many Chief, Indigenous Tourism Alberta: 403-464-0916, or tarra@IndigenousTourismAlberta.ca
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