Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) encourages and promotes authentic Indigenous tourism that showcases the unique and immersive experiences offered by its members throughout our four regions; North, Central and Southern Alberta as well as the Rockies. ITA’s goal is to enhance economic viability, further engage and support our Indigenous peoples, and nurture these partnerships throughout the province by sharing our stories, culture, and experiences with a global audience.

Any Indigenous person, Indigenous organization and Industry partner that has an interest in advancing Indigenous tourism in Alberta may apply to become an ITA Member.

Indigenous Tourism Alberta is proudly supported in partnership with the following organizations: Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Western Economic Diversification, Indigenous Services Canada, Government of Alberta, and Travel Alberta.

With its head office in Edmonton, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) strives for streamlined leadership in Indigenous tourism, creating a coordinated voice and a shared vision of goals under the leadership of a passionate and dedicated board of directors and staff.

Our staff

Shae Bird

Chief Executive Officer
Shae Bird is the Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Tourism Alberta, responsible for the development and growth of Alberta’s Indigenous tourism industry.
As the CEO, Shae has been responsible for steering ITA through one of the most difficult times in tourism history. Through his leadership, ITA has created the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Strategy 2020-2024 to drive its business, while growing ITA’s members to more than 180. Additionally, Shae has secured necessary funding grants to stabilize Indigenous businesses during COVID-19, including the Stimulus Relief Fund which provided relief to more than 80 businesses alongside Provincial and National partners.
With education through the Masters in Tourism Management program from Royal Roads University and corporate experience that covers strategic planning, organizational renewal, operations management, government relations and capital project oversight, Shae is now proud to call Treaty 6 & Metis Region 4, Edmonton, Alberta, home. Shae has quickly become recognized and respected as a leader in Indigenous tourism across Alberta and Canada with interview requests, speaking roles and involvement in multiple economic recovery task forces across Alberta.

Mackenzie Brown

Director of Industry development
Mackenzie Brown is a First Nations Cree Woman from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and currently resides in Mohkinstsis, Calgary. Brown has a background as a performer, drummer, tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area in addition to her past roles in Indigenous Tourism Development with both the Government of Alberta and Edmonton Tourism.
Brown is well known across Alberta for performing with her mom as “Warrior Women.” Together they drum and teach around Alberta for the Northern Alberta Teachers Conference, the annual Jasper Dark Skies Festival, Youth Dream Catchers Conference, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day festivities and more.
In addition to drumming, Brown is also an avid acrylic artist and traditional First Nations crafts artisan. Her art has been featured in the Pump House Gallery, the Edson Gallery Museum, the Gray Gallery Grant MacEwan, recognized for the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Award of 2017, featured for the Alberta Business Competition 2017 and sold to people travelling worldwide at Jasper Park Lodge.
Brown has also been awarded the 2019 Esquao Award for Children’s Future, the 2019 Indigenous Woman of the year award from the Alberta Assembly of First Nations, the Top 30 under 30 from the Alberta Corporation for Global Cooperation 2020 and the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award from Grant MacEwan University.

Jaspar Ndlovu

Director of finance
Jaspar Ndlovu is the Director of Finance of Indigenous Tourism Alberta. He is responsible for the financial records and financial reporting at ITA.
Jaspar has over two decades of accounting professional experience. He acquired a Bachelor of Management degree in Accounting from The University of Lethbridge. And later obtained the Chartered Professional Accounting (CPA) designation while articling with an accounting firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. Jaspar is pursuing an MBA in Global Leadership with The University of Fredericton.
As an experienced CPA, Jaspar has experience in leadership roles in the accounting industry; Skilled in Auditing, Full-cycle Accounting, Process Scheduler, Budgeting, Business Planning, Project Management, Managing Teams, and Customers Service. He has experience in the following industries: oil and gas, construction, public accounting, and the not-for-profit sector. This was when he realized he was passionate about the not-for-Profit section, as he aspires to give back to the community.

Tom Babin

Director of marketing
Tom Babin lives with his family in Mohkinstsis, Calgary, where he was born and raised, and is responsible for all of ITA’s marketing activities, including its storytelling and content, campaigns, sponsorships and communications. He previously worked as Manager of the Travel Alberta Content Studio, creating award-winning content for use in the organization’s consumer marketing activity.
He spent several years in journalism, working as an editor at Postmedia and Swerve magazine, and writing for publications such as the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and the National Post. He is the author of the book Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling.
In his free time, you’ll probably find Tom riding a bike, sometimes creating videos for his YouTube channel Shifter.

Lysandra Nothing

Marketing Specialist
Lysandra Nothing (she/her) is Anishinaabe woman, born and raised in Sioux Lookout Ontario; however, her roots are established in Bearskin Lake First Nation, Ont., Lysandra graduated from the Print and Online Journalism program at SAIT in 2021 and holds a journalism background with a focus on Indigenous news. Lysandra is a strong Indigenous advocate for Indigenous cultural awareness and rights with experience and participation in #IdleNoMore and Orange Shirt Day. At Indigenous Tourism Alberta, Lysandra is responsible for content creation, organic social media and media relations. Among her role at Indigenous Tourism Alberta, Lysandra also maintains a Youth Leader and Media Coordinator role at Howl, a non-profit grassroots organization that aims to change the future of education.  When Lysandra is not working, she can be found enjoying a cup of coffee browsing the shelves at a bookstore.

Curtis Cardinal

Development coordinator
Curtis C Cardinal is a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in Treaty 8. He has vast experience working in the tourism industry having worked for the Municipal District of Opportunity #17 as the Visitor Information Centre Supervisor for over nine years.
In addition to his experience within the tourism industry, he has a particular interest in history, genealogy and art. Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native Studies from the University of Alberta.

Renee Fehr

Development coordinator
Renee Fehr is of Metis lineage and currently resides in Treaty 8 territory of the Rocky Mountains. Her background consists of more than 10 years in the banking industry and another 10 as an Indigenous Liaison for Grande Yellowhead Public School system.
Before ITA, Renee worked with Community Futures West Yellowhead supporting and coaching small businesses and entrepreneurs. She holds a degree in General Studies from the University of Athabasca along with a Human Resources Management Certification from the University of Alberta.
When not at work Renee spends most of her time reading, taking courses, hiking, and foraging for edible and medicinal plants.

Crystal Eyo

Development coordinator
Crystal Eyo comes to ITA with 10+ years’ of experience working in digital communications, public relations, and project management. Currently residing in Amiskwaciwâskahikan / ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Edmonton), Crystal is as passionate about music and art as she is about business and entrepreneurship.
With a solution-focused mindset, she enjoys working with people who are enthusiastic about what they do or who are building something new (even if it’s hard!) and always finds ways to polish-out the silver lining no matter what challenges she may face.

Jessica Banford

Executive assistant
Jessica Banford currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta Treaty 6 & Metis Region 4. Prior to joining Indigenous Tourism Alberta she worked in the banking and financial advisory industry.
Jessica’s role at ITA is to provide high level executive support. With a background in executive office management she aids with day-to-day administration and operations.

Board of Directors

Indigenous Tourism Alberta would not be here today without the leadership of our Board of Directors. This founding board consist of key Indigenous tourism ambassadors throughout Alberta and continue to lead the direction of our organization today.

Brenda Holder
Mahikan Trails

Tim W. Patterson
Vice Chair
Zucmin Guiding

Keith Diakiw
Talking Rock Tours

Joe Urie
Jasper Tour Company

Dion Red Gun
River Ranche

Jeanette ManyGuns
Many Guns Ranch & Adventures

John Ritchie
Hideaway Adventure Grounds